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  • Mr. Goodwill Hunting
    January 24, 2011 12:58 pm

    What a great video and an even greater opportunity for dialogue. I believe some people look at interior design as a luxury. In most cases, it is. A number of individuals feel that as long as you have the essentials, some place to site, something to eat out of and eat with, life is good. I agreee to a degree.

    I like to feel inspired. As with you Erika, I cant afford everything I see. However, I look at spaces and determine what fits my budget. This goes for the home as well as personal style. We may not all have the ability to place Thomas Pheasant chairs around our dining table, but we can at east be inspired to find something cheaper.

    As with clothing. I would love a pair of Tom Ford patent leather loafers, but thats like a year's salary. So I make do.

    For those who cant afford NOTHING, its cool. But if you can afford ANYTHING, make it great. If you only have $5 to spend, stretch that baby til it pops!!!

    Thanks for initiating this conversation.

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

  • L.Duncan@Home23DuncanBoys
    January 24, 2011 1:08 pm

    This video was really good! Love how Evan walks in and then leaves. Like "oh she's talking to herself again"!

    I don't think people have lost their creativity. I think its because it's easier for us to interpret an image different than people who are not all about interior design. I just don't think that their brain works that way. For isnstance, I'm have some graphic design work done right now and was told that I could do it if I fiddled around with it. I have also been told by you before to just google certain things. Even by doing that, I still couldn't figure out how because 1) I'm not interested and 2) My brain does not work like that. Sometimes people just want to be shown what to do. Or they want it done for theme.
    So I think by showing a room put together with high priced items is great, but a person that can't see those things being "knocked off" may need help. I think you can do that by finding things on craigslist or in Goodwills, taking pictures and saying: Okay so here is a $3500 dresser from _________ and her is a really close runner up found at goodwill or craigslist for $50 and all it needs is hardware and paint. People LOVE that!

    I think you did a post like that with some items from Pieces before. I'm actually doing a post like that today. Candace Olson designed a space using furniture the person already had and just refurbished the old pieces. I included pictures of the space and a few of my own pieces that are similar.

    Anyway, hope I didn't ramble too much!

  • Janell @ Isabella and Max
    January 24, 2011 1:47 pm

    Okay, I'm being tortured here, my sounds doesn't work for some reason and by the looks of these comments I really want to hear what you are saying!! πŸ™‚
    I'll be back!

  • Talking with Tami
    January 24, 2011 2:09 pm

    I get inspired, I never get depressed lol.

  • Shanika@LifeisPichey
    January 24, 2011 2:16 pm

    I get inspired. I rather work with what I have and turn it into something great. Also, I am someone that takes pride in their accomplishments so I much rather go to a thrift store, garage sale, etc and find a piece (or 5!) that is no longer wanted and give it a total transformation! I think the that the reader you ran into showed you why Interior Designers/Decorators are important because they are available to show you that your house can be beautiful with a few tweaks while using what you already have.

  • Lissa @ After Adornment
    January 24, 2011 2:29 pm

    Great Video!
    I think this topic is a great one to discuss and I know exactly what the lady you ran into meant. I think its hard for some people to grasp the concept of looking at a magazine photo and seeing the possibilities there. Not necessarily a lack of creativity, just a lack of seeing things the way we do as designers. There are lots of people out there who can't see past what is actually in the picture and don't know how to achieve the feeling or certain elements of that picture. Unfortunately many people see something and then find out the price is something they can't afford….never mind doing the research to find something similar at a lower price point or even refurbishing something to look the same. Some people want to figure it out they just don't know how.
    I feel that it's up to us who can figure out how to achieve a feeling and elements to educate others…like you are doing here Erika! We need to teach others that design is not some scary expensive thing that only the affluent can have. We need to teach how design is loving your surroundings and wanting more for your space….no matter how much you can spend.

  • Really Great Video! You've inspired me since you first started your blog! Excellent Job!

    P.S. Very Cute little boy


  • In a way, I do believe that people who are not "into" in interior design have lost their creativity. For most, it's easier to buy a set than to carefully consider each piece, as it is easier to totally duplicate a room instead of thinking outside of the proverbial box.

    I totally agree with Shanika and Lissa-that is why interior designers/decorators are essential to creating a space for those who lack the creative eye to interpret their inspirational spaces into a room that will be cohesive with their style of home and the way they live.

    BUT most times, I find that it's mostly fear. It's not lack of creativity. It's safer to reproduce something that has already been done, than to have a leap of faith and take that color palette, or that one piece of furniture and create something that is uniquely them. Being unique, and potentially having a friend not agree with your style can be scary! I have seen it in my parents' home so many times. They'll drool over a bright chair, but instead purchase the beige chair, because it's safe, it matches what they already have and it couldn't possibly be a "waste" in money, as the bright chair could be in the long run.

    I've been working on my parents, and they're coming around. One room at a time!

    BTW, your son is so adorable, as are all of your munchkins πŸ™‚

  • For me the reason for reading decorating blogs and magazines is to garner inspiration. I have never wanted to do an exact duplicate of any look.I marvel at the talent and creativity of the various designers and it makes me feel happy and excited.Maybe people who have a natural affinity for design see things through different eyes.

  • Centsational Girl
    January 24, 2011 5:00 pm

    Excellent points Erika, so loved this insight this morning!!! Good for you for pointing out what we know, that second hand is not second class, and anyone on any budget can change anything with a little creativity and some good old fashioned DIY.

    Bravo friend.

  • I think then that alongside posting images of interiors that may appear "unattainable", bloggers/writers can post DIY alternatives or "how to get the look on a dime" posts alongside those images. You'll be amazed at the feedback you'll get from your readers.

    There's another blogger (a popular one whose name I won't post here, no free publicity!) who posts images of her interiors, then shows readers step by step how she attained the look on a dime. This makes her and her blog more accessible to readers.

    A pillow here and a rug there may look "pretty", but your blog seems to be more about how to make it all come together. In that sense, I wouldn't feel compelled to piece together items. I'd want to know how to get the total look on a dime (I hope that makes sense).

    Why not show how to get a similar interior look on a dime? What you spent, where you got it, what you did?

    Great blog post and so nice to see a video! Adds a real personal touch. :o)

  • pk @ Room Remix
    January 24, 2011 5:40 pm

    Okay. That comment was way too long…

  • pk @ Room Remix
    January 24, 2011 5:43 pm

    Since my first comment was way too long and rambling (but you probably already read it, so you know what I think) – I'll just say that this was a great video with a lot to think about. Bottom line – I think design/decorating blogs should post inspirational pics since inspiring people is what we're about, and I think that we try (and should continue to try) to also show how people can accomplish that look on a budget. balance… πŸ™‚ Thanks again, Erika! (and your son is adorable).

  • Excellent video! It's always easier to duplicate than to initiate and I think that often time we, as a society would rather 'copy' ideas rather than utilizing the creativity instilled in each of us to devise a beautiful room of our own. Who wants to walk into someone's home and see the exact same tablescape from a national magazine? Where's the personal touch? While it's always helpful to see 'budget' imitations of costly decor, I think that the more you peruse various sites, magazines, and blogs, one will develop their own sense of style. Just my thoughts!

  • Sooo cute! I love the new videos!!

  • Jen@Organized-Design
    January 25, 2011 3:34 am

    This was a great video, thanks for doing it and sharing! With so many blogs, magazines online and off, I think it's easier for people to "copy and paste" a look into their home. Creativity is so important and that is what makes our home and us unique! Again thanks for sharing, and cute little boy!

  • It's so funny that you did a video on this topic because I was just reading an article in O Magazine about how EVERYBODY can be creative. Not just those in the "arts". It was such a great article because it gave real life examples of how people can use what they have or a simple idea to create something new & beautiful.

    Great video!

  • Excellent video! I've actually been thinking a lot about this subject. Today I'm entertaining 30 people for a dinner party, and yeah… Some of the electricity cords in my apartment are still exposed because we haven't found just the right lighting (at just the right prices). I can think of at least 50 things i would change/improve here if I had the money, and yet I am so thrilled to have our family and friends over. Yeah, it gets tough sometimes (and i was actually just going to post about that) but I totally agree with your point.
    Oh, just one more thing: love the vlogging!

  • The Designing Studio
    January 25, 2011 1:58 pm

    Couldn't have said it better:) I try to remind myself too that no one wants a perfect friend! I actually try to answer the door in sweats or leave something out of place occasionally because it makes others realize we are human.

  • Here's a point of view from a nondesigner (if that's a word) — I enjoy viewing the pics. It provides ideas and gives me a starting point for home decorating. However, we're not all wired the same; I can't solve calculus problems but I think I'm a bit creative. As others here have suggested, maybe from time to time post a less expensive alternative to creating the more expensive look will encourage folks to begin making changes at home and give them the confidence to try to do more. Creative baby steps. Anyone want to school me on calculus? (smile)


    January 25, 2011 11:09 pm

    First of all I love this because it is so classically you: genuine, heart felt and always able to focus. And it is so brave to post a video. Did it once, scary. Need to get over it and do it again.

    Second, I think some times we as designers and creatives see things other people don't see. I walk into stores all the time and say (sort of smugly), "I could do that. Why would anyone pay a billion dollars for itemX when she could just DIY it for $50". One day my dad stopped me and said, "You could DIY it, BUT I could not DIY it. Not everyone sees the way you see."

    I had never really thought about that.

    You Erika and shelter blogs in general are doing so much to inspire people and help them see ways to make an affordable impact in their spaces.

    I would also kindly remind this lady and everyone else out there reading that blogs do not depict the full picture of any of our lives. No way I will be posting the pile of laundry sitting in my laundry room any time soon, but it is still sitting there. oh and never ever underestimate the power of a good photographer and styling.

    Style knows no price tag. Thank God. =)

  • Well said! Wow…you are so right. I admire you for posting such an inspirational thought. It’s very stimulating.

    I always look at an image that gets me all excited and see how I can approximate a certain idea into my space and make it my own.

    I could remember when I was attending design school; one of my main goals was to provide affordable design to those who do not think they can afford it. My teachers actually discouraged me saying I would not be able successful doing that because I would not make any money.

    The fact is that, whether you live in a mansion or the projects, everyone wants a beautiful place they can call home. That's why I like that your blog and others like yours actually inspire and teach people how to achieve style at a fraction of a fraction of the cost.

    Thank you.

  • good post. i think tht happens to alot of people even me way way on before i had sense enough to think…you gotta look outside the box. its possible. good vid E.

  • Design Goddess
    January 27, 2011 4:05 am

    I agree wholeheartedly that one should take inspiration from the photos. Even if we all could afford everything in an image, we should explore our creativity to transform a space with pieces and items unique to us. That's the beauty of it all. Every person isnt the same nor should every interior be. I'm paying student loans so I can't afford to do what I envision. It's when you're faced with limitations that you can really dig deep within and pull some creative stunts that you otherwise wouldn't have thought about (if you could simply purchase everything).

  • The Budget Brides Handbook
    January 27, 2011 4:43 am

    LOVE the video. I think that many of us have lost our creativity and look to blogs to give us step by step details of how things should be done. I agree with you, we all need to look for inspiration in the articles we read and images we see. I actually feel really sad for the young woman you saw in the store. She has let her financial situation ruin her creativity. Hopefully she can find it again.

  • Rainy Day Diva
    January 27, 2011 3:51 pm

    I really enjoyed this video (and I love the shelves behind you-very organized). A lot of people feel "depressed" when they see blog/magazine images and it's not limited to interior design. I've heard the same thing about images for fashion/beauty. I think some people use price tags as an excuse to justify not trying. I don't have the gift of interior design, but with a little inspiration I've been able to etch out a look for my home that I love.

    Then there's the fact that most people like the young woman you speak of invest their dollars in something they deem more important than design. Sometimes it's just about what a person values.

  • Erika, first let me say, I so loved your son making a cameo in the video. He's a cutie!
    I'm always inspired when I read blogs and flip through the shelter magazines. I think people who get depressed looking a design blogs aren't really looking at design but at the possessions in the rooms and wishing they had those possessions. Love the videos

  • Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful
    January 28, 2011 2:13 pm

    Hallelujah! I can't remember the last time I purchased a furniture item in a retail store (thank God for CL!) and my decorating dimes definitely have to be stretched pretty thin. Perhaps my best spent dimes are on decorating magazines- the inspiration they give and the training they provide my eye help me not to waste money on furnishings that ultimately won't work! It's almost become a game for me- how little can I spend to achieve my desired look (who needs designer window hardware when we have cardboard boxes?!)? At this point I think I would almost be disappointed by the process of decorating a room with a limitless budget because that would take away some of the thrill of the hunt. Okay, I said almost!

    Thanks for stopping by- glad I could make you giggle!

  • Tierra Destiny Reid
    January 29, 2011 12:41 pm

    I get inspired if I see before and after images with the total amount invested and a list of where the items were found. It makes it real and breaks it down to the basic for a busy person like me, who thinks it also takes lots of time and energy to really create an awesome space on a budget. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the transparency of the video and connecting with you and the baby=) I look forward to more Erika! Great job.

  • I tried to post a comment the other day, but my work computer has security settings. First, I love your eyebrows! I need to get mine cleaned up and you inspired me to do that. lol!
    Seriously, the lady has some issues beyond decorating her home right now. She's out of work and may have financial troubles. Decorating blogs in general may be depressing for her…bless her heart. I hope she can find something soon.

    Anyway, don't take it personal. Even though I don't have a photo shoot ready home, I appreciate the beauty of those spaces and they inspire me.

  • rayleeminteriors
    February 1, 2011 2:22 am

    The cutie petudie that walked right in the middle of that video stole the show!

    And you are correct the pictures are meant to inspire…not to copy

  • Love your video Erika! And your son – ADORABLE!!

    After giving this much thought, I think it's like Rainy Day Diva said – it, mostly, comes down to values. Or at least, wants/priorities and enjoyment. If you want to change the appearance of something enough that it's high on your priority list, you will find a way to make it happen. Once, you have made it happen, did you enjoy the process enough to make it happen again? I have no particular talent or educational or professional design experience, but I've been involved in it for many years because, despite the frustrations, mistakes and budget constraints, choosing one thing from an image to try and recreate and make my own, is fun for me.

  • I was up very late last night doing project research and after re-reading my comment, I think part of my brain was already alseep. Since I'm not sure how to remove it, readers, please disregard the above post…Although I think part of it is accurate, there are other factors that I did not take into account.
    Thanks! πŸ™‚

  • My @ tha Hotness
    February 22, 2011 12:15 am

    Great video! I get inspired about the possibilities. I think that's the way us creative types think,


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