Inspiration Board Cheat Sheet

Inspiration Boards are one of my favorite things to check out on Pinterest! They are just one of those things that you don’t really notice… until you do. I’m always like “ooh, I love this workspace!” and then when I go back through my “Office.” board, I notice that they all have this one thing in common: inspiration/motivation/vision boards. Does this sound like something that Chris from Parks & Rec would do? Yes. But also, they can be the perfect reflection of your personality and your future goals! 
Not only that… remember the Feng Shui post from a couple of days ago? The ideal position for your desk is somewhere where it faces the door but, if that just isn’t possible (like in a small apartment, bedroom, or dorm), the next best thing is to make the wall “disappear”. Inspiration Boards are the perfect way to do that! They can be a source of inspiration, motivation, encouragement, pride in past accomplishments, and just something that is nice to look at after hours of reading or writing or crying because math is hard
There are literally TONS (okay, fine… there are figuratively tons) of examples out there! But what makes the perfect “recipe” for an inspiration board? Here is my oh-so-humble opinion:
Here’s a perfect one from Lauren Conrad (of course)!

Choose a color scheme

Your space should reflect you! Some workspaces are really dreamy looking with whites and subdued colors. You’ll want that to carry over into your inspiration board. Others are full of bold colors, or maybe bright pinks and turquoises! Whatever your design-style is, make sure that your board goes along with it and isn’t distracting or out of place. Also, add a little depth with tickets, ribbons, cards, etc! 
Can we please talk about the absolute genius-ness of this clipboard inspiration board from Trendenser?! 

Gather things that make you happy

This is pretty simple. Think of things that make you smile when you see them! Do you love the color pink? Penguins? Pretty dresses? Traveling? When you find or take photos of things that you just absolutely love, stick these up here! They will provide a safe haven for your mind when you’re feeling all depleted from reading a textbook that is likely droning on about something that bores you. 
This one from Megan at Honey, We’re Home is super girly and stylish. LOVE!

Give yourself something to look forward to

There is also the “vision board” part of inspiration boards. The part that reminds you why you do whatever it is that you do! Where do you want to be 10 years from now? What field of work do you hope to be in? Where do you want to travel? Choose photos or quotes or headlines or pictures of people who inspire you! And don’t forget to include your long and short term goals! Create a “big picture”! 

I love how this one found on Flickr. just blends in with the rest of the space!

Include Your past accomplishments

Have you won a blue ribbon for something? Or maybe received a certificate for some type of special recognition? What about photos from graduation, or your acceptance letter or test scores? Put these up here! A big part of staying motivated is to remind yourself of your past achievements! When things get hard, just look back and think, “This was challenging, but I did it. If I could do it then, I can do it now.”
Here’s another clever alternative to a “board” from Warm Home Decors!

Throw in some personal photos

Did you know that you can print out Instagram photos? Of course you did because I am the last person on Earth to find this out. I like Instas better than regular photos! Why? Because they really force you to choose one thing to represent an entire event and to focus on finding the beauty in everyday life. Print out a few of your favorites! Remind yourself that, even though your life is crazy, it is also beautiful!  
Inspiration boards are a great idea for a study space because they can just keep you motivated and on the right track by reminding you of what you’ve already done, what you’re doing now, and what you will do in the future! 
They can help you turn your dreams into goals, your goals into plans, and your plans into real life! 🙂 
Do you have a bulletin board or “inspiration board” in your study space? What kinds of things are on it? Has it helped you stay motivated when your schoolwork gets frustrating? 

How to Feng Shui Your Study Space

About a year ago, I started to become really interested in Feng Shui. Our house was for sale, trying to accomplish a TON of work for school, and I just wanted an all-around better “flow” to our living space. The more I read about staging homes to sell and creating the best office space for productivity, the more I saw that everything seemed to align with the basic Feng Shui principles. And whether or not you believe in Bagua Maps or Yin & Yang, the basics of Feng Shui can help make any space feel more balanced, comfortable, organized, and vibrant! I mean really, what more could we ask for?!
Now, let me also say that Feng Shui is a super in-depth practice and that I am certainly no expert (yet!) but this is kind of like the Kindergarten-level of Feng Shui rules. If you find it super intriguing as I do, I would suggest checking out this blog because it is always full of the best tips ever! Okay, here we go!

Choose an air-purifying plant, such as a fern, lily, palm, or any of the other plants from this list. Some other great choices? Bamboo or a cactus! Because they are easy to take care of and also represent good luck! Plus, you know, cacti are SO in right now!

Position your desk to face the door (if possible). The picture above from Feng Shui and Beyond gives the perfect example of how a desk should be in position to the door. You want to see everything that’s coming at you! However, try not to sit directly in front of the door (it’s considered a path of negative energy). If you can’t move your desk or there isn’t room, there are two things you can do:

First, you could put a mirror above your desk that allows you to see the door (although, mirrors can also “reflect the bad energy” of others who come into your space. The second choice is to make your wall “disappear” by creating a vision board of things that inspire you. Totally your choice! And even though it might be tempting to put your desk right in front of the window, it’s considered bad Feng Shui because it’s also tempting to LOOK OUT that window… and we’re trying to cut down on distractions!

Clear all clutter from your desk: Throw away junk/unneeded things and organize everything that is of importance to you and your goals. A good rule I read here is to clean off 50% of the items of your desk every time you are finished using it. Kind of like Clear to Neutral, right?! Check out this picture above from Feng Shui and Beyond

What would you have to do before starting work at this desk? Seriously. Open the computer and start, right?! That’s the goal! Deal with paper at least once a week in order to keep it from getting out of hand! Kind of in the same category as clearing out clutter, make sure to hide any power cords or other wires from plain sight because they’re distracting (and ugly).

Use positive/uplifting artwork. Basically, everything around you influences you. This is why a lot of schools use the color blue in their hallways. Because it is considered a calming color. It’s also why Target uses the color red, which is linked to impulsive behavior (a basket full of unnecessary items, anyone?). You want everything in your study space to be positive and encouraging to you and your goals! Do you have a small wind chime? Put it next to your window, those things always sound happy!

Choose items with rounded corners rather than sharp edges. According to Feng Shui, sharp corners can cause us stress. Well, with a semester full of crazy work assignments and deadlines, we need to eliminate all the stress we possibly can, right? Rounded vases, candles, tables, etc. can be great additions to the “flow” of a workspace! A globe is also a nice thing to have in a study space!

Try to incorporate all 5 Feng Shui elements (earth, fire, metal, water, wood) into your study space. This can be as simple as adding a jar of sand for “earth”, a small candle for “fire, a tin pencil holder for “metal”, a picture of an ocean or fish for water (or actual fish!), and a wooden chair, shelf, or desk for the “wood” element! Keeping a somewhat equal amount of these items creates “balance” in your space!

Use lots of light… preferably 3 different light sources! And yes, natural light definitely counts! Brighter spaces boost productivity and encourage us to keep our spaces cleaner! Also, it’s easier on your eyes!

As I said, these are just some of the most basic of all Feng Shui tips… there is SO, SO much information out there that you can really get as in-depth as you want to with it! I tried to help you out a little because each of these photos is linked to a different website about Feng Shui!

And if you still aren’t a believer in “energy”, at least you’ll benefit from a bright, clutterless space! 🙂

Does your current workspace follow any of these rules? Would you change it to try some out? If you have tried some of these tips, could you tell that they made a difference in your work? Why (or why not)? 

Creative Spaces

Well, well, well… It’s been 4 months and I am finally (FINALLY) just about finished getting our new loft to look the way I want it. The space is everything we were looking for: bright, open, industrial, not in the middle of the suburbs. And we made a couple of furniture upgrades when we moved (dining table, chairs, and tv stand). We were super adamant about only taking the pieces that we really loved.

We sifted and sifted through our existing items until we had every picture, vase, plate that we wanted and got rid of aaaaall the rest. (Wait was that long enough? What I meant to say was that we got rid of aaaaaaaaaaaalllll of the rest. Yes. That looks much more accurate). We really expected to do a lot of downsizing when we moved out of the house. And we did. 
However, when we got all of our furniture and art and rugs and every thing placed in the new space, it was still feeling a little bare. It just needed a few little whimsical touches here and there to really make it ours. Enter: Creative Spaces.

They had some of the perfect finishing touches to make this place feel like it’s totally ours!
…for the next 8 months, anyway 🙂
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The first project that I wanted to try out with these adorable labels was to reorganize our “pantry” (aka ONE cabinet underneath our kitchen counter). Last January, we got these stackable OXO containers and they have been the most amazing thing ever! But because they are stackable, and because we are looking into a tiny cabinet, we have needed some labels in here for a while! These worked perfectly! 

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The next project that I tried out was one that I desperately needed this semester: a daily checklist system. Now, let me point out that this is a new system that will probably require a whole post of its own (I had to change all of my systems to fit my needs for this semester’s class)! But for now, I’m just going to show you how adorable these little chevron squares made my new command center! LOVE!
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You know how sometimes you just have a little space in your home that could use just a touch of something? That’s how I felt about this space above our kitchen counter. I kept trying to put one more thing in this space and I just really wanted to stay with the black, white, and pink theme. As soon as I saw these little pennants, I knew they would be the perfect solution! Now everyday feels like a party!

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Here is another space that needed… something. This little banner has made the most sunshiny little splash of happiness over our industrial bar cart! Those are black punch-out letters that I taped on with washi tape so that I can change this in the future (total teacher move). I LOVE how happy this makes the space! When I finished this banner, I still had enough of everything to make the whole thing again! 

If you’re looking for a way to brighten up a dorm room or a small apartment, I would totally recommend checking out their website! All of the paper products are very good quality and can be laminated and reused! Also, there are *tons* of colors and patterns to choose! We have a blue banner, too that I’m using as a “Go Tigers!” banner for our tailgate party this afternoon! {so more photos to come, obvi!}