...because home doesn't happen overnight.
03.08.11 / Inspired By…Blogs

I’m frequently asked, “What inspires you?”  I’m never able to pinpoint a single sole source.  In fact, I’m usually a bit overwhelmed by the question.  I get inspiration from all kinds of people, places and things: blogs, designers, my kids, fabrics, magazines, books, nature, etc.  I thought this would be a good week {it’s okay to start the week on Tuesday, right?} for me to share with you whom and what inspires me.  I could use a little inspiration this week anyway.

I’d like to start off with the obvious.  Blogs.  Blogs inspire me to no end.  I love peeking into other’s homes and blogs are a great *legal* way for me to do that.  {I’ve been known to drive and walk by homes at night in the hopes of catching a glimpse inside their lit windows.}  To me, home is a very personal place that reflects those who live in it.  Even when homes aren’t design-oriented, you can learn a lot about people just by how they live.  As a child, I loved going to friends’ homes and getting to be a part of their everyday life for the day.  Sometimes the most minute detail can turn on the lightbulb in my head.  {For instance, I ‘borrowed’ my friends’ idea for hanging kitchen towels from towel rings hung on the side of the upper cabinets above the kitchen sink.  Such an easy and practical idea!}

So, yeah, blogs let me in on home interiors that I wouldn’t get to experience otherwise.  And this is a fairly new concept.  Just within the last decade, the blogosphere has erupted with blogs pertaining to anything and everything you could imagine.  You probably already know this or you wouldn’t be reading this now!  I love the idea of being able to read up on my faves when the kids are napping or have gone to bed for the night.  I don’t read my favorite blogs daily {I wish I had the time!} but at least twice a week I sneak in a few minutes to see what they’re up to.  Here are my top 5 favorite blogs in no particular order:

1 – Young House Love:  No surprise here!  John and Sherry Petersik know what they’re doing and have made a career out of it.  I’m inspired by their energy, frugality, green ways, optimism, humor and oversharing. I love that they have returned their blogging style to the diary-like entries that got them started in the first place.  While they are busy, busy bodies, they’re also quick to remind that a polished interior takes time {and even a few mistakes} to accomplish.  Go Youngsters!

australiaday

2 – The Happy Home:  Belinda Graham is a very talented Australian blogger, writer, designer and mother.  I find her and her home to be quaint, tidy, delicate and real.  Her home feels ‘just right’ – not too big, not too small, not too sparse, not too overstyled.  She offers great tutorials for budget-friendly, easy and sometimes kid-help-worthy projects.  I love when she throws in snippets of everyday life at home with two {soon to be three!} kiddos.  That makes her and her home even more real to me.

3 – Pure Style Home:  Lauren Liess is my idol.  She switched careers in order to become an interior designer.  And has she ever!  She’s currently working on designing a room for the DC Design House.  What an honor, right?!  My dream.  She’s also a Sheffield School graduate {she was kind enough to answer a few questions about the course for me before I enrolled} and mom of two young boys.  It’s very evident that Lauren’s design talent is innate.  Nothing in her designs is forced or contrite.  She can mix old with new like nobody’s business.  She inspires me to follow my dreams…even with young kiddos in tow.

4 – Apartment Therapy:  The mecca of all home interiors.  I could spend {what am I talking about? I have!} hours perusing the virtual house tours.  Nothing gets my creative juices flowing like a little AT.  I’ve found some great inspiration for paint colors and furniture layouts just by studying up on the house tours alone.  The amount of information provided can sometimes be so much that I’m a tad overstimulated, so I try to limit my visits to once a week – just to keep me sane!  The fact that AT featured my home back in November 2010 in no way puts them at the top of my list.  But it does make me pretty giddy.  I’m also looking forward to gaining more insight into decorating, organizing and creating a stylish smaller home since we’re on the verge of downsizing.  AT regularly features functional living spaces less than 1,000 square feet in size.

5 – decor8:  Holly Becker over at decor8 is down-to-earth, organic, sweet, sensible and intelligent. She features artists, stylists, designers, photographers, stores, Etsy finds and publications that all relate in some way to decorating – with a focus on the handmade.  While her content crosses international borders, you can always count on a consistent look and feel.  One that’s not overthought or too perfect but, rather, simple, natural and even meaningful.  I’m anxiously awaiting the release of her first book, Decorate.  Holly has a warm writing style that immediately makes you feel welcome and special.  She also offers an e-course on blogging if you’re interested.  {I’d highly recommend it!}

There you have it.  My top 5 blogs.  I’m sure there are a ton more blogs out there offering great images and info pertaining to design that I don’t even know about.  Would you mind sharing some of your favorites in the comments section below?  I’m always amazed by the sources you guys turn me onto.

images:  1) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking  2) Young House Love 3) Belinda Graham for The Happy Home 4) Helen Norman photography; Lauren Liess for Pure Style Home 5) Wes & Schwartz for Apartment Therapy 6) Debi Treloar photography via decor8

19 Comments

08.March.2011

It’s funny, because *you* are my top #1 favorite blog. I’ve introduced you to all my friends, linked to you from my blog, and quote you all the time. Not in a creepy way. But in an ‘I-admire-the-heck-out-of-you’ way. I’m on team-Dana :)

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replied on March 8th, 2011

Tami – That’s just too sweet. Thanks!

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08.March.2011

Dana,
I have a design question for you… would you like for me to ask it here or on your facebook page?
Jenn

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replied on March 8th, 2011

Jenn – Wherever you feel most comfy! You can always email me too. See the ‘contact me’ tab.

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Aw shucks. You’re too sweet! Thanks so much for the mention. And to be among such awesome fellow bloggers? Sa-weeet. Speaking of sweet, your blog is pretty darn amazing. You’re in my Google Reader, yo. Haha. Been there for months!

xo,
s

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08.March.2011

Dana, you’re in my google reader too! Love your inexpensive ideas. Blog land sure has opened up my world of crafting, too!

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08.March.2011

What a great list! I love looking at blogs for inspiration. I just added a couple new ones from your list to my favorites. I love your blog! You have such a beautiful home and I am looking forward to following your on your family’s new house adventure. You are going to be a wonderful designer!
Kelly

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08.March.2011

#s 2 and 3 are not in my go-to list, I’ll definitely check them out! The others, I already adore, and of course, h*t is high on my own list! I also enjoy Making it Lovely.

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08.March.2011

You’re on Apartment Therapy again today…they featured your master bedroom/bathroom barn door! Congrats:)

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08.March.2011

The three home design blogs I currently follow are Young House Love, yours (obviously!), and Chez Larsson. Benita lives in Sweden and has such a lovely, clean, simple aesthetic. Check her out at http://chezlarsson.com.

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08.March.2011

Yours and YHL are the two I follow religiously at the moment and in between posts I check out other blogs but I haven’t found another that I want to add to the “regulars” list yet.
One that I recently came accross though is anawhite.com Her thing is diy furniture and it’s great because she provides plans and the exact measurments/tools/materials needed for each project, which range from beginner to advance. I agree with you on AP, love the site, but so much info you have to visit it in small doses.

Thanks for posting your list. Keep up the great work Dana!

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08.March.2011

Wow I don’t know any of these blogs !!! I also like theletteredcottage, and centsationalgirl, and I love to visit siriouslydelicious, and thepioneerwoman, cuz I love the recipes, and I know Siri personally!! Have a look if you need a good idea for dinner. Thanks for the great new bolgs to check out !!! Good luck on your move its the best thing to do !!!!

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09.March.2011

Yes, I saw your barn door featured on Apartment Therapy today too!!! Congrats on that! Thanks for this list of favorite blogs….I will definitely need to check out a couple that I don’t already follow. Another great source of inspiration, that I’m currently addicted to, is pinterest. Everyone should join…it’s amazing! And so is your blog!

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The Happy Home is new to me, and it looks great! Thanks for sharing!!

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YHL is my first blog love!!!! Decor8 is a great site. AT is a decor pioneer as far as design blogs go. Congrats on the feature! I would have been doing cartwheels! Elle Decor has some pretty nice eye candy. Your blog is up on my favorite decor blogs!!
xo
Mindy

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I already follow some of yours, but I will have to check out the others now. Your blog, YHL & iHeartorganzing.blogspot are my favorites right now. I do check out others, but in smaller doses. Thanks for sharing!!!

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15.March.2011

thank you sweetness for such lovely words! what awesome company to be in – i am not worthy! xxxx

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replied on March 15th, 2011

Belinda – Oh, stop it. You are SO worthy.

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31.March.2011

I have been reading through the archives on here and Younge House Love for a few months, and might have slight addiction (or maybe its more like an obsession – no addiction sounds less creepy). Now that I’m finally caught up, I just discovered COCOCRAZY. Oh boy, here we go again – there is some gorgeous stuff over there.

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