Retirement Remedies: The Look For Less, Follow Up to Picture Perfect

Remember this inspiration photo I shared along about last year?  And how my own look evolved from that to this:

As a sequel of sorts to my 'Picture Perfect' post, I don't completely avoid lovely photos.  I try hard to squelch the jealousy and instead use those pictures to inspire my own pursuits here at home.  I started with the first photo, evolved to the second one and later this spring, I managed this:

Well this is my version of the look.  I currently have a nice crop of basil in one pot and I keep trying to get mint or parsley to grow in the bucket nearest the steps...Not having much luck with that at present I'm afraid.

Now looking at the first photo, I note that the containers are combined in a closer formation, something I should do in my own version of the flower bed.  My bed is slightly irregular in shape just as the inspiration photo, and well mulched.  I got that right as well. I didn't have flat stones to use as bases for the pots but I did put down bricks to use as lifts.  There's not quiet enough variety in height in my items either, but over time perhaps I can alter my look a bit further.  I also need to tweak my plantings so that I have more texture and color than I do at present.  These are things I can easily work on without spending a great amount of money. In fact, I've moved the containers closer to each other already.  It allowed me to roll the water hose up at that end of the bed and not have it lying on the lawn.  Water hoses never seem to make it into inspiration photos...

Another way I use inspiration photos is to try to beef up my wardrobe.  I start with a Pinterest or Polyvore photo such as this one:

Then I take pieces I have already in my wardrobe and put them together like this:

You'll note that I don't have the gray flats nor did I have the green bead earrings (or nail polish) but I did have a green glass necklace and bracelet and the textures of the Inspiration Photo purse is balanced by the texture of the wide ruffles on my own purse.  The greens used are very similar in color as well and so while the look isn't exact, it is very similar.  I created the look for less using what I had. 

You can do the same in décor as well.  I admit, most of my décor inspirations and my realities are worlds apart.  I can seldom find exactly what I wish to recreate from an inspiration photo in an affordable version but now and then I manage to pull off a look that pleases me even if it's not as closely related as my garden areas or my outfit inspirations.

I do the same with my hair and makeup inspirations as well. If I see a photo I like, I try to recreate a similar look.  My current hairstyle is not an exact duplicate of the inspiration photo I carried into the salon, but the short cut is close enough and flatters me and my facial features.  I like my current style so well that I chose to carry it through the cooler months, which I've not done before, preferring to let my hair grow out when it's colder.  Two years later, I am still very happy with my look and don't have current plans to change it.

A few years ago I walked into a department store with lovely table settings.  I was blown away by the aqua colored glasses and chargers with white plates on the table...And boy did I want that look.  It took perhaps a month or two but I found at a dollar store an acrylic charger in the same translucent aqua color and acrylic stemmed glasses.  I snapped them up in a heart beat and for $8 soon had my table looking almost as lovely as that pricey one at the department store if not exactly the same.  I only had Grandmama's set of white ironstone plates and not fine china but it was close enough.  It made me smile every single time I walked into the dining room, because of course, being so pleased with it, I kept the table set almost all the time...I spent a lot of time washing, drying and resetting that table, but it was worth the little bit of happy it gave me.

So the next time a photo, a mannequin, or a table setting catches your eye, rather than let envy get hold of you, try to decipher what is attracting you.  Then  determine how you can use that attraction to create something similar in your own home or wardrobe.  Let it be a source of inspiration, not a tool of punishment!


Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

Your garden is looking lovely-just my kind of garden! I should look more
for inspiration too -I lack imagination sometimes. Too bad though we can't just put in a app what we have and then they give us a new way to display it!

Have a blessed day

Anonymous said...

Good ideas. thank you. When I was talking yesterday about when I had no $ for clothes try to keep as nice as possible..I did work on not looking frumpy. :) I might have left that impression. Later as I said, though when I could start to get some things to add to what I already had I had lost my fashion way. Styles had changed and so had my body! :) I didn't know how to dress for this body and with the styles out now. Actually I had also lost my way on what books to pick out and such. It took a while but now I can do that again too. Enough on this.
I love the galvanized look too. We got one horse trough and use it in the garden. Lots of buckets and such in use too. You gave me new ideas for their use though through the articles where you talked about them. So I am tweaking them. I hope in this heat I have a garden left when it finally cools . Many are having this problem. We did put the shade cloth up in some areas and that has made a huge difference.
Stores don't have the big windows for window shopping like they did years back. Some though do have those life like table and such displays you talked about. I sure like to check them out too. I love also to look at those decorator magazines or even the cooking magazines and really study the picture. They use old and new things combined a lot of time and although I may not have those things like you did I have enough to get the look I want. I looked around a while back and realized that many of my home accessories were not 'me' now. Plus a few I was just tried of as they had been used all over the house for years and were worn out. I had other things in the garage or cupboard that would fit our life better...why wasn't I using them? As a bonus the places got emptied a bit. Step one with hopefully more to follow.
When you walk around model homes think. They usually do not show a tv. Your house has one. Where would you put it in this house if you got it!! Is there Really enough room for a couch the size you need? Your bed size? so many homes new and old we have seen through the years look Great! I fall in love with them...then I Really look and think.Yes my bed would fit but what about two dressers and night stands? Where will the towels be stored in that bathroom? One thing I do love is looking around at the model homes is their window treatments. Lots of times it is so simple but looks so professional. Of course I like a blind added and most of them are just a short piece of material done somehow and very open windows. You have tweaked your home this way and that and found many ways to compensate for what you feel is not right for you. We all have. It is never ending. Our lives and ages change and so we tweak again to make it work for us now. Same goes for our wardrobes I guess.It is all rather a bother at times ....... but one I love. :-) Sarah

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Great post Terri..
I love your garden, you have done a great job.. Hope your herbs live..
Have a blessed day.

Debbie said...

Great post! I love trying to recreate looks that I see somewhere. :)

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