We have been struggling all summer to figure out some updates that need to be done to our little summer cottage on the lake.  We love it here.  Our time here is spent building sandcastles on the beach with the children, reading that pile of books that collects on our bedside tables throughout the year, boating, and eating dinner on the deck with a glass of rosé and the sunset. 

The last thing I want to deal with when we are here is updates to the house but another one of our dining chairs broke and the sofa is covered in stains – It’s time!
Normally, a design project is the kind of thing that I take great joy in but when I arrive here, it just seems like an overwhelming and daunting project.  I realized this week that part of the problem is that   I don’t have a vision of what the new look for the place should be?  
It is currently a hodge-podge of old pieces that seemed to make their way here from other spots.  I can’t even bear to share a photo with you of the interior.  The house was built in the 1970s with a pitched roof, open floor plan and amazing views of the lake. We love the layout but it certainly could use some TLC.
So what do I do now?  Make a mood board!
It is the perfect way tool to help me make decisions when picking out paint and wallpaper and shopping for furniture.  I had to jump on it because we are headed to a local Antique Fair this weekend and I want to be ready to buy!
I set to work making the mood board earlier this week and it all just started to fall together.  I now feel so excited about fixing this place up and getting it ready for the rest of the summer and many more to follow. 
I make mood boards for everything from home design projects to my children’s birthday parties but the hardest part of it is getting started.  So hard!
They always start in a different way for me.  Sometimes there is an item that strikes a chord in me, it could be anything from a little plate to a piece of furniture.  Other times it is a color combination, fabric swatch or wallpaper design that jumps out as my starting point.  I always wait for something to  resonate with me and I leap off from there.

In this case, it was this fantastic seagull motif pattern called Yukutori, a block print wallpaper from Farrow and Ball.  It is perfect for here and the second I saw it I said YES!  That is it!  The inspiration I’ve been looking for!
Then I started browsing through their amazingly well edited selection of paint colors.  I found three that struck me as the colors we often see in the magical sunsets (although every single sunset is different!).  I took small screen-shot “swatches” of India YellowDrawing Room Blue, and Parma Gray and saved them to my desktop.
I browsed through our photos from this summer and picked out a few of my favorites and then started playing around on Pinterest for a little bit more inspiration.  This photo really stood out.
Isn’t it charming?  It sums up everything I love about this place…simple, elegant, relaxed with a dose of fun!  
The next step is setting up a collage format.  I like to use PowerPoint because it is so simple to arrange, re-arrange, fiddle with, etc.  A lot of people like to use photoshop or other programs with more bells and whistles but I like to keep mine simple and easy.  This is supposed to be motivating and exciting and to me that translates to user-friendly!
Now comes the really fun part: Shopping with out spending any money!  I love to visit my favorite sites and resources to pull items that would fit my dream results.  I’ll choose anything from any price point because, after all, this is a mood board, not a shopping list!  This is a place to dream, scheme and play.  This is where I’m bold and daring with colors and patterns!  I always like a combination of warm and cool tones to add rich layers.  I add the images to my Power Point and start playing around with them.  I typically start with more items than I need and then edit down to only my favorites.
Once I have a layout I like that I feel achieves the look I am after, I always put it away for a day (or two) and then pull it back out and take a second look.  Does it still portray the mood to me? Did I get the essence of it right the first time or do I need to edit?  This Lake Life board got a lot of editing.  It was a tricky one to put together but I tried to really keep in mind what our mornings, noons and nights were like.  I tried to think of the places and spaces here that I find most relaxing and inspiring, like the row of Adirondack chairs that I like to plop down in with a throw blanket and my morning coffee.  Now that I’m done with it, I feel like this:

Here is where I need your help and my friends at Farrow and Ball have generously agreed to let me reward one of you with up to 5 Litres of their incredible paint (there isn’t a designer in the world who doesn’t agree that Farrow and Ball makes the-best-paint-hands-down!). That is a big value and I can’t wait to give it away!  So, help me out here…

Leave a comment here or on my Instagram Post and let me know what you think.  I’d love to know your thoughts, ideas, suggestions and I’d love to see your mood boards!  If you make a mood board – could be for anything – include a Farrow and Ball paint color or wallpaper, post it on your social media sites, tag me (@KimberlyWhitman) and use the hashtag #myFABmoodboard, that will count for major points!!!  I want to see you be bold, experiment and play with patterns and colors to put together a dream board.  Let’s inspire each other!

Custom Painted Plates from Jacqueline Poirier – The Crazy Plate Lady

This post is in partnership with Farrow and Ball, a brand I love.  All opinions here are my own.

1 Comment

  1. Carlotta Lacy on August 5, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    I love that wallpaper. I agree perfect for a lake house.

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