Five Ways to Freshen Up Your Home This Spring

Ahhh, springtime! The warm breezes, the chirping birds, the blooming flowers. Springtime always puts a little bounce in my step and gets me itching to spruce up my home. If you're also feeling the pull of springtime home revitalization, then this post is for you! I've put together a list of five easy things you can do to freshen up your home this spring.

Photo credit: KET Photography 

Photo credit: KET Photography 

Spring clean or just spring rearrange

The phrase "spring cleaning" is a phrase for a reason. After the cold winter months, this time of year seems to motivate people to clean out the cobwebs and scrub the base boards. However, even more important than the intense deep clean you may or may not be tempted to do, springtime is a great time to get rid of things you don't want or need. Dig through those closets, check under the bed, peek inside the cabinet you haven't opened for months and pile that unwanted or unused crap in a corner, then donate it without looking back. See our other rants, I mean posts, on how to get rid of things and organize.

Besides donating unwanted items, springtime is a great time to rearrange or put things away temporarily. For example, swap your throw pillows around. Put a couple in the closet and go with a simplified look for a while. Re-style a shelf. Swap chotskies around. Move that piece of driftwood from your dining table to your bedroom book shelf. Small changes in decor can leave your space feeling new and exciting.

A little rearranging with things I already owned made the shelves feel fresh and new!

A little rearranging with things I already owned made the shelves feel fresh and new!

spring shelf styling

Clean and/or open up the windows

There is probably nothing I love more than a breeze through an open window. I run through my home like a crazy person opening up all of the windows when the temperature is anywhere from 60 to 80 degrees. I just can't help myself. Not only does an open window air out your home after the winter months, it also can lift your spirits by bringing the outdoors in. If the weather or your windows don't allow you to open them, at least give them a good clean. Just allowing the sunlight to shine through a clean window can do wonders for your home and your soul.

bedroom window + snake plant
bamboo bedroom windows
palm tree interior

Bring in new scents

Now that you've aired out the staleness of winter, bring in fresh scents! Fresh smelling candles are a great way to revitalize your home this spring. Go with light and airy scents–scents that remind you of clean laundry or even springtime blooms–whatever your heart desires. Having fresh, delightful smells floating around your home can bring you great joy. We carry hand-poured soy candles made in Oklahoma by the wonderful women of OK Collective. Come sniff our fresh, springtime scents at the shop!

ok collective candle
fresh candle for spring

Swap your blankets and linens

Now call me a home-dork, but I get very excited in the spring to put away my heavy bedsheets and blankets and pull out my lighter linens. Changing my sheets from gray flannel to white cotton is a ritual that I enjoy way too much. "See you again next winter," I whisper to my heavy duvet and chunky House Sparrow knit blanket as I place them in the closet. Parting is such sweet sorrow. And then it's on to the cool cotton sheets, light weight bed covers, and thin vintage sofa throws, threadbare from years of use. Three cheers for springtime linens!

Everyone snuggled up with the winter blankets under the House Sparrow macrame headboard.

Everyone snuggled up with the winter blankets under the House Sparrow macrame headboard.

It's spring! Bring on the light linens and open windows!

It's spring! Bring on the light linens and open windows!

Add flowers and plants

It's always a good time to add flowers and plants to your home, but springtime is a must. How could you not do this? Adding a new house plant brings so much life and energy to a space. If you don't have a green thumb, check out our favorite easy-to-care-for house plants. Also, there's nothing quite like a bouquet of beautiful springtime blooms. If you're in Tulsa, we recommend stopping by The Floral Bar by Ever Something. You won't regret it. Trust us. If gorgeous bouquets aren't in the budget, pick some flowers or even just some greenery from your yard. It's free and you'd be surprised what you can find when you walk outside with a pair of scissors, a vase of water, and a positive attitude. Check out Daly's greenery scavenging adventures here.

A single stem can bring spring inside your home.

A single stem can bring spring inside your home.

Beautiful bouquet by the talented ladies of Ever Something // Photo credit: KET Photography 

Beautiful bouquet by the talented ladies of Ever Something // Photo credit: KET Photography 

Pin for later!

Pin for later!

So there you have it. Five ways to easily freshen up your home this spring. I'd love to hear ways you liven up your space this time of year too!

 

Want your home to match your heart? We are two Ashleys who can help!

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Before & After: Vintage Tufted Sofa Goes from Skirted to Stunning

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After my mom, Janie, quit her day job and started doing upholstery full-time, one of her first big projects was a vintage pea green velvet sofa. Though certainly lovely in its time, its velvet was worn and its skirt wasn't doing it any favors. We knew it had potential though with its deep tufting, gentle curves and solid wood frame. Lucky for the sofa, a sweet, dear customer agreed with us and selected a soft, classic gray for its future.

A couple weeks and 46 tufts later, the formally pea green piece was hardly recognizable. No more faded velvet. No more skirt. The new look accentuated its beautiful shape–the slope of its back, the curves of its arms, and the deep, dramatic tufts. With a fresh, beautiful upholstery job atop its already sturdy bones, the sofa is now truly stunning. 

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before

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after

gray tufted sofa
gray tufted vintage sofa
reupholstered tufted sofa
gray reupholstered tufted couch
after: at home with the luckiest cat ever

after: at home with the luckiest cat ever

It's a satisfying feeling to know this vintage piece with a history all its own will continue to live well and in style for many years to come. Thanks to the skill and talent of my mom and a customer with vision, this beauty has a new lease on life.

 

Want to beautifully complete your space? We can help! 

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Vintage Shopping in Tulsa: Tulsa Thrift Stores

Up next in our series on our favorite places to shop vintage in Tulsa- thrift stores!

A chance to do good and shop vintage

Thrift stores are wonderful places to shop because, besides being cheap, most of them benefit charitable institutions. For instance, here in the Tulsa area, the HOW Foundation thrift store benefits those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, and the Animal Aid thrift store works to help abused and injured animals. So you are actually doing a good thing when you spend at these shops!

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You'll find Howard at the HOW Foundation thrift in Broken Arrow

You'll find Howard at the HOW Foundation thrift in Broken Arrow

Seriously some of the best vintage deals in Tulsa

Beyond the charitable aspect, you're going to get killer deals at thrift stores (especially the ones on the dirty side–that's okay to say, right?). However, you're going to strike out a lot on your visits because thrift stores carry just about anything and everything (e.g., Christmas cookie tins from the 1990s, fake flowers, stuffed animals). It's worth visiting thrift stores often though as new inventory comes in frequently and there is nothing quite like seeing a beautiful vintage solid wood drafting table amongst Laz-E-Boy recliners and old crutches. It's quite the rush and we recommend you experience it. 

Why are thrift stores cheap?

Basically, you have to work for it at thrift stores. The cheap pricing comes because items were donated to them, and because you have to sift through a lot to find the gold. Also because you do have to visit so often to get the best items. 

Not all thrift stores are the same

Like most things in life, thrift stores can wildly range in terms of their organization and cleanliness. Some shops have their clothing organized by color and size where other ones just throw everything in together. If you aren't sure you can handle a thrift store, you may start with a Goodwill or Salvation Army first to ease into the experience. But trust us, it's wonderful.

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One of Palmer's favorite thrift store scores–a pair of vintage rattan loungers

One of Palmer's favorite thrift store scores–a pair of vintage rattan loungers

The rattan loungers spent many years in Palmer's sunroom

The rattan loungers spent many years in Palmer's sunroom

Below are a few of our favorite thrift stores in the Tulsa area:

Community Thrift

9140  E 31st ST Tulsa, OK

Quality Thrift

5133 S Peoria Tulsa, OK

How Foundation

2216 S Aspen Ave Broken Arrow, OK

Midtown Flea 

11th & Yale, just south of Tally's Cafe, Tulsa, OK

Animal Aid

3307 E 15th ST Tulsa, OK

Salvation Army

4700 W Kenosha St Broken Arrow, OK

(others locations in Tulsa)

Goodwill + Goodwill Auction

3248 SW Blvd Tulsa, OK

Eastside Emporium

1215 S Memorial Dr Tulsa, OK

Be sure to check out our favorite antique malls in Tulsa!

 

We are fun to work with and will make your home look beautiful!

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Get Motivated to Clean and Organize

How to House organizing Tulsa OK

Everyone has too much stuff. And if you don't, then I am in love with you and you've accomplished an amazing thing. Let's meet for drinks soon? Most of us have too many things in our spaces, and when Ashley and I meet with our home styling clients, one of the first steps is to clear out extra.

  • Extra things that don't match your dream style or life
  • Extra things that don't serve a purpose or aren't lovely
  • Extra things that you trip on, or that are in disrepair or block a walkway
The Dalys work on cleaning up and clearing out

The Dalys work on cleaning up and clearing out

The fruits of their labor

The fruits of their labor

Here's a quick round up of resources to help folks get jazzed to clean out, minimize, organize and get down to only things they love. Here's the list!

Duh, The Life Changing Habit of Tidying Up. Author Marie Kondo draws a hard line on how to determine if an item stays or goes. Does it bring you joy? Her book walks you down a road that's enjoyable to travel.

A client of ours is following the Organize 365 podcast through each room of her house, and along with our styling, I'd say her house is looking quite nice. 

Um, it's less light-hearted, somewhat heavy-handed at times, but gosh, going to The Minimalists' blog every seven months or so really does get me all worked up about calling stuff what it is, stuff. Wanna get intense and angry about having too much and getting down to it? Go here.

Also, I once took a stab at inspiring minimalism. It's a humble stab. More like a jab really.

Our client's sunroom before decluttering

Our client's sunroom before decluttering

After narrowing down to what they loved // Photo credit: Molly Thrasher Visuals

After narrowing down to what they loved // Photo credit: Molly Thrasher Visuals

What secretly motivates you to get your act together and let go of things? Sometimes people hire us to tell them honestly and directly when something needs to leave their home. It's awkward, heart-warming, and everyone feels lighter once its done.

Love,

Ashleys

 

 

Want to live life on a beautiful background? Let us into your home. ;)

Easy House Plants that Keep You Company but Don't Take Your Time

You may have noticed, we love house plants. We love them for the energy, color and life they bring into our spaces. Whether styling rooms in our own homes or a scene at the shop, there's always a house plant involved. Although we have great love for house plants, we understand that sometimes keeping them alive can be stressful. We've all got busy lives, right? Who wants to be stressed out by a house plant? That's why we've put together our top three favorite house plants that keep you company, but don't take your time. 

Succulents

Surprise, surprise. Those Ashleys talking about succulents again. Well, it's because they are wonderful! Succulents are the perfect low maintenance house plant if you have good sunlight in your home. Though there are succulent varieties that do well with morning light only, most of these guys want 4-6 hours of light a day. So if you have a nice sunny window, you've got it made because succulents only want to be watered every other week in the summer and only once a month in the winter. How easy is that? Pretty damn easy. We have lots of helpful care and planting advice on succulents provided by our master succulent expert Sara who grows and tends to all the succulents in our shop.

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Our friend Drew's succulent collection: see his home tour

Our friend Drew's succulent collection: see his home tour

Our shop succulents soaking up the sunlight

Our shop succulents soaking up the sunlight

Snake Plants

So what if you don't have a nice sunny window for a succulent? Never fear, meet the snake plant aka mother-in-law's tongue aka sansevieria (its proper name). Snake plants are amazing because they want to be watered like succulents (i.e., very rarely), but don't require nearly as much light. That doesn't mean to put your snake plant in a closet or bathroom with no sunlight, but it does mean that corner of the room across from the window where you've always wanted a plant can now have a plant. Also, we love the height snake plants can bring to a space. Their twisty, tall leaves are almost like sculptures.

Snake plant potted in Frankoma planter in Palmer's home // Photo credit: KET Photography

Snake plant potted in Frankoma planter in Palmer's home // Photo credit: KET Photography

Photo credit: KET Photography

Photo credit: KET Photography

Philodendrons

Out of many philodendron varieties, our favorite is the heart-leaf philodendron because it's easy to care for and loves to vine! Philodendron vines spilling over shelves and trailing from plant hangers are a beautiful sight, wouldn't you say? Fun fact: a philodendron was Palmer's first plant and it's still living twelve years later! These plants prefer moderate to low light and are forgiving in terms of watering. We usually water our planted philodendrons every other week or when they seem a bit droopy. Once we give them some water, they perk back up immediately. Although philodendrons that live in soil are pretty easy house plants, the philodendron that lives in water is even easier! Just cut off a vine from your philodendron and stick it in a container (bottle, vase, jar, etc.) with water. When the water gets low, fill it back up. Your vine will grow roots and can then be planted in soil or can live in the water FOREVER. Oh, it's so so wonderful.

Hanging potted philodendron in Daly's house.

Hanging potted philodendron in Daly's house.

Our shop philodendron makes appearances in our styled shoots

Our shop philodendron makes appearances in our styled shoots

Our friend Drew's heart-leaf philodendron: see his home tour

Our friend Drew's heart-leaf philodendron: see his home tour

philodendron-in-water

These three house plants, friends, are easy ways to bring a little color and life into your space and keep you company without taking up your time. What are your favorite, easy house plants? We always love a good house plant introduction.

 

Want to beautifully finish your space? We can help!

Vintage Shopping in Tulsa: Tulsa Antique Malls

First up in our series on our favorite places to shop vintage in Tulsa–antique malls!

While a great friend may love hitting up the thrift stores and estate sales with you, an antique mall may appeal to a wider audience. For example, Palmer used to take friends and extended family to Generations Antique Mall after breakfast at Tally's on the weekends. Everyone seemed to find a trinket (like a plastic lemon tree or German Shepherd figurine) to take home or at least enjoyed looking.

jade-treasure-tulsa

These malls consist of dozens or sometimes hundreds of booths stocked by different collectors. Compared to a thrift store, antique malls are more curated and focused as people have usually taken time to collect the items displayed in their booths. At an antique mall you're more likely to find older objects or sometimes true antiques.

Antique malls and even the booths within can vary widely–from a carefully curated display of vintage Fire King Jadeite dish-ware to a booth piled high with interesting old tools, gadgets, and gears. The anticipation and surprise that come from this variety is what we think make antique malls a good place to get lost in for an hour or ten.

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German Shepherd figurine Palmer found in a Tulsa antique mall

German Shepherd figurine Palmer found in a Tulsa antique mall

The small German Shepherd now lives in Caroline's nursery // Photo credit: KET Photography

The small German Shepherd now lives in Caroline's nursery // Photo credit: KET Photography

Below are a few of our favorite antique malls in the Tulsa area. Comment below with some of yours!

River City Trading Post

301 E Main St Jenks, OK

Generations and Next Generations

4810 E 11th St Tulsa, OK

5100 E 11th St Tulsa, OK

I-44 Antiques & Collectibles Mall

5111 S Peoria Tulsa, OK

Jade Treasures

711 W Washington St Broken Arrow, OK

1639 S Main St Broken Arrow, OK

My Papa's Barn

2039 W Houston St Broken Arrow, OK 

Vintage Phoenix

701 W Washington St Broken Arrow, OK

 

We are fun to work with and will make your home beautiful!

Oklahoma Bed and Breakfast Home Tour: Sharpe House in Checotah, OK

sharpe-house

At the beginning of every year, we set some time aside for planning our goals and discussing our hopes and dreams for Retro Den. In past years, we've met for a few hours at a local restaurant or coffee shop, but this year we decided to get away for our yearly planning session. 

This year, we treated ourselves and stayed at the beautiful Sharpe House bed and breakfast in Checotah, OK, the steerwrestling capital of the world, located just an hour southeast of Tulsa. We had followed the restoration of the 110+ year old home via our wonderful, long-time customer Renza Sharpe. We loved hearing about the renovation of her grandparents' home and couldn't wait to experience it first hand.

We weren't disappointed. This house dating back to the 19th century is not only beautiful, but full of character and history. About a hundred years ago, the home was a boarding house for single female teachers and Ms. Carolyn McCluskey (Renza's great grandmother) rented a room. The home officially came into the Sharpe family in 1931 and in 2015 Renza's parents, Logan and Donna, began restoring the home, updating it with modern conveniences while maintaining its original structure and charm. Also, several of Carolyn's antique furniture pieces still grace the home.

We enjoyed exploring the old home's nooks and crannies and couldn't get enough of the fireplace details or the antiques passed down from generations past. We also enjoyed the large, modern shower, coffee bar and remote controlled fireplaces. The perfect mix of old and new! Also, Checotah gets four thumbs up from us Ashleys for antique shopping and yummy diner food.

Oh, Sharpe House. What a special place to spend time. Thank you, Sharpe family for welcoming us into your home. We'll be back!

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sharpe-house-details
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Need help making your home just so? We do that!

From Matching Lamps to Minimalism: Bedroom Decor in the Daly Abode

Our current pillow situation. Faded lime green from Ryan's grandpa's house. So soft. I am considering a blush color sheeting these days...so many decisions in life. Floral pillow by Bifftastica–we carry her things in our shop! 

Our current pillow situation. Faded lime green from Ryan's grandpa's house. So soft. I am considering a blush color sheeting these days...so many decisions in life. Floral pillow by Bifftastica–we carry her things in our shop! 

My bedroom has seen a lot, folks. Take that how you like, but I am referring to decorating styles. It's first days featured a large brass bed handed down to us by my parents. It was exactly like the bed Bob Dylan sang of in his song Lay Lady Lay. And as much as I loved the joke of that song and my bed mingling in my mind, the compromise of two people sharing a home meant that I had to part with my brass bed. Maybe my husband Ryan didn't like sleeping in his in-law's bed? Maybe we are just thirty-year-old hipsters aching for the non-sense of a low-lying platform bed. We'll never know. Unless I ask him, I guess. 

We traded out for a bed built by my handsome, strong husband's two own freckled hands. Wood and simple. Clean lines as far as the eye can see. We were staring down our hopes of parenthood, and we needed visual simplicity to leave room in our minds for the prospect of raising another person. 

Not only did my glorious brass hand-me-down bed (admittedly not as sexy as a bed made by a handsome ginger) have to go, but also my very first pair of matching lamps. I remember my heart skipping all the beats when I saw them. Cream, gold embellishments...begging me for Target shades to update the old lady chic look they had going on. 

I'll save you my lamenting the twine-wrapped matching lamp set that spanned the time until my current bedroom lighting situation. 

Now, in these photos, you'll see the brave new world we chose for our present lamp needs. A fine wall-mount lamp I designed and had a local maker create, and a salt rock lamp. I felt like such a damn grown-up with my matching lamp set. I suppose once you hit 32, you no longer need matching lamps to age you. Please stop and note that I am handing you a secret to youth–lamps that do not match. You're welcome.

We got rid of our dressers and opted for zero storage on our bedroom floor. It's minimalism at its most pretentious, but the truth is, we could not handle the responsibility of owning enough stuff to warrant a long dresser. Instead of in drawers, our clothes were strewn across the top of our furniture. We forced ourselves to be more clean by not having things to store or store them in. In case you were wondering, we still pile things on this one long shelf we installed. 

Add some faux marble-topped, vintage peg-legged side tables, a basket of books, a vintage wool rug, natural wood knobs on our closet, and simple bedding–and you've got the picture. No, you literally have the pictures.

*I plan to paint this room soon. You can't see the peeling drywall in the corner, but it's a bummer. Just wanted to immortalize this little fella as it stands right now. 

bohemian modern bedroom
bohemian modern
Vintage spoon display rack. I love thinking about all the spoons that used to hang out on this piece of wood. 

Vintage spoon display rack. I love thinking about all the spoons that used to hang out on this piece of wood. 

These orange pillowcases were a mistake. They are gone now. Forever.

These orange pillowcases were a mistake. They are gone now. Forever.

Salt rock lamps sweat, did you know that? It's because salt absorbs moisture from the air. That's science on my bedside table. 

Salt rock lamps sweat, did you know that? It's because salt absorbs moisture from the air. That's science on my bedside table. 

Lamp design based on a vintage lamp I found in Arkansas and brought to glorious life by Gas and Grain. 

Lamp design based on a vintage lamp I found in Arkansas and brought to glorious life by Gas and Grain. 

This rug loves me. I feel it on my soles every day I walk on it. 

This rug loves me. I feel it on my soles every day I walk on it. 

Some people are just born slobs. But that leaves me with so much room for improvement. No sense starting at the top, guys.

Some people are just born slobs. But that leaves me with so much room for improvement. No sense starting at the top, guys.

 

We can help you achieve a finished space! And it will be fun!

Secrets of a Shop Owner: Favorite Places to Shop Vintage (in Tulsa)

We love a curated home carefully crafted with vintage, found, and new pieces. This adds depth and meaning to spaces. One of the best things about vintage pieces is that you have to hunt them down. If you want something specific (side table, a tall lamp), you have to go to lots of places to find the right one because vintage isn't something that's made in mass. It's pieces that have lived a life before, that have history, are from a certain era, and evoke a more individualized style than off the shelf at a big box store. 

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Some of my most cherished memories are going vintage shopping with my mom as a child. We'd tell each other what we were looking for and go out looking. It felt thrilling and purposeful. It's a fun experience. I used to drag my friends to the Tulsa Flea Market in high school, convinced this was the best thing you could do with a Saturday morning. I married a man who felt the same way. Before Retro Den, we used to go to the Tulsa Flea Market, several retro/vintage shops, then have a coffee, and take a nap. Perfect day. 

And when your home contains pieces from your adventures, it not only adds dimension to your general style, but it gives you happy feelings about the memories and the way you found a certain item. I love things I got from my favorite shop owners or found buried in the back of an antique mall. 

There are a huge variety of vintage shopping options. Places you must dig, more curated shops, sales in people's homes, and more. Each have their appeal. You never know where the right thing will show up. Vintage shopping feels magical and wondrous when you find that perfect piece that speaks to you. Gah. It's glorious. I LOVE owning our store and sharing that feeling with customers.

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And when we work with clients on their homes, we love hearing their stories and knowing why their home decor pieces matter to them. We want everyone to know how fun and special curating your home style can be.

Our own homes are rich with awesome finds and treasures. And just as we've collected things for our home, we've collected our favorite places in Tulsa to shop for vintage wares. Get ready! We are excitedly revealing our favorite places to shop vintage in Tulsa in a twenty-part series! Just kidding. A six-part series.

-Daly

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How to Make a Pinterest Board for Home Design

How to Find Your Style and Get Started

One way we suggest people get to know their style and tastes is to gather a bunch of examples of rooms or decor that they like. I used to use magazines, now it seems most efficient to use Pinterest. 

Retro Den Pinterest boards

Retro Den Pinterest boards

Gather Images of Home Style that You Like

  • After starting your own Pinterest account, simply search "interior design." Pinterest will pull up images that are related. Scroll through and save the ones that speak to you. Maybe even have a board for "design I do not like" and "design I like." Try using various design terms (e.g., modern, eclectic, minimalism, traditional, bohemian) to see what comes up. You can use these words in Google too, obviously.
  • Visit blogs about design and save the photos you like or do not like to your Pin boards. Good design sites include Apartment Therapy, Design Sponge, Domino, Lonny, any home design magazine's website, even go to your favorite Instagrammer's webpage or Instagram page.
  • Go to your favorite stores' websites (Retro Den, Target, West Elm). You can save their product images as well!
  • Take photos of furniture or accessories that you'd like included in your room design and upload those photos to your Pinterest board.
Domino Magazine Galleries: can search by room or color

Domino Magazine Galleries: can search by room or color

What not to do with Pinterest

Do not ONLY pin photos from searches within Pinterest. When you search within Pinterest, it's a little incestuous and keeps you from finding the newest, freshest content. We love this platform for SAVING collections of links and photos in one visual place, but there is a disproportionate amount of super crafty, DIY people using and adding things to Pinterest, and sadly this can keep you from hunting down the best versions of a style you hope to obtain. Go to the places we listed above to find great style articles and the best versions of what you are looking to bring into your home.

Look for Themes

Once you've pinned twenty items or more (The more you do, the better the final results for your space. It's okay to pin fifty photos.), you can look at your overall board of pins/images and identify design trends you seem to gravitate towards. Go ahead, get your pen out and make a list of what you see that is a common thread. Blue walls, gold accessories, cream sofas, plants...whatever you see that is in 3+ photos. The more photos of a style, the stronger the argument that you really like this look and would enjoy being surrounded by it.

Palmer's kitchen Pinterest board

Palmer's kitchen Pinterest board

Palmer's kitchen themes: warm wood, whites, grays, open shelving, modern style

Palmer's kitchen themes: warm wood, whites, grays, open shelving, modern style

Congratulations, You've Discovered your Style Preferences

Now you have these internet boards and a list...want our help deciphering your style? This is our specialty. Making a Pinterest board is only part of your client homework. You'll take a home survey and spend some time face-to-face with us, then we'll provide a road map to a finished space you love.