DIY: Catalog To Wall

January 31, 2013

We always find it interesting to learn about how others gather inspiration – is it always from the usual places or, if we peer a bit beneath the surface, will a whole new world of ideas unfold? I think that is the case most of the time. Inspiration comes in corners and alleys, in many shapes and sizes and often hidden upon first glance though once found, you wonder how others don’t also see it? I wonder if you know what I mean?

DIY: Catalog To Wall

Take for instance, catalogs. Lots of us get them and are often inspired by the color palettes and patterns found in clothing. It could also be the obvious location, like an Italian square around a fountain or in an English garden. In fashion, surroundings and backgrounds can be blurred or barely noticed simply because the focus is on the clothing. It is in these shots that I’d like for you to pay careful attention. Go beyond the obvious and consider what you could extract from an inspiration standpoint.

I recently tried this exercise with my new copy of the Boden catalog, a fashion brand that is colorful, happy and feminine. In some ways though, it was cheating because the location for the shoot (at least most of the indoor shots) was in the home of my friend, London-based photographer Debi Treloar. In fact, I recognized it in their video right away shown on their home page – at least that is where it was last week. When the catalog arrived today, I dug in quickly to check it out – I’ve been to Debi’s a few times so I wanted to play a game of spot Debi’s cool house. Like all good fashion catalogs, the eye should immediately fall upon the fashion upon opening it – and a good fashion photographer will make that happen – yet try to look at the surroundings a wee bit to take away some decorating inspiration. You can do this in any catalog – especially those shot indoors – cafes, homes, shops, etc. Here are 5 decorating ideas that I picked up on immediately from Boden, via Debi’s home.

DIY: Catalog To Wall

DIY: Catalog To Wall

DIY: Catalog To Wall

DIY: Catalog To Wall

DIY: Catalog To Wall

Another fun exercise is, after you’ve shopped of course, to take the catalog apart at the seams (carefully) and display pages on your wall using washi tape and other elements you’d like to stick nearby for inspiration – a little hunt & gather. In the process, you may even find a pretty dress to order for Spring (oops!).

DIY: Catalog To Wall

DIY: Catalog To Wall

Now, what to do with the big mess on your table? Why not arrange everything on your wall in 10 minutes with washi tape? In fact, I thought to combine idea #1 and #2 above and use vintage wallpaper, maps and others misc. papers with pages from the catalog and look — now there is something fresh nearby my desk to inspire me until I’m ready for something new.

DIY: Catalog To Wall

I’m loving fresh green right now combined with mint, hot pink, yellow and turquoise so this is the palette I went with. Not only did a simple (free) Boden catalog give me 5 good decorating ideas, also for free, but it gave me images to arrange on the wall, free again, with things I already had laying around and viola! something pretty for my workroom without spending a dime. Okay, the dime was spent on a dress but still… (smile).

What do you think?

(images: holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply Valentina January 31, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    so lovely! Great Holly!

  • Reply Bohème Circus January 31, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I love letting wander my look at the backgrounds in the pages of magazines like you, but I also like to study the props and the decorators choice in movies. I like a lot when a film have a true aesthetic project. The choice of colors and objects of decoration are also a part of the story and the emotions of the characters. And I think that in life, for the decoration of our homes, it’s also a way to talk about emotions. The decor is like a perfume wafting through the air, it creates emotions.
    For my part, when I create associations of colors I think I try to translate emotions.

  • Reply Joanna January 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Looks cool!

  • Reply Jutta von Kreativfieber January 31, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Looks great!

  • Reply aga January 31, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Thank you very much for sharing this post with us!!!!!

  • Reply Lace and roll blog de moda January 31, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    LOVELY! kisses!

  • Reply Molly {Dreams in HD} January 31, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    looks great holly! i loved this as soon as i saw you post the video clip of it on vine. perfect inspiration board.

  • Reply Chloe Moon January 31, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I just love making mood boards from catalogs and magazines!! I need to get some washi tape because that looks too cute!! =)

    Btw I won your book from a giveaway from the blog This is Glamorous! I just love it! I won the Decor8 book and the workshop book! It is such a great read I can’t wait to read more! Thank you!

  • Reply Lauren January 31, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I just requested my own copy of Boden- I love beautiful catalogues! One of my current favorites is Garnet Hill, as they always seem to be shooting on location in some lovely country I”ve never been to. I made a long bulletin board to go right above my work station to pin all the pages I’ve torn out:

  • Reply Juliette January 31, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Fun fun! Catalogs really can have fantastic photos. I love the green w/the lime. We have a bit of that in our bedroom and I love it.

  • Reply Sammy January 31, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Super cute! I usually make inspiration binders with all of my magazines and catalogs.. but next time I might have to make a mood board that I can hang up like this

  • Reply R. Joyce January 31, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    I think this is an amazing exercise. I am going to do this in the near future. I am always pinning ideas on my message board.

  • Reply eeske // little box of tricks January 31, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    the flip*flop catalogue would also be really great for this! its made from beautiful paper and shows great colour combinations.

  • Reply Marina February 1, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Thanks for this inspiring post – great idea. I love the pink and white fabric in the top photo. I wonder if you could share the name/sources?

    Marina :)

  • Reply Amberly February 1, 2013 at 5:33 am

    Your posts are just too good. Such a simple concept but you really have to slow down to recognize it and DO it. I am loving that shelf with all of the turquoise vases (and I am thinking I need to figure out a way to find Boden in my mailbox)!

  • Reply Sharon February 1, 2013 at 6:49 am

    So fun. Looks like your walls have some texture. Do you find it hard to use washi tape on them and have the tape stay stuck? I can”t get the tape to stay on my similarly textured walls. :-(. Any advice would be most welcome.

  • Reply Desha Peacock February 1, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Yeah for Debi Treloar and Boden- my daughter has a dark purple velvet coat from there with red polka dots – you can’t help but be happy seeing her in it.

  • Reply Cyd February 1, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    This is beautiful, Holly!

  • Reply Margarida February 1, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    What a nice wall!
    The colours, the styling :-) and whenever you wish you can change it without too much regret, right?

  • Reply Dawn@joyfulscribblings February 2, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I love this! I have the same Boden catalog. Now I will look at it with new eyes.

  • Reply Hamlet February 2, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Just Pinned Some Pictures from here. Again Thanks :)

  • Reply fenny setiawan February 4, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Love them Holly. You are the queen of collage and mood board making.

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