Finding Decorating Inspiration When You Least Expect to Find It

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Over the past 4 days I have been in Atlanta at the Haven blog conference. It is a conference for DIY and Decorating bloggers and it was fantastic, even better than last year.  One reason that I found it so inspiring was that I found decorating inspiration when I least expected to find it.


Gail @ My Repurposed Life,  Cindy @ My Cottage Love,  Katie @ Sew Woodsy,  Karen @ The Graphics Fairy  are only a few of the amazing bloggers I got to hang out with.

I expected and did see lots of new products and innovations from the conference sponsors – Home Depot, GMC, Ryobi, 3M, Rustoleum, Ballard Designs, Shaw and many other companies. I also expected and did learn many inspirational tips about blogging from the amazing line-up of session speakers.


But the biggest inspiration I came home with was something I least expected.

But before I tell you how I was inspired, I first have to rewind to last week?

Before I left for the conference, I was in an un-decorating mode.  My family room needed sprucing up.  I am hesitant to do anything major in the room since we may move, but I could not stand looking at the 9 year old area rug anymore. It was off-white and held up amazingly well until about a year ago. It was getting pretty Gross – and I mean Gross with a capital “G”. So I asked Ed to help me roll it up last Tuesday and take it to the curb.


I do not have a new rug to replace it, but I do like the bare wood look.  The wood looks brand new since it has been covered with the area rug for so long.  It is nice for an easy breezy summer feel.

I also washed the slipcovers so that when I got home from the conference everything would be clean and fresh.   I figured it would be staying this way since I do not want to buy or do anything major to the room until I know if we are staying or moving.

After purging and cleaning – off I went to Haven last Thursday

When the opening session at Haven was over, Ballard Designs set up what was called the Living Room.  It was in the main area of the conference  – a place for attendees to sit, rest, and chat.  It was crowded and I didn’t see much of it until later in the day when the space cleared out.

That is when HUGE decorating inspiration struck!   Like  – huge and happy inspiration that won’t cost me too much to implement in my family room. It is a simple tweak that I can take with me if we move.


There were 2 seating areas – the first  area had four chairs and this ottoman in the middle.

Decorating Inspiration from Ballard Designs and the Haven Conference

Would love to have these chairs, but they are not what I got super excited about.


Here is my local Philadelphia blog buddy, Carrie from Making Lemonade sitting in one of them.


The second area was set up with two navy blue velvet sofas and two white chairs. I loved the feeling of this furniture grouping as soon as I saw it – navy, jute rug, along with the natural and white accents.  If felt perfect, so homey and warm – my style. Then I smiled even more and laughed at myself when I realized why it felt so right to me…


Peek – a – boo!   I see navy blue  Smile   My seating has been covered with white slipcovers for so long, I forgot what was underneath.

I covered them way before I painted the furniture in the room white – it all used to be dark wood tones and I did not like it with the navy seating – too dark for my taste.    Now that I have painted all the brown furniture white and turquoise – the navy looks appealing to me again since it will be paired with white.

Some accessory switcheroo, darker stain applied to the bun feet,  and the feeling of the Ballard furniture grouping at Haven can be mine for little or no cost.

Sometimes all you need is a little reminder that what you have is good enough.  Even if it is old, it can look updated and chic with a little tweaking.  You just have to keep your mind and eyes wide open at all times.

I do love my white slipcovers, but come fall – a whole new look is in store for the cost of a new rug.

I can’t wait to get started – I will do it after sanding my kitchen floor and waiting for the stain and poly to dry.

August is going to be busy around my house.

If you know of a great resource for a 9 x 12 sea grass, sisal, jute, or a blue and white rug – please let me know. I have seen them at HomeGoods on occasion – will have to be on the look-out this month to see if any go on clearance.

If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook , or Twitter you will see the fun I am having moving rugs from room to room to see how they look.


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  1. I bought a beautiful 9×12 jute (large loop) rug from Rugs USA not long ago for 80% off! Sign up for their email updates to know when the sales are happening.

  2. You might try a home improvement store – especially this time of year when they are trying to clear out summer stock. An indoor/outdoor area rug might be just what you have in mind. I got one last year for about $50. It’s a little smaller than the size you have in mind and I have it on my front porch, but it could be used indoors as well! Happy shopping!

  3. Diane,
    What fantastic inspiration! So glad you enjoyed the conference. I love the navy… and I’m sure the color will look fabulous and fresh in your room once finished. Can’t wait to see the update!

  4. Hi Diane, I’ve heard that seagrass wears better than sisal but I haven’t owned any seagrass. I bought my sisal rug from I’m so glad you had a good time at Haven. Thanks for your lovely blog.

  5. Just bought a 9 x 12′ tweed sisal rug from Pottery barn. Its rugged, tightly woven and very nice looking. It was $339. It’s not soft and plush under your feet like a thick wool rug, but it has clean lines and looks sharp.
    honestly great for high traffic. (Kids, dogs, family, no problem!)

  6. Hey there, Diane! It was awesome to meet you at Haven! I admit that because of lack of time, I haven’t been reading many blogs. But yours is one that I have always subscribed to. You rock :)

    1. Hi Serena – I am thrilled that I got to meet you, too! Happy that you were not afraid to say hi. I just uploaded the photo I took of the chalk paint colors on your sample board you did during the chalk paint class. You will be seeing those colors on a piece of furniture in my dining room soon. :)

      1. Cool! I’m also going to be doing a piece with those colors! It was such a beautiful combo! Maybe we can trade off and feature each other’s project :) I have a whole garage full of furniture, and now the problem is which one to get started on first. LOL :) Yes, happy to have met you. You are my idol :)

  7. Hi roomie,

    I got the jute boulce rug at West Elm when it was on sale once. It was the best price I found for an 8×10. And you are right, that type will look perfect with your navy. I love the casual yet formal combination. Glad you found it right in the living room!

  8. Diane,

    I bought a 8×10 sisal rug from 3 years ago and it still looks good….and I still love it!! I have it under my dining room table over wood floors and it makes a really nice statement. I entertain quite a bit in our dining room and the rug has held up real well. I vacuum it with the beater brush up. My daughter will be getting a sisal rug for her home soon as she sees how nice mine is.

    Oh, and before I forget, I also purchased the pad from Overstock. A pad is a must. If you would like me to send you a picture of my rug, just let me know.

    I know whatever you get will be lovely. Good luck!

  9. Great new/old look!;>) Try Home Depot- for their indoor/outdoor rug section. I found a great faux woven “grass” rug there and love it- I turned it upside down for the pattern. xo Diana

  10. It is so wonderful you remembered your blue sofa. Looks like you all are having a great time at the conference too.

    1. Hi Sheryll Lyn – I was so tired of them when I covered them with the slipcovers and thought I would have had a new sofa by now. Not the case. I am very excited to reveal them again :)

  11. Diane, I have found some great buys on rugs on Their shipping is very minimal (like under $3.00 for anything!) but if you are an “O” member like me (apparently I order a lot from them) it’s zero dollars! Of course, the return might be a lot but I’ve been very happy with every rug I bought from them. Also, I bought an 8×10 sisal rug at Ross last fall for $89! Maybe you’ll find one you like at one of those sources.

  12. Ballard has a wonderful braided jute rug (with fring). I purchased the 8×10 in natural sometime last year for my living room – still love, love love it! I believe it was on sale (15% off).