Do you pin?
Pinterest, if you don't already know is the extremely popular website that lets you organize all the beautiful things you find on the web in categories called "pinboards."
But before Pinterest, before blogs even, we had decorating magazines.
Remember standing in line at the grocery store and seeing a brand new House Beautiful? How exciting it was? I would splurge, take it home and savor every article!
Then, after several months of studying the magazine, I would tear out my favorite photos and put them in binders.
Those days are gone now, but look what I found while cleaning out the garage!
My old design inspiration binders from the 80's and 90's.
Think of them as my pinboards on Pinterest, "old school style!"
I had binders for Formal Country Houses, Cottages, Log Cabins, Vacation Retreats, Kitchens, Bathrooms and Bedrooms.
I'm so glad I kept them, as it has been fun to go through them and see that a lot of what inspired me then, still inspires me today.
When I put this binder together, I was a young mother of a newborn, a two year old and a ten year old.
Yes I was a busy mom, but still found time to think about creating beautiful rooms.
This was the beginning of a lifelong passion!
I was in love with romantic rooms with floral fabrics.
Traditional Home, June 1990
Tablescapes and table settings, especially with majolica.
I was in love with designers who created rooms that look like they have evolved over time.
Designers like Bunny Williams. Just look at her lovely table here and above with that fantastic paisley linen tablecloth! The colored glassware and more majolica!
I can't tell you how much I studied Bunny's kitchen. I love how organic it is with that pine fireplace and pine island with its "still life with produce" vignette.
She has a passion for pattern. So do I, and still do!
"Mixing prints and patterns is like a painting. You keep trying something, and your eye will tell you whether the color is too light or too strong or whether the pattern is too large. There are no rules..." Bunny said.
House Beautiful, November 1985
I loved this dining room, designed by the Prince of Chintz, Mario Buatta.
Just look at that lantern!
"A well designed room should be put together as a composition--a dab at a time," Mario was quoted as saying.
Decorating, Spring 1988
This gorgeous room with floral slipcovered sofas really spoke to me.
Loved the white paneled walls, and still do.
This living room, in Ron Grimaldi's upstate New York house is still timeless.
He said, "A house should dictate its decoration--with a bit of license to be playful."
I took that to heart!
From my "Cottage Style" binder, I found this room.
Zebra rug, white slipcovers and brown toile. Still works today!
Traditional Home, 1995
Another designer I followed then was Betsy Speert.
I actually copied this table for my teenage daughter!
Of course, the seashell mirror was and is still popular. Betsy actually made it herself!
Coincidentally, I just rediscovered Betsy through her blog here!
You could say that these binders represent my "degree" in interior design!
I learned from the best. Mark Hampton, Bunny Williams, Ron Grimaldi, Mario Buatta, Betsy Speert, Mary Emmerling, Richard FitzGerald and more all taught me about color, pattern and scale. I hung on their every word!
I still find "old school" inspiration from design magazines, even with all the blogs I follow.
Thank goodness Veranda, House Beautiful, Country Living and Traditional Home are still around.
Not to mention, Tuscan Style!
I plan to scan some of these photos to share with you all. I think it is so interesting how design has evolved in the last 25 years and what still remains timeless. In the meantime, if you want to see what is inspiring me in 2012, visit my Pinterest page here.