Room Inspiration by Way of Pinterest. My Favourite Looks.

I don’t know about you but I have a folder on my desktop FILLED with images of rooms I love from Pinterest. Every once in a while I go back and look at them for inspiration and divine design enlightenment. I’ll remember some dining room table accessorizing I loved that I want to remind myself of, or a colour palette. There’s one room I’ve saved 5 times over the years, lol. Every time I see it it’s as though I’m seeing it for the first time and I save it again.

I do the same thing with buying avocados. I always think I’m out of avocados.  I am never out of avocados.  I go to the grocery store, remember I need avocados, grab some and then when I come home with them I see the fridge is filthy with avocados. Tons of them. I am literally never out of avocados. Regular Karen knows this. Grocery store Karen however is always convinced she needs avocados.

I don’t have Alzheimers. I took a test.

How to pin for Pinspiration?

Just pin whatever you like. What your gut reaction to a room is. Don’t spend any time analyzing and critiquing it. If you like it.  Pin it.

But what if that image is of a library in a Scottish castle with 20′ high ceilings, you say?? Doesn’t matter. Pin it anyway.

You may look at a room and like it immediately but when you really look at it you have NO idea why you like it.   The chairs are weird, the colours aren’t something you normally gravitate towards and when you really dissect it, there isn’t anything in it you’d  ever actually buy.


Keep pinning and pinning (or saving and saving images) and when you go back to look at the images things will start to make sense.  You’ll realize OH! Look at that.  I’ve saved 30 images of rooms that have a tiny bit of robin’s egg blue in them.  Or all the window frames are painted black.  Or all the rooms look completely different but they all have a piece of modern art on a rustic table in them. Whatever.

It’s when you gather everything together and look at it all.  THAT’S when what you like will start to make sense.

You just have to pay attention.

I mean, obviously if you’re looking at Pinterest (or gasp … actual MAGAZINES) for something specific like table lamps, then you’re just looking for lamps.  But if you’re looking for a broader type of inspiration. For the way a room flows or feels … that’s when you just go hog wild Pinning.

Weirdly I don’t Pin a lot of stuff.  I drag the photos onto my desktop and then save them in separate folders … on my computer.  So I’m recreating Pinterest on my own computer. For what reason? I have no idea. Maybe I’m secretly convinced this whole Pinterest/Internet thing is a flash in the pan and is close to imploding at any moment.

Like I said, I’ve been doing this for years so my folders are getting pretty packed with stuff.  When I really REALLY like something I also flag it.

Let’s take a look at some of my flagged living room inspiration photos.


Uch!  Nate Berkus’ Greenwich Village apartment from a few years ago.  That’s when I really started getting into gold velvet which I’m still pretty dreamy eyed about. I sent this image to a high end designer I know and her immediate reaction was she LOVED it. Her second reaction was to say that if an interior designer took all the pieces in this room and tired to sell their clients on it, most clients would say no.

If you really study the room some pieces seem to small, some too 80’s, some too bland, some too bold.  But put together? The create an outstanding room.

What I particularly love:  The chairs.

source unknown

Moody, moody, moody.  This is a room begging to be napped in.  And then to play with a Ouija board in.

What I particularly love: The ceiling painted the same dark colour as the walls.  That’s what MAKES this room.


Again Nate Berkus creating a room full of stuff I might not like (coffee table, two little runners) alone, but together it’s perfect.

What I particularly love: I’m a full-on sucker for bookcases, especially behind a sofa.

source unknown

ANYTHING else over this mantel and the room just wouldn’t be the same. I like this room. I have NO idea where it’s from but it kind of feels like an American trying to give a room a French apartment feel.


I remember when I first saw this room in Country Living 3 years ago. I had the horrible realization that I like country.  It was alarming to me.  I don’t like cutesy country but more of a clean lines country. More Americana than shabby chic.

What I particularly love: The little green plant in the brass bowl on the mantel. Seriously.


Remember when I said you had to gather a lot of photos to start to realize some of the similar elements?  Wall moulding.  I didn’t realize how much I would love wall moulding in my house until I put all these living room inspiration photos together.  If a room doesn’t have wall moulding it has some sort of plaster or marble architectural detail.

What I particularly love: Kind of all of it. The lamp with the classic Chesterfield, the antique chest with the propped art on it and the mantel. Those wouldn’t be the chair’s I’d pick but the reason the room looks so good is because of the balance and contrast they give to the heavy sofa.  If there were two heavy upholstered chairs across from the sofa the room would lose a lot of its appeal.



Again. This is the difference between a room that’s done by a designer and one that’s done by your average Joe.  Every single choice shows confidence the average homeowner just doesn’t have.  Yup. That’s a leather folding chair.

What I particularly love: The mess, the books, the magazines and the mirror.  PLUS the scale of everything.


This is one of those rooms where I kind of don’t like anything in it individually but I like the feeling of it.

What I particularly love: I just told you.  The feeling, lol.


This room was designed by one of Ralph Lauren’s proteges. So you  know he knows what he’s doing. The room has a lot going on.  Like super huge a lot of going on. But again it feels cozy and comfortable.  Even *with* what appear to be a billion foot ceilings.

What I particularly love: The chairs (which are obviously too big for the space but they said SUCK IT, who cares) and the TV easel along with lots of art propped around it.

Again here I go with the full on country.  It reminds me of the English cottage in The Holiday. I  mean it’s great and if you don’t think it’s great I’m going to wonder very much about your sanity. This is real life.

What I particularly love: Fireside dining. Wingback chairs.


This looks like the coziest of cozy English smoking lounges.  Is that even a thing? I feel like this room would smell like tobacco and horse sweat.  Which, if you’re wondering, is a good thing.

What I particularly love: The colours, the gallery wall and the funny little pull out wall sconces.

could NOT find source.  :( 

Here it is.  The room I Pin over and over again. I can barely even look at it I get so tingly.  It kills me that I cannot find the original source for it because I want to see MORE. I WANT TO SEE THE WHOLE ROOM!  What kind of sofa is in there?  What’s the coffee table like??? The lighting????  Based on this tiny section of the room I’d guess this is in Italy.  That’s a completely wild, gut reaction guess.

What I particularly love: All of it. Seriously. The black background portrait, layered with the bust and white matte art, over the mirrored wall.  The herringbone wood floors, the wall sconces, even the side by side matching wood baskets.

You  know what’s funny?  I always say I don’t like high contrast.  But most of these rooms and definitely the ones I love the most are VERY high contrast. White walls with black accents, or black walls with black accents and so on.

I would never have guessed or thought that based on my own personal decorating thoughts.  I needed to see all these inspiration shots to realize I do in fact like contrast when it’s done a certain way.

Going over the photos again I see I like black, white and gold with natural elements like stone, sticks, branches, plants or raw wood.  I did know that, but seeing so much of it in my inspiration shots really does bring it home for me.

I’m off to make a coffee ( I don’t need any photos to solidify the fact that I LOVE coffee ) and study my inspiration folders again.

Also I need to pick up some avocados.

Have a good weekend!



  1. JackieVB says:

    I found the link to the room you love – the room you pin over and over again. And now you can see the whole room:

    Keywords are in the link if you don’t want to click on the link itself.

  2. Nancy says:

    I really really love pictures of those dark moody rooms but actually being in one makes me claustrophobic and short of breath. I don’t know how to work that out.

  3. Heather says:

    Have you ever wanted to return to school and train as an interior designer? I think you’d be great at it. I love what you love; you’ve got a gift for knowing what makes a house a home.

    • Karen says:

      OH lord no! Lol. No. If I went back to school for anything it would be chef school. But that’s not happening either. :) ~ karen!

  4. Ardith says:

    You do seem to gravitate toward oversized chairs, fireplaces, velvet, honey/amber tones, conversational arrangements of furniture, area rugs, rattan touches…all great stuff. Really enjoyed seeing your selections, Karen, thanks for sharing. Cheers, Ardith

  5. Jill says:

    I love looking at some of my Pinterest folders to see the evolution of my style interests over the last decade. It is interesting to me to see where I was then verses now. I found your blog originally on Pinterest. (I don’t live in an area that allows chickens yet, but hope to change that in the near future. Your gorgeous chicken coop is what first drew me in. :)
    I, too, love mixing luxe camel colored tans with grays, especially deep charcoals. My personal taste usually has super bright loud colors popping off of the moody color palate in the way of art and throw pillows, etc., but I love it without as well.

  6. Tess says:

    About this room: “ANYTHING else over this mantel and the room just wouldn’t be the same. I like this room. I have NO idea where it’s from but it kind of feels like an American trying to give a room a French apartment feel.” It’s gotta be German…they’re burning books! Sorry, bad joke…too soon?

  7. Thera says:

    I have #2 and #4 on my Pinterest already! But love the other rooms too and recently did a thing for my dinning room, went over each dinning pin (a hundred at least) and figured out the common factors; farm tables with spun legs, mismatch chairs in either natural wood or white, floral curtains that match the table cloth, simple shelves on the walls, etc etc etc. Now I am working on making my dining room my dream dining room!

  8. Erica says:

    When I saw the last picture of the room you love so much, I thought, ‘oh, that looks like Karen’s house.’ That was before I read how much you love it. So good job! Your house definitely has the same feel!

  9. PegB says:

    Every single photo has gold in it. Whatever else you love, you are a gold digger! Oh, that doesn’t sound right. You are a digger of gold. Much better! 👩‍🦱👘👑✨🥇🏆⚱️💰

  10. linda in illinois says:

    OMG, you can search an IMAGE with Google? whaaaattttt???
    i have got to get out more..

  11. Monica says:

    I think my comment got eaten? Since the mystery of your favorite photo has been solved, here’s some info I found on the other two without sources:

    Dark ceiling, same color as walls:
    London home of a photographer husband and stylist wife, that’s available as a location shoot space.
    Jo Atkins-Hughes:
    Jo Atkins-Hughes:
    Location 78:

    Giant antiqued mirror over the black fireplace:
    Late 1800s Soho (NYC, not London) loft, home of UK couple Andrew Corrie and Harriet Maxwell, proprietors of OCHRE.
    Remodelista article about the place:
    Photographer is Ditte Isager:


  12. Marilyn says:

    I find it hard to stay abreast of my Pinterest boards and printing some of the ones I like best is a good idea. I think you’re onto something with the view to look at all for commonalities of what it really liked. Good idea.

  13. Nicole says:

    Steve at uses an art easel for a TV stand (5/3/11 post). There were some pearl-clutching comments, but I think it looks great!

  14. Susan says:

    I love Pinterest! Its an app that had me specifically in mind. I can spend hours on it. One board is called Colors and has mostly pictures with robins egg blue in it! I also have a file cabinet full of magazine clippings with everything from gardening, construction ideas, molding, furniture, dog art, bedrooms, kitchens, etc…and recipes. In one of them is an article of your home where I got your blog address. I’ve been collecting since I was 13 and its fun to look through and see how my tastes have changed. I periodically weed out pictures or articles that are no longer useful, outdated, or just unappealing. Or else I would be called a hoarder.

  15. Alena says:

    Ha! When I saw the first photo, I immediately thought “that looks like Nate Berkus”. I had to laugh when I found out I was right – I have seen a few pictures of his apartment(s) but not this particular one.

    I have this weird relationship with dark rooms (this is a reference to the dark room with the ceiling painted the same colour) – I absolutely love them (i.e. I love looking at them) but I cannot live in them. My vision is not perfect (since birth) and I always feel like I cannot see anything in dark rooms, like I am virtually blind. Long time ago, I painted my bedroom in a beatiful dark mid-dark teal (just the walls) and I had to repaint it the next year in a much lighter colour because I always felt like I should enter only with a white cane.
    Plus, I think if you paint the ceiling dark in low ceiling home, it will feel like an animal den. High ceilings (which, unfortunately, I don’t have) are a different story – especially if the room has very tall window(s).
    Does anybody else feel the same way?

  16. Tracy says:

    I ADORE Pinterest. I have so many pins and boards and love looking at them. I didn’t know about saving the images to my desktop though and making a folder for them. Going to have try that for special projects.

  17. p says:

    Wing backs with tufting look and feel better than basic ones. Says I ;)

    Karen, if you put the chosen Pinterest pics in a desktop folder, they are that much closer to actually being yours!

  18. Rebecca Holt says:

    Love the idea of the inspiration folder. I’m getting ready to redo the downstairs bathroom laundry room combo. It shouldn’t be a big deal but because it’s right off the kitchen and visible from the dining room and living room, it becomes a big deal. Right now the room is early 2000’s sage. Not sure what I want to accomplish so I’d better start looking for inspiration.

  19. Mary W says:

    Did you notice that in the mirror of your favorite room you can see the gorgeous crown molding? It is almost like a wall flower, hiding out but still wanting to be part of the party. That is what I imagine in your living room. Only with a tiny hint of natural color like the beautiful floors and other wood touches. Maybe just a bit-o-glaze in the deepest recesses. Or even the same effect but with stenciling. Google stenciling to see the amazing stencils that are available. My daughter did her entire walls with a beautiful sea foam green then stenciled very lightly an ornate sea foam blue damask over top. It is breathtaking but not over powering and I was amazed at the whole new world of stencils available.

  20. Michelle says:

    I love your humor, intended or not, in writing about these pinterest posts. I have a little bee in my bonnet about chairs though. I like them to be comfy. Might just be me, but in my house guests always gravitate first to my chairs over my couch. Maybe its the personal space they give and feeling of adultness versus being squished up on a couch together. Sooo, the room with the two uncomfortable wood chairs just doesn’t do for me. And the room with the folding leather chair lends me two theories: 1) It was unfinished and the designer was overconfident and threw it in there for balance, or 2) the owners just had their first child who uses that chair so as not to mess up the white couch. I’m too practical, so I could never be an interior designer.

  21. Kate says:

    Here’s the source of your favorite photo, with more photos of the rest of the room & the rest of the house:

    In fact, the link has a video tour of the house as well.

    • Nicole says:

      Dang it. I was hoping I’d be first with the link. Should’ve read the comments first. :D

      • Marjorie Kramer says:

        Thanks to all of you who left links! It was fun to see the pics and watch the video. Wow. I can’t imagine being able to design like that – every little detail.

    • Karen says:

      Ack! I can’t wait. I wonder why that image wasn’t searching properly for me in Google Image search. I tried. I swear, lol! Thanks! ~ karen

      • Lynn says:

        I can not say why your search didn’t give you results, but I do know what it happens a fair amount of the time to different people.
        In our family at least it does.
        As a result when we can not find something we ask others to have a look and then they send a link or visé versa.
        We have know idea why , we just found our own work around google 😉 .

    • Joules says:

      Oh my goodness…you are amazing! Those are some super sleuth skills you’ve got there! =)

  22. Laura says:

    I deep dived the internet for a leather folding chair. Great rooms, Karen.

  23. Paula says:

    I obviously have so much to learn about design. We have a new addition to our century home and I haven’t a clue what to do…sigh. I really like the country room with the beams (with the little green plant on the mantle), we put up beams across our ceiling and our room is white, so we have the bones but now what.

  24. Tine Lisberg, Denmark says:

    I just loooovee Pinterest :o)
    Where my husband just sit for hours on FB og play Candy Crunch, I surfe Pintrest and pin and pin and pin and dream of the day I can do some of it. I have just looked – I have 4096 pins on my board…wow…
    If Pintrest one day suddenly dissapear with all my pins, you can find me sitting in a corner sobbing.
    Pinterest is the most inspirational website I know – you never know where it leads you to new ideas…

  25. Shauna says:

    I’d like to live in that last photo! I did an image search on Google, and this name kept popping up: Jean-Louis Deniot. Although I didn’t see your exact pic, it looks a lot like his work, and some of the photos even have those gorgeous chevron floors. Might be worth a look.

  26. Katherine B says:

    I noticed Elle Decor shows a very similar apartment to your favorite – even the same light fixtures.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you! It’s not the original source but it is THE apartment!! The room is just styled differently. I prefer the styling in the photo I pulled but I still loveeee those sconces. WHICH as it happens, I accidentally found in a local store just yesterday. I was stunned when I was about to leave and they were right there on either side of the cash. ~ karen!

  27. Charlotte Tataryn says:

    How could there only be two comments; I am always at the bottom of several hundred on a list, which, frequently stops me, thinking you’re just not reading this far into it, that IT was yesterday, pretty much like now is tomorrow.
    I have two hundred avocados, 98% of them are frozen, but we will never NOT have healthy food, and then there is the 30/5o frozen bananas, which I buy whenever they are on sale, because I was brought up eating mushy bananas (we weren’t exactly filthy rich), I had no idea how to spell avocado, and I freeze bananas because I can only eat them in smoothies, along with my FROZEN BLUEBERRIES, along with the fresh from Mexico, ones I eat in my salad. I may one day turn blue, but hey, off topic.
    I have a hard enough time with Instagram, and the rabbit holes, but then I never PINNED anything on Pinterest, just got lost until I forgot what I was looking for. Inspiration, always, but I have the attention span of a gnat, and apparently want to TRY everything before I die, and let’s just say I’m not gonna make it.
    YOU definitely like gold, whereas, I am not a fan, but if brass counts (and it’s cheaper), I’m there. We are totally in agreement when it comes to the moody, black or dark ‘whatever’ it is on the, wall, and ceiling if I every find one that is 10′ or more. I like things receding back into dark colours, and if that is the furniture too, so be it. However, I live in a newer home than yours (’42), but it has some serious light restriction, so after my foray into dark wallpaper was over, and I painted everything a watering blue/green, including baseboards and ceilings, so that the broken up, tiny little spaces would read larger, and then put a very dark gray on almost all of the floors, the tiny spaces seemed part of a whole, and not so tiny anymore. I get your love of wood, natural objects and HUGE things above mantles. I have not yet found the LOVE it piece over mine, so a faux wood mirror sits there, being as large as an 8′ ceiling will allow, until something BITES ME IN THE ASS.
    Hope the coffee was good, I am spending another day with Marie Kondo, in my head, and addressing yet another cluttered space – Sally Anne may thing I’m moving in soon – as I’ve taken at least one house, complete with clothes, there already, just in the last while. I have your love of OLD things, but not just any ‘old’, and I hate trends, and theme’s, so have none of either.
    As always, although only the avocados made me laugh, I enjoy a good read, and you are that, if nothing else, and you’re plenty else, than just a good read.
    Happy Day Karen; it’s still f’n freezing outside, and driving is like ice skating, except no pointy things on the front to make you break when you are spiralling in an intersection, having just left a stop sign at a crawl.

    • Jennifer says:

      Wait.. you can freeze avocados??? Mind. Blown. And I thought it was already gone from when I found out you could freeze tomatillos whole a few weeks ago. I might need a whole new freezer! I always have avocados too.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Charlotte! I had to lock the chickens up because they were slipping all over their outside run. I didn’t want them to pull a muscle or break a leg or whatever a chicken might do in icy conditions. ~ karen!

  28. Shelagh says:

    I wish I could afford what I like …..

  29. MrsChrisSA says:

    Time to revisit my Pinterest pins! What a good tip! Thank You

  30. RMC says:

    Your favourite photo is French Rococo origin, not Italian. The mantel is has a cockle shell motif and feminine detailing in the doors.

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