My beautiful bargain clock- found this little gem at Goodwill for $5 with no hands on the clock face. I picked up a set of hands at a craft store for $2 (usually $3, but I used a coupon!) and now my clock is a lovely addition to my living room decor. Out of curiosity, I checked online to see if I could find another one like it, and I did. Someone was selling one on Craigslist for $15. :-)
A little inspiration can go a long way, and I am a very visual person, so I love to "window shop" for my inspiration. Some people don't even bother to look at high-end catalogs or go into upscale shops because they know they can't afford any of it, and it makes them depressed. I choose a different attitude: I think, This stuff is nice, and some of it may be worth the expense, but most of it so overpriced! I don't have to pay an arm and a leg for that- I can probably make something similar or find a knock-off at a much lower price. That will always get my creative juices flowing, and I get excited to start planning my strategy, which usually involves being on the lookout at places like Goodwill, yard sales, and discount stores like Wal-Mart and Target. That is so much more fun for me- I personally get much more satisfaction recreating something for pennies on the dollar than I would buying a pricey item outright.
It is important to consult some sources of your inspiration before bargain hunting in places like Goodwill and other thrift shops or yard sales, because it gets me primed by putting the pictures in my head of what I like and what might work. When you have a $60 lamp in your mind before going out, you might be surprised when you see something for $5 at a yard sale that, with a little spray paint and a new shade, could easily take its place.
So I get my home decorating inspiration from stores and catalogs, then I bring it into my home by using my creativity. Always be on the lookout for what you find beautiful, regardless of the price, and cut out photos and put them in an idea/inspiration scrapbook if you like. One of my favorite free sources for inspiration is the Pottery Barn catalog- I don't know that I will ever buy anything in it, but all of their items are beautifully showcased by professional designers in room vignettes, and I can always find something that piques my interest. You can order free catalogs here.
Another great option for pictorial inspiration is your local library- check out home decorating books and magazines, and get inspired! Look for more on some of my trash-to-treasure finds in future posts...
Where do you find your inspiration?