I love inspiration boards, whether digital compilations, Pinterest boards, or physical boards to pin things onto. I've always had one in my office, but lately it had become so overcrowded that rather than inspire me, it made me feel a bit anxious (I wrote a little impromptu post about clutter-free surroundings and mindfulness last night). So, on a rainy Sunday (just the best for trying to take nice pics, yeah? Not.) I decided to freshen up my board once and for all.
This was the starting point. At first glance I did kind of like the abundant look (probably why it got like this in the first place!), but it was just too much stuff. There was no cohesion, or real purpose for the board.
I began with taking everything down, which was super weird. It also revealed how wonky my boards were underneath it all. Never mind eh. These magnetic boards are from Ikea, I've used two here, but I wish I had more space to create a proper monster-sized board.
I then divided all the existing stuff into piles based on their colour & tonal quality, and the type of items they were (photos, memories, cards etc). It became clear quite quickly that the reason the board had gotten out of hand was because it had become more of a collection of memories, rather than a curated place of inspiration. I love all the photos that were on there, and all the personal notes (like these cute stickies my friend Susanna used to write back in the day when she sent me videotaped (yes, I said videotaped) episodes of Big Brother UK, so that I could keep up with what was happening at a time when I lived in Finland for a part of each month. Those were the times. When we hadn't even heard of digitally downloading TV shows, and when Big Brother was still a super exciting new concept called ‘reality TV'.
I wanted to keep some memories up on my board, but some of them were not that visually interesting, like this little note in the corner of a card. So I stuck some pretty images on top, thus creating a new piece which fitted into my colour scheme.
I laid all the stuff I was considering down on the floor, just to see how they flowed together. This wasn't really the final arrangement, just an exercise in getting the tones right. Not all of these made it.
When I started pinning things back, I wanted to keep them straight and organised, so that it will be easier for me to switch things around. I want to use the board to test new ideas and plan colour schemes, and that will be so much easier to do now that the board is not a huge explosion of stuff.
I did leave one of the old sticky notes up. I needed a pop of colour, and it was the perfect thing. And now I can actually see what it says, when there's not a whole collection of notes pinned up there.
I just had to add some baby pictures of Astrid & Sofia. They did fit the colour scheme after all…
It adds interest to have some variety in the height and texture of different items. The polaroid gives some depth, while the little magnetic frame keeps things from looking too two-dimensional.
Using a variety of different magnets helps to bring a bit of texture, too. I did consider going with just one type of magnet to keep things super tidy, but I gave into my magpie tendencies here.
Some tips for curating your inspiration board:
1. Try to keep to a cohesive colour scheme. You can re-create your board for different projects, or even seasons of the year, which will keep you thinking of new ideas and helps you realise different ways to visualise things.
2. Keep things straight and evenly spaced. Having a clean layout will help you take in all the different elements (think Pinterest) without being overwhelmed. It will also make switching items that much easier.
3. If you've received cute cards, cut the back off the card off. That way your cards sit more evenly on the board, and are not too heavy for smaller magnets. You can then collect the backsides of cards with the notes into a folder or a scrapbook, where you can read the messages easier (it's easy to fill our lives with too much clutter, so only keep ones that have true emotional value to you).
4. Combine items that are too plain into a collage with other bits, like images, creating a new piece that fits into your scheme.
5. Move photographs of friends or family into frames or a photo album, or make a book out of them. They deserve to be displayed properly.
6. Do keep a couple of mementoes up to make your board feel personal, but make sure they fit within the colour scheme.
If this post inspired you to tackle your own board, you can download a free 8-page worksheet with tips on how to curate a cohesive board. Have fun!
As an Inspire Your Inbox subscriber, you can download this worksheet from The Library.
(Hint: you can sign up in the green box at the top of this page, or if you're already a subscriber, you'll find the password at the bottom of every email).