Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Inspiration

On Friday, I loaded the kids and the dog in the car and head to Iowa for the weekend. This was my first trip by myself with all three of them, but it went well. We planned on spending time with my mom, seeking out some fall inspiration from some of our favorite shops in northeast Iowa, and enjoying the beauty of fall. We accomplished all these things so I'll have quite a few things to share over the next few days.

On almost every visit my mom and I have together, whether it's at my house or hers, we usually end up going to at least one shop. Our favorite shops have a mix of antiques, repurposed pieces, new home decor, and gifts. You can find so many great ideas of how to use what you already have. Plus, it's fun to pick up a few new things here and there.

As the name indicates, a lot of the things you'll find in this shop are primitive, but even if this isn't exactly your decorating style you'll find plenty to love. Some of my favorite home decor pieces have come from this shop. They have a great mix of antiques, reproductions, wall decor, florals, and candles. I love to take a primitive or rustic piece to add a unique and personal touch to the more modern pieces I have in my home. An added bonus of this smells delicious!

After that, we headed to Independence, Iowa to The Little Red Schoolhouse and Distinctions.

These two shops are connected, but are on different ends of the decorating spectrum. The Little Red Schoolhouse has lots of primitives and country decor, while Distinctions has more modern pieces. I think this combination is more reflective of what "country" decorating is today. Most people's homes are more eclectic, and while you may have country touches likes antiques, rustics, and repurposed items, you likely have pieces that reflect what's  popular in today's home decorating as well. That's why a shop like this is great. You can get a little of each, put it together, and create your own personal style.

The next day, we headed further away and ended up at The Buttery in Elkader, Iowa.

We don't get to this shop as often, but every time I go there, I love it more. I think it's because I'm developing a better sense of my own decorating style, and this shop seems to fit me well. Like the best shops, it left me inspired to decorate my home. Not just for the fall, but for all seasons. Even better, it didn't inspire me by making me feel that I needed to buy everything I saw (though I'd love to do that), it inspired me to take what I have and look at it with fresh eyes. To switch things around, use things differently, and then add in a few new things that I love.

Besides my inspiration, I also took home one of those wooden owls.

I came home with a few new things and lots of new ideas for my house. I'll be tweaking some of the fall decorating I've already done, pulling out things from the basement and adding in my purchases to add some new life.

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