Working Through A Room Making Idea Fail.

We all have them.  Game changing (or should I say room changing) ideas that send your current decor into a tailspin that even Iceman cant pull out of.  You want EVERYTHING different.

About a year ago this happened to me.  I announced that I was redoing my living room and my main inspiration was Southwest.

This is what my living room looked like at that moment…not a bit of southwest to be found.  I needed a change.


I had some pretty set ideas on what I wanted.  The biggest thing that started the entire ball rolling was the plan to stencil my main wall with an awesome native triangle pattern.  (Actually I dont know if stencil is technically the right word.  I was going to stencil gold leaf adhesive to the wall and then gold leaf the pattern.)  In my mind this was SUCH a brilliant idea.  I had THE BEST stencil company in the world Royal Design Studios custom make a stencil for my wall. (if you are thinking about stenciling you will 100% want to use theirs.  I PROMISE.  My current fave is their Rattan stencil)

It took me a while to get around to doing it and to make a long story short, it was not awesome.  It was imopssible to tell where the adhesive was, the edges were far from a clean line and it took for.ev.ur. to do it.  I even ordered some gold stencil creme to stencil the pattern on, but by that time I had come to love the plain white walls and wasnt quite sure I wanted to give them up.  (I cant seem to find the pictures of the stencil but you can see it on the wall during this video)

So now that you are caught up, here is where I am today.  I LOVE the way my living room is coming together.  But I am sad that there isnt more tribal southwesty goodness going on.  In fact all I have right now the is even remotely ethnic is my Aztec Chevron rug (made that name up, thankyousomuch),  this awesome pillow that I scored at Homegoods in AZ when I was working on Kelsey’s room, and the leather and sisal woven rug underneath the desk that goes against everything I believe in.

Southwest Inspiration Living Room Design

They are all graphic (which is the whole reason I chose southwest,  not because I am obsessed with peach, sea foam green and howling cartoon coyotes.) The problem is that there is just not ENOUGH.

So this week that is all changing.

I think I have figured out a way to rock the animal hide canoe a little… can’t wait to show you guys!  Make sure you follow me on Instagram so that you can stay updated!!

So here are my tips to working through an idea fail.

Working Through A Design Fail

1.  Failure is not an option.  Ever.  Just because something isnt working out the way that it should doesnt mean that you should paint the wall and give up on it forever.

2.   Step away for a bit.  We all know the feeling.  You have stared at that DANG wall/dresser/room for waaaaay to long,  its like when you have to keep writing the same word over and over and over and it gets to the point where you are asking yourself if those are in fact english letters and if it is still spelled correctly.   Dont try to figure it out if you are frustrated, just give yourself a break.

3.  Remember what inspired you in the first place.  For me it was the graphic pattern that I loved.  What was it that inspired you to get so excited you couldnt sleep?  Make a list if you need to.  Sometimes putting things on paper helps you narrow your focus.

4.  Talk it through with someone that you trust.  For me its my amazing Mother in Law.  She is a perfect sounding board because she has great taste and really gets my need to push the envelope.  Utilize your friends on Social Media,  listen to the ones that you trust and dont discount the ones that arent your cup of tea, it might trigger your inspiration somewhere down the line.

5. Get back on the horse!!  Sometimes the only way to figure it out is through trial and error.  So try try again!

Do you have any triumphant ends that you want to share with the world?!  Leave the link in the comments so we can all check them out!

Love Your Guts


  • SHUG IN BOOTS {Beth} 15.01.2013 at 19:06

    I think that stepping away for a bit is definitely key – as it is in any creative process. It’s easy to drown in your derailment.

    I do like what you’ve done so far! :)

    Happy Tuesday!

  • 15.01.2013 at 19:14

    This is such good advice! Stepping away for a bit is something I find very very important.

  • Dharma 15.01.2013 at 19:52

    DOOD! I feel like my whole durn house is in some sort of otherly-world dimension warp factor that has paint colours starting in one room dictating shelf options in another making me want to recover pillows in another. Living in open concept is rough, man! LOL – For the record, I dig where you are going….keep going.

  • Carrie 15.01.2013 at 19:59

    I’m in the middle of trying to write down what inspired me to gut and remodel an entire house!! Sniffing Drano?? So I had to contact Jilly and Mia (thanks for bringing us together btw!) to come check out my place again and help me talk it out. I agree that walking away helps.

  • Mara and Jae 15.01.2013 at 20:09

    i love your new ideas for your room…..but i totally love how your room was before! you can come do that in my house now that you’re removing it from yours 😉

  • jackie jade 15.01.2013 at 20:49

    can’t wait to see the finished room! agreed sometimes you have to just step away and figure out the direction you’re going instead of just the specific items you thought were going to work… good luck!!!

  • Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking 15.01.2013 at 21:34

    Can’t wait to see what you do! I’m doing my basement in southwest, so far I’ve painted all the doors turquoise (hubby is NOT thrilled!). I am looking for blogs with people doing southwest design but I cannot find even one. Do you or your readers know any?

  • VintageRomance 15.01.2013 at 22:30

    It’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up when things aren’t looking right. I’m definitely going through that stage right now…i’m on my way but no where near what I like yet. So inspiring so that’s why I nominated you for The Very Inspiring Blogger award on my blog today… im sure you get that a lot but your blog def. one that inspires me! Just wanted to share with you!

  • Rags2Riches 15.01.2013 at 23:11

    So I have been reading your blog for a while now and I have never commented, but… I love you!!! I can’t even tell you how perfect your timing of this post was for my life right now. I have spent the last week painting, making a new headboard and shopping for new lamps, rug, window treatments, ect… for my master bedroom. I got home from my shopping trip today and wanted to LIGHT THE ROOM ON FIRE!!!! So I decided I needed to just shut the door and go read my favorite blogs for a while and maybe try again tomorrow. Two minutes later I come across this post, so thank you! Tomorrow I am going to return everything that I bought today and start from scratch. I had totally gone away from my goal in the first place. Thank you for your inspiration!

  • Danee 16.01.2013 at 01:14

    Mandi my dear, I wish you had divulged your idea before you tried. I could have warned you. About 15 years ago I redid my hutch with black freehand 4 inch wide black stripes and gold leaf circle (polka dots). They were VERY rustic looking circles. I too had rough, very rough, edges and couldn’t find the adhesive and I was only doing a hutch. I know it sounds hideous but it looked great for a long time- it is now a solid color. I still giggle every time I see your components because girl, they seem so scary. But after I saw that bedroom makeover with the gun safe that somehow you ROCKED I have faith that it will look cool. Maybe…No of course it will…I think……it WILL.

  • eranfaraway 16.01.2013 at 05:51

    I love your honesty. I can’t wait to see what you do! My gut told me to tell you to hang a navajo blanket or some sort of SouthWest inspired tapestry on the wall. It’s really none of my business though so feel free to ignore me!

  • Julia Konya 16.01.2013 at 13:00

    I love this post and can’t wait to see what you do! You always have the best ideas!
    Trial and error is key. I just had one of those projects but I finally finished it.

  • Jean @ 16.01.2013 at 13:44

    I think talking it over with friends who get “design” really helps! I am diggin’ that sofa…I want it…but not in orange!


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