Picture Perfect Inspiration and How To Find It--- Feat. The Elizabeth Hotel

Happy Saturday everyone! Woohoo THE WEEKEND!

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Perks of living in the Rockies: cutting down your own REAL Christmas tree!!!

This week we started our very first family tradition. We went and cut down our very own Christmas tree! I'm not talking about the kind from a farm... I'm talking drudging through 8 inches of snow in the forest and picking out whatever tree our hearts desired. We took the dogs too and they had a blast running all over the place, freezing their tails off, chasing each other in the snow. It was so great and I hope we get to do it every year. It’ll be something so fun for Aspen (and us) to have memories of. Here is our first annual family Christmas tree cutting pic:

My dad and step-mom came to visit us last weekend and we had the greatest time with them. They stayed at the coolest hotel called "The Elizabeth Hotel" in Old Town Fort Collins and I absolutely loved it right when I walked in. You could definitely tell that it had been carefully and thoughtfully designed. It's always so neat to find somewhere new in your town, especially when it has such great design. I felt like such a nerd taking pictures every step that I took, but it was great and I knew I would have regretted it had I not.

Seeing such a cool place just makes you wonder... How the heck did they come up with this? Well, how do you come up with YOUR great ideas? You must be inspired by something! For me, like I've said before, it's nature. I also am inspired just by seeing other people's work. Sometimes all you have to do is see someone else's work and it will bring to life your very own work of art that is miles and miles away from what you were originally inspired by. Seeing this hotel and all of the great things inside of it make me wonder what inspired the designers (Nine Dot Arts out of Denver). Check out this awesome hallway that leads to a cafe attached to the hotel:

You can't see all of the small details in this photo, but even the accessories on the shelves were so eclectic and fun to look at... whimsical even! It takes a lot of time to accessorize a place like this. The art and small decor pieces take a lot of time to collect and bring the space together. These types of pieces can come from all over the place. Some designers have an inventory and they just buy things that work with their style. When they see something that they like, they buy it and hope there is a project that it will work with in the future. Others buy on a per project basis because, lets be honest, it's expensive to have an inventory and keep a place to store everything! Here is an example of some of the accessories on the etageres:

Can you see the glass cloche? The mushroom figurine inside of it? I mean who thinks of that? But it works great and goes with the eclectic look of the whole hallway. These shelves were FILLED with things like that. It's so great because it gives people talking points. It also is really neat because looking at each item can make you think and feel a totally different way. This is one way that designers and artists get people to feel emotions in their work. Having all sorts of different pieces that make people "feel" when they are in a space can make a person invested in what they are seeing, and make them feel a part of it themselves.

Bringing art into a space like this is hard because you don't want to ruin the strain of emotion that you bring to each visitor, kind of like reading a story, but they did a great job here:

This painting is weird, right? I love it! It has very odd content mixed together, but it works well with the space because of all of the crazy accessorizing that has been done. The painting feels almost a little dreary, but it definitely goes with the space and emotion of the room. If you think about it, they could have just picked a painting of a floral arrangement, but instead they took it further and chose something that makes the viewer think and leaves them invested, wanting to know more about the piece.

So what can inspire you to make a fun space like this, or to make a space that has any consistency at all? Find something that you love. The outdoors? Sports? Maybe you have a piece of art that you just love and you want to make a space in your home work around it. It takes time, but do some research! Find some things that go with the piece. What was going on during that time period? Can you find some other details about that era in the piece? Start with the basics and then dig a little deeper. A lot of times inspiration is not surface level, and thank goodness because how boring would that be? Maybe you are inspired simply by color. Like the hallway I talked about above, maybe you want to focus a room on just one color and bring in different pieces that pull the space together in a creative and eclectic way. Not everything always has to make sense in design. That's what makes the viewers think!

When you are adding new accessories in a space, make sure you source them from different places to give your room extra character. It's a shame when you can walk into a room and think "Oh, Hobby Lobby." or "This room could be in a Target ad". You can find great things in all different types of stores that you may not have even thought of. Sure it will take a little extra time for you to pull the space together, but give your home the makeover it deserves and take the time to source things that you actually like... not just the first thing you see that "looks like it's in style". I love looking in antique shops-- it's one of my favorite things to do when I am helping spruce up a new space. Those are things that are unique and you most likely won't find anything else. It's the one of a kind things that help make spaces unique. Check out HomeGoods, World Market, atHome, Target, Ikea, Pier 1, Nordstrom/ Nordstrom Rack, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and there are so many more. These are just the ones I can think of from the top of my head. There are also a lot of "to the trade" places that have some amazing things that designers can help you source. Remember to mix old with new and you will give your home just the right amount of personality.

That's all for today! If you have questions that I can help answer about making your home unique and giving it the face-lift that it deserves, (click here) let me know and I would love to help!

Have a great weekend!