When a Home Decor Photo Inspires You

Early last week I came across this photo while I was browsing the influx of fall decorating magazines in the magazine aisle at my local Publix supermarket.

Fall table setting with baskets and purple and white checked napkins

…it stopped me in my tracks, well actually it stopped my page flipping. :-)

I just couldn’t stop looking at the image. I loved it. I couldn’t explain why in those first moments after I flipped to the page, but I was mesmerized.

Does this happen to you when you are browsing through magazines in front of a magazine stand or while waiting in line at the supermarket checkout?

6 Fall Decorating Magazines on the newsstand

I love to read decorating and lifestyle magazines. I like Pinterest also, but I find magazines more inspiring as they sell lifestyle along with decorating ideas. There are a few favorite magazines to which I subscribe. For the ones to which I don’t subscribe, I try to find the longest checkout line when buying groceries. That gives me time to browse through all the new issues of the magazines that I don’t get in the mail.

When staring at the photo, I kept asking myself… “Why do I love this table setting so much?” What is pulling me in, drawing my interest?

Is it the styling, the mix of textures, colors and patterns, the cozy feel? The use of the color purple?

Is it one of the actual items? Do the purple cut-glass drinking glasses remind me of cozy meals at my grandmother’s house when I was a child?

When setting a table or decorating anything for that matter, I like to have things that make my family comfortable and items that bring fond memories back. Could the magazine photo be pulling at my heartstrings?

White collection of dishes - plates, cups, saucers, bowels and pitchers on white open shelving in kitchen.

Or is it how the white dinner plate was styled with a driftwood colored wicker plate charger under it and a smaller floral plate on top?

Since I use white plates when I set my dining table and have quite a collection, I am always looking for new and unique ways to set the table with them.

Vintage table setting at Nest Fest

Sometimes I’ll repurpose items to create something unique and special.

Other times, I’ll make things with items found in nature.

My goal is always to make the table pretty in my own style.

Round wood dining table with a rustic metal Lazy Susan in the center that says Time for Pumpkin Pie written on the side with chalk.

So what did the photo say to me? Did it simply say… comfy-cozy, casual fall meals with family and friends?

I enjoy setting the table for all occasions, but in the fall, I like to keep the table inviting at all times of the day, not just at meal time. It is part of my nesting process to get the house feeling cozy for the cold season ahead.

While I stood in front of the magazine rack pondering all this, I remembered something about magazine buying on a whim that my friend, Karen shared with me many years ago.

Her view was when she is standing in the check-out line at the grocery store, paging through magazines, if she see’s something inspiring, she doesn’t buy the magazine just for that one inspiring photo or article. She only buys if she finds 2 other items in the issue that also grab her attention. Then it is worth the expense. I have followed her thinking ever since.

I didn’t buy the magazine since none of the other images or articles in the issue spoke to me like this one did.

So I snapped a photo with my phone with the magazine propped in the rack so that I would remember what caused me to have such a positive reaction and also so I would have a reference to recreate it for my own kitchen table.

After some thought about the photo, I knew exactly why I loved it.

I loved every part of the table setting; it was not just one thing.

Ever since snapping the photo, I have been collecting items to try recreate the look for my dining table. I know I might not be able to get the exact items. My goal is more about recreating the overall colors, textures and cozy feel of the styling in the photo.

I did know that the color purple was one of the things that attracted me. I had to find the purple and white buffalo check napkins. So I went on an online search to find them.

I have found that when you use white plates, having a large collection of napkins in different colors, patterns and styles makes it easy to make the table setting look different. Getting napkins is one way I can change how my white plates look.

Fall inspired Table setting with purple and white buffalo checked napkin.

I have gathered a few items, bought new purple and white buffalo-check napkins, but would like to find a few more…

Autumn dining table place setting inspired by a photo in a decorating magazine.

…driftwood colored wicker chargers and purple vintage cut-glass tumblers.

colorful cut glass tumblers

So far I have found this collection of colorful cut glass tumblers, but I only like the purple and wouldn’t spend the amount they are asking on a set of glasses.

I now have something to search for when I go out thrifting. Who knows? Maybe I will find a set of chargers or purple tumblers at a flea market or street vendor while I am in Paris. :-)

Has an image in a decorating magazine inspired you so much that you had to find a way to create it for yourself?

Pretty fall table setting using a purple and white color scheme.

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  2. I love lifestyle and decorating magazines too… these all pics look amazing and a great inspiration…thanks for sharing…❤️

  3. REBECCA PLATT says:


    I love the cup on the top of a hymn page. I am so going to do this at Christmas!

    I, too, get some of my best ideas from magazine pictures.

    Thanks and God bless

  4. Can you tell me the name of the magazine? The photo looks wonderful. It looks like you are on your way to creating a wonderful tabletop.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi –

      I wish I could remember the name of the magazine. The photo was in one of the expensive Fall Autumn decorating issues that costs over $10. I will check the next time I go to the supermarket to see if I can find it. If I do, I will email you.

  5. Carole Larsen says:

    Diane, how about trying to paint a clear glass tumbler purple like these ? There is glass paint however I have never used it myself. You would probably have to put something over the paint to seal it for safety reason. Just a thought.


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Janis – You are so sweet.. Thank you so much for the tumbler links. I took a look and they are very close to what I want. I am going to check my local B B& B to see if they are sold in the store so I can see them before buying.

  6. Diane, you have such an engaging style of writing. That’s why I love your blog. It’s like visiting a friend and having a cup of tea together! I have the same magazine philosophy…I have to see 2-3 things that intrigue me to justify the cost. Too funny! I love purple and can see why you were attracted to that photo. They warmed up all the purple(cool tone) with warm wicker accents. Too pretty. Thanks for your thoughts and inspiration. ?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sharon – Thanks for the nice note. I try to write in a personal way that I like to find when I read blogs. I like that it is more personal and chatty, maybe not Pulitzer prize winning, but that is OK with me. I truly enjoy inspiring readers to live in their own style. I was traveling the last two weeks, but now that I am home, my search is on for the purple glasses. :-)

  7. How do you like the napkins? I have been looking at them, but wasn’t sure if they are soft. Your setting is beautiful! Thanks so much for all your inspiration, I love your blog!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sherri – I like the napkins. They are very soft and the best part, since they have some polyester in them – little to no ironing needed. :-)

  8. Rosie Fyffe says:

    I love purple but don’t have a lot in my house. The outside is different. I have a light grey house with purple shutters. I have had so many positive comments on it considering that beige, brown, black and white are the trim colors of all other houses around here.

    As for the magazine pic, if you take away the purple runner it wouldn’t be nearly as attractive. That adds depth to the setting. The fact that the salt and pepper shaker are encased in basket wicker carries out the the whole natural basket theme that is going on.

    Like you, I have a display background and when I look at your home I see shades of our decorating skills that are the same.

    Happy Autumn, Diane!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rosie –

      The exterior of your home sounds dreamy. I bet it looks so inviting. Most would not have the confidence to use purple, but with your designing eye you have and built upon when you worked in display made you know it would work. Kudos to having that confidence. It is a good feeling to have.

      I would love to have those basket covered salt and pepper shakers, too. They are so unique and do make the whole table setting come together.

      Hope Autumn has come to your area. It finally has here in SC. :-)

  9. Susan Freeman says:

    Enjoyed your story. Funny that I am not a big fan of purple but this image also pulled me in. A few years ago I used purple orange and green for fun Halloween decor. You have got to love spray paint! To me those colors created fun Halloween not such a scary Halloween. Still using that color scheme and loving it.
    In your personnal image I was drawn to your little green and violet saucer or butter plate. It is lovely! Keep doing what you are doing. I have been following you for almost 10 years. Thank you.

  10. I rarely look at magazines anymore, but I find so much inspiration on Instagram. I have tons of photos saved under different categories, and so when the season comes around again, like Xmas, I look thru the Xmas pics I’ve loved and saved. I basically use Pinterest for recipes & following food bloggers.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Holly – Instagram and Pinterest are surely game changers for where we find and store inspiration. So many ideas – endless really for us decor and lifestyle lovers. :-)

  11. Charlotte Coleman says:

    I also like the table setting and have a set of purple glasses that match my violet dishes which I inherited from my grandmother. I am stunned that you did not acknowledge the magazine from which you “stole” that photo. I see you watermarked you own photos however.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Charlotte –

      I never claimed the photo as my own. As far as the image itself and watermarking it. I took a photo of the magazine page. All photos I take – when added to my blog, gets watermarked since it is a photo I took, not a photo I took from an online site which would not get a watermark.

      Looking back, I should have done this image separately so it would not get the watermark. When I took the photo of the magazine page, I thought I would remember the magazine I found it in. I have tried looking for the magazine so I could credit it, but can’t find it at the supermarket where it was. If I do, I will happily post the name.

  12. I am a purple lover too!! What a gorgeous mix of texture….good luck with the search for the glasses! They do make the look extra special ?

  13. laura@everydayedits.co says:

    Hi Diane,
    I totally get it. And, if I own the magazine, I tear it out and put it aside. Good for you for actually recreating it so quickly! I love your white dishes too! laura

  14. Christy Keyton says:

    And those wicker salt and peppers! Love those!

  15. Alison Johnson says:

    I always love the mix of the antique and the new. That little rosemary sprig puts it over the top!

  16. Good Morning! Yes, that was a lovely table setting. Makes me think the dinner it is set for will be full of warm and lively folks – lots of laughing, lots of friendship.

    I’m a grocery store line browser, too. If I can’t be first in line, I go in search of the longest line. LOL Also, my local library subscribes to every magazine printed, I think. Occasionally on some of the cold, nasty, rainy winter days I’ll head over with a cup of coffee and spend the afternoon thumbing through all sorts of magazines. Never thought of taking a photo…that’s a great idea! – Susan

  17. I love those tumblers, too. Beautiful place setting!