on when the internets fail you.

This last week I decided to work on a few walls around our apartment. We're adding a gallery-type wall, we balanced (or plan to) out a wall in our room and are possibly adding a few frames here and there. I did what I usually do in this type of situation: to the internets! And for the gallery wall, there is a lot of inspiration out there, and I found a wall I wanted to go off of fairly easy. The other wall was a little more challenging.

We used to have Sam's crib on one half and our dresser next to it. Sam's crib moved in the summer, so there wasn't usually anything there. So we had a dresser and our map hanging over it and it was really unbalanced and I kind of hated it. So I set out to figure something out. I found myself really stuck! Our dresser is one of the tall and skinny dressers and I felt like most inspirational pictures I found were of shorter/wider dressers. And the wall placement was different. Everything was different and I realized how dependent I have become on using other people's creativity as my starting point. I became quite stumped.

My bff Emily recently wrote a post on creativity that I really enjoyed and I think it got me thinking about this topic more. I was thinking how I enjoy using other people's talents (creativity, design, arrangement, etc) to help me out with my creativity. I mean, we all have different strengths and we are meant to share those. So places like pinterest and google search can be filled with other people's creations and I enjoy looking at them and being inspired. It was just an interesting moment when I couldn't find anything to be inspired by! What, like no one had ever had a similar wall to decorate? What was the point of the internet??

It made me want to learn more about design or just broaden my experience so that I can create something from the start, instead of needing other people. And I think there is nothing wrong with that, but of course it's helpful to be self-sufficient. It would be nice to be able to create from scratch a wall for our house, but I think that takes practice. Or maybe it doesn't, and it's just me who likes to just go from what works for other people.

I enjoy following directions. I find tutorials for things I want to make and I like when they exist and I can just follow it. I like to follow recipes. And the people who create inspiration for me most likely draw upon other sources for their project. It just seems to be a big cycle of creativity and inspiration.

However, I find the relationship between creativity and sharing to also have a downside. I see a lot of room arrangements or outfits or whatever it may be online, and then when I try to create something for me, I am stuck wondering "is this right?" "Does this look ok?" "What are the rules about hanging up something on a wall?" "How many frames are right?"

I came to the conclusion that really, anything works. People put grand and busy things on their walls, and some walls have one tiny thing. They mix patterns, mix anything and everything and it's all a thing. It's all some kind of style. And the important thing is that you enjoy looking at it.

I do think there are some general "rules" that govern decorating, but something I have also picked up over the last week of searching design blogs, etc., is that yes, there are rules. But they are also just fine being broken. You should be happy in your space, and if you need rules to get you started, that is great. I like the idea of using general rules but making it work for you. (which would usually mean "just follow the rules"). So I just gather my inspiration and make a plan.

So, how are the projects coming? Dave said if I was going to do this, I had a week. Well, things aren't done after a week, but since I have a plan that just needs to be completed, he is surprisingly chilled out about it. He hates long, drawn-out, what-about-this plans.

I moved our dresser over and it created a little corner that I think I want to get a little rocking chair for (this may be challenging; that space is quite small and I hate most rocking chairs) and have it be a little reading/play corner for Sam. He does only have a wall in our closet to call his own, after all. So we have a plan, but it's still in the early stages. But hey, we have inspiration and we are moving forward.

And now we just need to replace the paper rectangles with real frames and we'll be done with that!

What do you do when you want to decorate or make something? Are you a go-off-what-others-do person or do you like to start from scratch and draft up plan after plan?


Kristen said...

I'm like you - I like to find an idea that I can replicate almost exactly. Starting from scratch is so overwhelming. Even if I have an idea of what I want it to look/feel like I'm totally blocked until I find some sort of visual of what I want. You're right, there aren't any rules, it's just about finding what appeals to you and what makes you love your spaces. Can't wait to see pics of your finished projects!

kylie said...

you're such a crafty, creative person that i'm sure whatever you make is going to turn out wonderfully.