When I Need Decorating Inspiration…

Where I Go When I Need to Find Decorating Inspiration

Over the past few weeks I have not been feeling very inspired to do much of anything. I don’t know if I was simply tired, burnt-out or it was just the winter blues, but no matter what it was, I was feeling it… uninspired!

Favortie-Style-Books that provide decorating inspiration

It wasn’t until the sun started shining last week and the temp hit 80 that I started to feel like I was getting my groove back, the sunshine and also a trip to the bookstore gave me the dose of inspiration I realize I had been longing for.

My-Favorite-Lifestyle-Books-that-made-an-impace-in-my-life and personal decorating style.

I thrive on creative and colorful inspiration and books are my number one way to find it. Here is a stack of some of the books that have inspired me again and again.

Since I was in college, I have always made a date with the bookstore and library every few months. I think this habit started when I was a kid and my mom took my siblings and I to the library every week. She used to tell us to pick out books that would …her words.. “broaden our horizons” and become better readers. I was never interested in novels and always headed for the visual picture books and when I got older, the decorating and craft books.

Nowadays I call these forays to the bookstore – “Bookstore Days”.  I usually don’t go to buy books, although I usually end up with a few that I can’t live without and want to have nearby for continued inspiration. I also do “library days”, but I don’t spend as much time there to really call it a day.

I plan ahead for my Bookstore Day and my latest one proved very inspiring. I head to Barnes and Noble before lunch and do nothing but browse the shelves, choose a few books, go sit down on a comfy leather sofa while sipping a latte or even on the floor if the seats are all taken. I have even headed to the kids section when it is not storytime and sit in the kiddie chairs and tables so I can browse through piles of books. This is quite different from the cold linoleum floor and stacks of musty smelling books of the local library I experienced as a child. Although I do cherish that smell and ambience, uncomfortable as it was.

Once I go through one pile of books and place them back where they belong, I get more and repeat the process all day, stopping for lunch at the Starbucks that is right in the bookstore.

Last week, I looked through every decorating book there was as well as a few cookbooks and craft books.  These were the books that I enjoyed the most and two came home with me.

Flea Market Style book by Better Homes and Gardens will provide you with lots of decorating ideas and tips.

Flea Market Style – By Better Homes & Gardens

This book has been out for a year. I don’t decorate my house entirely with flea market finds, but this book has so many doable and colorful decorating ideas on what to do with used stuff or even stuff you already own using your personal style.

Modern Farmhouse Decorating Book by Country Home

Modern Farmhouse Style:  250+ Ways to Harmonize Rustic Charm with Contemporary Living  – By Country Home

Love the clean-lined casual style that is featured through the book. Lots of color and livable decor to gaze over. I might end up ordering this one on Amazon, I really liked the casual, but chic vibe on every page.

A Touch of Farmhouse Charm offers DIY projects to help you decorate your home in affordable farmhouse style.

A Touch of Farmhouse Charm – Easy DIY Projects to Add a Warm and Rustic Feel to Any Room – By Liz Fourez

This is the book that came home with me. It has been out for a year and is written by blogger, Liz Fourez of the blog, Love Grows Wild.  I like the personal aspect of this book and the fact that is a DIY project driven book.  Even though I don’t decorate my home completely in Farmhouse style, this book has clever, doable and stylish DIY projects that you can tweak to make them fit your style.

The Complete Book of Home Organizing

The Complete Book of Home Organizing – By Toni Hammersley

I know this book is not about decorating, but of all the books listed here, this is my favorite which is written by Toni Hammersley the blogger behind, A Bowl Full of Lemons. I bought it and can’t put it down. It will have you wanting to organize every nook and cranny in your home. I love how the pages are laid out with a mix of text, photos and illustrations. If I ever wrote a book, I would like it to be laid out like this.

the-Complete-Book-of-Clean Tips and Techniques for your home

The Complete Book of Clean – Tips & Techniques for Your Home – By Toni Hammersley

This book is presented in the same format, as her Organizing book listed above. I love how the book is organized and the pages laid out.  So many ideas, cleaning recipes, hacks with lots of photos and illustrations to help inspire you to clean your house from top to bottom.

Magnolia-Table and DIY Home Planner Books are sure to offer decorating inspiration.

Sometimes the bookstore doesn’t have a new book yet, this is when I pre-order books I think I will like on Amazon, like these two:

Magnolia Table –  A Collection of Recipes for Gathering –  By Joanna Gaines – Available for pre-order on Amazon. Comes out on April 24th

Not a decorating book, but I am sure it will be an inspiring visual treat for the eyes and appetite.

The DIY Home Planner –  Beautiful Tips & Inspiring Ideas to Decorate It Yourself – By Karianne Wood – Available for pre-order. Comes out on March 6th

Fellow blogger, Karianne from Thistlewood Farms is always a fun read, but I also adore the illustrator of this book, Michal Sparks and am excited to see her work again in print.

Spring is a month away and that ALWAYS helps to inspire me to live life with as much gusto and passion as I can. I am happy that the sunshine and trio to the bookstore have gotten me back on track.

When you are feeling uninspired what do you do to find inspiration?

If you have a way, please fill in the blank in the following sentence.  You may help others find decorating or creative inspiration where they may have never looked for it.

When I need Decorating/Creative/Lifestyle Inspiration I Go To/ or Do_______________.

Happy week… I hope it is inspiring.

happy face

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. My next trip to the library I will take this list. Thanks very much Diane.
    I’m starting my decorating with painting the walls white.I thank you for this.

  2. Very inspirational. I will look at all those design books on a trip to BN. I try to take a break from decorating/design in Jan. and Feb. and just enjoy reading, emptying extra clutter around the house and a weekend or two on the slopes.

    Kids are gone and I enjoy the time being able to go and explore my town and state. I decorate in Fall and Holidays mostly now. I love your blog and wish I lived on a lake. I better hurry — we are in our 50’s.

  3. Nancy Rector says:

    I’ve had that book “Living a Beautiful Life” for a long time. It truly transformed the way I viewed my home. Thank you so much for the wonderful ideas!
    Nancy Ü

  4. Sunlit Spaces says:

    Thank you for the great book reviews, I have always loved styling with books and you just gave me even more inspiration! Thanks for the wonderful post!

    Sunlit Spaces

  5. Thanks for the book reviews, Diane. I think I need a trip to my library or bookstore. It sounded like you had a wonderful day!

  6. One of my favorite gifts was a card to Barnes and Noble – I would go on a Saturday and look at every magazine and book that caught my eye and spent a bit of my card on a drink and a snack. The gift card lasted a really long time that way.
    if I want to see a specific book I put a statewide search in the library system and look over books that way. It has saved me from buying a lot of books that sounded good but just weren’t my cup of tea in person.

  7. I get inspired from a variety of sources…catalogs for one. I peruse them…look at the prices…and try to find a way to mimic that idea on my budget. I used to get a lot of inspiration from HGTV….but the design shows just aren’t there anymore. Now…blogs, such as yours, are a great inspiration! So…keep it up…You have great ideas, for my budget! ;)

  8. Diane, I don’t need to buy decorating books or go to the library to check them out either. I have all of the decor ideas and help from your wonderful blog. I have been following you for many years and have learned so much along the way (even though I am 69 years old but still loving decorating my home and outside areas). I hope you keep blogging and inspiring all of your readers, many of whom are my friends who I have referred to your site.

  9. Joanne B. says:

    Pinterest, Pinterest and more Pinterest. And blogs, blogs and more blogs. And catalogs, catalogs and more catalogs (PB and Ballard Designs are my favs). A few hours of just looking renews my confidence IN MY OWN decorating ability when I realize that the so called ‘experts’ out there are inspiration enough but that only I can feather my nest the way I like it. When I look at what others put out there I seem to get MY mojo for what I can do! (My actual thought, if I can be blunt here is, “and who the heck made them THE authority on MY home?”). It is a very thin line between looking at what others do and have and feeling what I have is never good or perfect enough. The perfect pics we are bombarded with can do that. Your blog is one that I consistently look to because you do keep it real. You always have and that is why I keep coming back. Even though we are close to the same age ( 62 on Thursday/YIKES!/when did THAT happen?) I feel like I am asking my mother the best way to “do” whatever and I really love that about reading your blog. I think both our moms must have been good teachers because we think alike and have the same values. You recently mentioned having to make some changes to your blog style to keep up – I hope you don’t get big like most of the others have- book deals, podcasts and affiliated links, etc. It’s a matter of being happy with having enough and being grateful and celebrating that every day. That is what shows on our faces and in our homes and that is all that matters- to me, anyway…

  10. A grandbaby on the way inspired me! I thought I better get some projects out of the way before the baby’s arrival. I call it “grandma nesting” Lol I wanted to make our home warm & cozy, light & cheerful for future grand baby. I repainted a lot of brown wood furniture.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Holly –

      How exciting, a grandbaby! Congratulations. I can’t wait until I get the same reason to be inspired. Maybe another year or two for me.

  11. Catherine says:

    Hi Diane. When I need to feel uplifted out of the doldrums I will take a trip to the garden centers near me. They have some eclectic items and display setups that can help me to feel inspired. If that doesn’t work, I also visit above average furniture stores to see the lovely room setups. Last but not least I take a trip to Pier 1, Hobby Lobby and/or Michaels. We will soon have an Ikea store that should also give me a jump start.
    I love your idea of going to the book stores or the library for quiet artful intervention. Sometimes I just need to take a walk in the woods or even my yard to be spelled from the every day.
    Another thing I found very helpful is to do some Zentangle. Just laying down a couple of squiggled lines will jumpstart my creative juices, and I can come up with some surprising designs. It’s so easy to learn and there are YouTube sites to help you get started. Special pencils or tools are not necessary to get started, but when you feel this could be a fun hobby, Amazon has the items needed.
    You are amazing, Diane! Keep up the good work!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Catherine –

      It sounds like you know exactly what you need to do to find inspiration. Now that the weather is getting warmer, getting out in nature is doable again. I find this helps me a lot, too. Funny that you mentioned Zentangle. I was introduced to it about a year ago by my friend, Gail. It is a lot of fun to do, addicting. I like that you can do it anywhere,too. Thanks for reading my blog.

  12. Linda L Weeks says:

    when I need inspiration, I go to “In My Own Style” – it’s a happy place, full of fun, doable projects, and a lovely lady is running the show!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda –

      You are so kind. Thanks so much for that endorsement. The best any blogger could ever ask for.

  13. Barbara Dudas says:

    I still have “Instant Decorating” and it definitely made an impact on my life and how I see my home. The most important thing is I don’t want to waste a single square foot of my home and want it all to be used (no rooms roped off and left unused). I want it to be comfortable, lived in and used, but in a good way. Instant Decorating gave me so many ideas to accomplish this and got me working towards this. Today besides your blog, Joanna Gaines inspires me with her style and use of every space in the home.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barb –
      My buddy from way back when our kids were little. Those class mom days seem forever ago. :-) Thanks so much for enjoying my book all these years. That is so nice to hear. I love seeing everything that Joanna Gaines does, too. One of these days I would love to take a trip to The Silos. Wouldn’t that be a fun girl trip?

  14. Diane, what are your favorite blogs for inspiration. I’ve gone through your blog from beginning to end and it’s my most favorite… Are there others like yours that you know about?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sara –

      Oh my gosh, there are so many. :-) When I first started blogging around 10 years ago, bloggers used to keep a Blogroll in their sidebars that listed favorite blogs. It is how we all got to know each other and spread the word. I will have to look into doing that again.

      I read many many blogs, but blogs that are like mine with DIY home decor, tutorials and creative ideas. Here are a few I can think of off the top of my head. Home Made Lovely ( formerly AKA Design), All Things Thrifty, Blesser House, Sadie Homegoods, Sand & Sisal, The Handmade Home, Lolly Jane

      Thanks for reading my blog. That is so nice to hear that you have read most of it XO.

      1. Thank you!! I’ll check those blogs. But just to clarify, I have not read *most* of your blog… Honey, I’ve read every. single. word. of your blog. I found it and then pored over it until I’d read it all. I love it, and you are just exactly who I want to be. ;)

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Sara –

          You are soooooo extra sweet. Wow – thank you so much for reading all of my blog, every single word. That makes my day!!!! XOXOXO