Using an Inspiration Piece to Design a Room

I suck, but I have a plan.

I know I promised you I was working on my door and base moldings, but I haven’t gotten very far. That project is stuck in Deliberation. That’s the part of the process where I stare at the project extensively and contemplate doing it. I know. I suck. It’s possible for a project to be caught up in Deliberation for weeks. Or even months. I know this delay is grounds for dissolution of our contract, (You know. The one that says you will keep visiting my blog as long as I keep posting stuff about my crappy house.) but I’d like to offer you this incentive post to ensure your loyalty. It’s my design plan! (Well, one of them, anyway.) I also want to talk to you about using an inspiration piece to design a room. Seriously, guys. This is a trick you really want to know about.

This is a mood board I made for the living and dining rooms. I was inspired by… okay, you just saw a talking peacock, so why don’t you take a wild guess? A peacock, you say? You’re so smart. (Of course you are. You’re reading my blog.)

WTF is an Inspiration Piece?

I’m a big believer in the inspiration piece as a design aid. Wtf is an inspiration piece? Well, it’s something that… um…  inspires you. It can be anything; not just decor stuff. A rug, a vase, a photograph, your favorite shirt, your turkey on rye, or even the painful pretty bruise from where you cracked your foot on the (@#$%&!vacuum. The idea is, if you are drawn to it, then those colors are working for you. Now you just need to figure out how to transfer them to a room. 

An Easy Trick for Picking Colors

But what if you suck at picking colors? One way to “cheat” (I won’t tell anyone…) is to use a color palette generator. This one from Big Huge Labs is pretty cool. You just upload a photo, like this one:

Then the website chooses a color palette for you, like this one:

Flower Palette

Just stick within that palette and you’re good to go. You can’t get much more simple than that! And if you need more simple than that, then you’ll have to just find some money and hire someone to do it for you. (If you figure out a way to ‘just find some money’, please let me know.)

My palette includes a teal/turquoise blue, olive green, brown and gray. I may introduce other accent colors down the line, but this is my starting point. Peacock feathers are pretty. Just look at all the colors in there…

Now You Need Swatches

Once you’ve got an idea of your colors, you need to collect some swatches. Or, maybe all of the swatches. It’s very important to me that I find the perfect shade of blue. You might even say it’s vital. Because, to me, it is. Vital. Here’s every teal/turquoise paint swatch within a 25 mile radius of my crappy house:

I’m not really in any rush to choose. If you’re familiar with my reality, then you know that painting my dining room would be a bit of a challenge right now. And if you’re familiar with me, then you know I can’t resist making a rendering. Here’s a rough idea of what’s going to happen. Someday…

I’m really sorry that all of my current projects are stuck in Deliberation (I’m contemplating as fast as I can…), but reading this post to the end constitutes your acceptance of my incentive offering and our contract remains binding.

I know we only talked about the color part of my plan, but I have lots to tell you about the design aspect as well so we’ll get to that in a future post. That’s a reason to come back. Well, that and this legally binding contract of ours… You don’t want to mess around with that. Breach of fake contract is serious. Best to be on the safe side and subscribe.

***Time Travel Links! I eventually did finish that trim, my pretty dining room is all finished, and this is the post where I painted my living room.

Subscribe and I'll love you forever.

Every time you share, an angel gets their wings.


  • Lindsey

    Your rendering is beautiful! I feel you on that couch, and I know the pain of paint swatches. I think your vision is going to come along in time. Good luck and keep posting!

    • My Crappy House

      Thank you! I think I’m going to have a hard time finding the couch I have in mind. I really don’t want to compromise on the color. I may have to take up upholstery…

  • John @ AZ DIY Guy

    I like your design process. I’ve found plannning time pays you back tenfold, so don’t worry too much about the current lack of progression. I’ll bet you take off like a rocket before you know it.

    As to the rendering, it’s awesome. What a great tool! For some inexplicable reason, I looked at it and thought, You are part of the rebel alliance and a traitor.. Take her away!

    • My Crappy House

      I just read that in Vader’s voice. I thought “A New Hope” was appropriate for some reason

      I’m actually pretty used to living in this state. It’s just that, now that I’ve taken my journey public, I don’t want anyone to get bored with me!

  • Angel C

    Love the posts, thanks for the tip on the generator. For iphone peeps the Sherman Williams app – ColorSnap – also does this, but isn’t as thorough as the one you posted.

    For the couch try CCC (Comfortable Couch Company – It’ll be about 3k but the couch will probably outlast you and I think they could probably get any fabric on earth and if it doesn’t exist they have little elves that will make it for you – for a small fee of course)

    My question is, what program did you use for the rendering? I NEED that program. Can’t make a decision unless I SEE something in place, therefore after 2 years, my house looks like I moved in last week – but dirty.

    • My Crappy House

      Well, I just went to and I really like the Chesterfield! Thanks for the recommendation. I don’t mind spending that much on a couch (but no more than 3k!) if it’s exactly what I want and I know it will last. I could use little elves around here. I wonder where I can get those.

      As for the rendering, 3D is what I do for a living, so the program I use is very powerful and also quite expensive. (I use 3D Studio Max which costs more than my future couch will…) I did a search on Amazon for you and this one looks promising: I have not used this program, so I can’t endorse it, but the reviews are decent and I would imagine the learning curve isn’t too steep since it’s marketed for people who aren’t 3D professionals. And it’s only $60!

      I had a man come over last weekend to estimate central air. The first thing he said was, “Oh, did you just move in?” And I had to tell him no. It’s been almost 3 years…

  • Katherine

    Haha. No, it’s been three years. Two for me, and I haven’t even started! Love your color choices. I’m re-upping my contract.

  • judy

    I swear you have saved what is left of my existence! I will no longer feel dumb, frustrated, indecisive ………………etc. I am and will forever be DELIBERATING every damn thing that has to be decided-so everybody leave me alone. Can’t you see this is hard work. Thank you.

  • Charmaine Ortega

    I like everything you write! AND…I love the ideas. I have a chandelier you might be interested in that is Murano and I bought it in Rome…but it just doesn’t work in my house…anyway..keep on DELIBERATING! it’s the funnest and most important phase!

    • My Crappy House

      Oh my! A Murano glass chandelier sounds molto costoso! I’d love to see it. The contact tab above goes to my email, if you’d like to share it. I lurve chandeliers!

  • Susan

    Love the rendering too. I immediately picked up on the kitchen bar stools and countertop/island – – which I understand will come much later down the line. Most interesting part – – Star Wars on the big screen. Let the force assist you.

    • My Crappy House

      Good eye! Those counter stools are probably the ones I will eventually buy (assuming they’re still available…), but the counter top is just a place holder. I’m leaning towards quartz right now (which could change – my kitchen is a long way off), but I haven’t chosen a color. I’m sure I’ll be doing a kitchen rendering when that gets closer to becoming a reality. May the force be with us all

  • Le

    It’s beautiful. I love the framed out ceiling. We will have to celebrate once you are done and have a Star Wars marathon!! Pencil me in for 4 years from today! =P

    • My Crappy House

      We have to have a marathon way sooner than that. I have to introduce my nephew to Star Wars!

  • dbmojo

    Great post! Brings back memories of Zebras
    Seriously, love what you’re doing with the Peacock inspiration. And those renderings – nice

    LoL when ppl say “did you just move in?” Moving in is a l-o-n-g process ;p

    • My Crappy House

      OMG for me, moving in is taking YEARS! I’m planning a yard sale for June. That’s when I’ll finally unpack the stack of boxes in my basement and probably sell everything in them because I’ve forgotten what I own!

      How is your zebra-free space coming along?

  • Lynn

    Love the color palette tool and your inspiration. It took putting 16 big paint patches on my great room wall before I found the right color for me. Wouldn’t you know it: patch 16! Good luck!

    • My Crappy House

      Haha Murphy’s Law! It’s always the last swatch… I think I’m narrowed down to 2, one of which is the last one I added… And that’s the one I’m leaning towards…

  • Amanda

    I was thinking about breaking our contract, but the Star Wars has convinced me to keep holding on. And all those teals and blues… Aaaahhhhh GORGEOUS!! I’ve lived in my house for three years. I have one room mostly done.

    • My Crappy House

      Oh, I’m so glad you decided to abide by our contract. I would hate to have to file fake suit! I’m starting to see more and more teal out there – it’s like they found out what I was up to and now it’s trendy! (Yes, I strongly suspect trends revolve around me.) I do wish I had gotten paint up on my walls before the masses, but it’s my own fault for taking so long. Now it’s going to look like I followed the trend instead of starting it, but we all know the truth…

  • Monroe Luebbering

    I’ll right away snatch your rss as I can not in finding your email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

    • My Crappy House

      Thanks! I do have a subscribe link below every post, but I’ll add your address to my mailing list myself. If you get sick of me, there’s a link to unsubscribe in every email I send. Which, sadly, isn’t that many…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *