Friday, February 4, 2011

Finding inspiration for the renovations

Track Lighting brochure

Don't fret. This isn't going to be renovation-only blog forever. And, actually, I'm going to be documenting some of the DIY projects I do for the house, so the "crafter" in Average Jane Crafter is not gone. I just want to share as much of the house stuff as possible, 'cause I always get a kick out of seeing other folks' befores and afters and because I'd like to have some kind of record for myself.

That said, as the renovation gets down to business, I've been compiling ideas, doing some online and in-person "browsing" and working my way through the seemingly endless list of decisions that need to be made. I never imagined how many things have to be picked out, how much stuff is out there to see and how hard it would be to decide on something as simple as bathroom faucets. My head is spinning.

Lighting booklet

I thought I'd share some of the resources I've found and am using to get inspired and save and organize what I've found.

Initially, I bought a giant stack of magazines, dogeared and tore out pages and put them in an accordion file. My main focus for inspiration and resources, though, has been online. I'm going to share a few web sites that are inspiring me and then a few online resources I'm using for gathering and organizing my ideas. Here we go:

Retro Renovation
When I started looking for inspiration for mid-century renovations, this was the first site that popped up. I instantly fell in love. Pam posts about pretty much everything related to mid-century design and aesthetic, with vast resources for finding anything you could hope to need in the renovation of a mid-century home. She's a prolific poster, and her readership is quite active, sharing their own renovation projects and resources. It's just my kind of community. And it's broken a habit of mine: aside from just subscribing in my RSS reader, I actually keep the site open in a tab in my browser so I can pop over and refresh and not miss anything. I don't want it to get lost in my bloated Reader. Be warned, when you pop over there, you may as well right off the next few hours, 'cause that's at least how long you'll want to spend there.

The Brick House
One of our designer friends pointed us to this blog, chronicling Morgan Satterfield's renovation of a mid-century cement brick house in California. She does things on a budge, so there's lots of great thrift-find inspiration and DIY projects, and loads of gorgeous pictures.

Aesthetic Outburst
I found Abbey's blog through a post on Houzz (more on that below) and feel in love with the look and feel of her place, especially since it's kid-friendly. I've fallen in love with the crafty side of her blog as well, so that makes it a bonus find!

So as I gather ideas for the house, I've got to put them somewhere, right? It's nice to be able to sort of bookmark things and go back and look at them all together. There are a couple of sites I've used to do this, and I owe my thanks to Diane for turning me on to both.

I admit, I haven't spent tons of time on Houzz, but it was a great place for me to start and see lots of pictures of interiors so I could start to hone in on how I wanted things to look in our new place. I've always kind of known what my style is, but it's hard to put it in to words. With Houzz, I can browse hundreds of pictures and add any I like to an Ideabook so I can go back to them later. It's like being able to tear pictures out of one hundred magazines in one go 'round.

Diane posted about Pinterest a while back, and I jumped on the opportunity to grab an invite. I wasn't doing much with it, because of our move, but now it has become my go-to place for bookmarking things I find while searching online. I feel like it's somewhere between Tumblr and Delicious, both of which I've used. I like that, rather than Tumblr, I can divide my posts up in to categories (boards) so I can have something for the house and something for crafty stuff and something for space, etc. And since I'm such a visual person, I love that I don't just have lists of links (like on Delicious) but instead have a big grid of pictures. I need that. It's come in handy as I've browsed literally hundreds (ack!) of bathroom fixtures and lighting. Right now, my "For the New House" board is a mess of crazy bathroom fixtures, because I just couldn't make up my mind. But I did. And I'll share those choices with you soon.
I've set up a temporary home "office" on our back deck by the pool, and can work under the 30-ft pine trees, watch the woodpeckers and be on hand if the contractor or subs need me. These first few days of demo have been kind of hectic, but I imagine things will smooth out more as time goes. Pretty much all decisions/purchases have been made. Almost all the demo is done (pictures soon!) and from here on out, it's just building things back up. Stay tuned!

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