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When I was a girl, I spent a lot (ok, A LOT) of time creating inspiration boards from my mom’s magazines and catalogs. I decorated my Barbie Dream House (aka a moving box) with shoeboxes covered in fabric for beds and sofas, pasted wallpaper remnants on the cardboard walls and cut rug samples to fit Barbie’s floor. And when I wasn’t decorating her box house, I was drawing out floor plans for the future home of my dreams.

Remember awhile back when we talked about remembering the girl we used to be and daring to rediscover what we love?

Today I needed a break from the yucky grown up stuff like paying bills, so I decided to go play with my Barbie Dream Box House Polyvore. Times have changed, I have not. It was as fun as ever.

Hmmm…I think Barbie needs some curtains and a lamp. I’ll be back later, I need to go play some more.

my polyvore


  1. Becky K.

    As a teenager I painted my room so many times my parents said the strongest wind wouldn’t knock it down. I was also rearranging the furniture all of the time.

    Fun stuff!

    Have a great time playing!

    Becky K.

  2. Kathy

    I love Polyvore! Rhoda at Southern Hospitality introduced me to it and I had been looking for something just like it.

  3. Emily

    that looks like fun. i have never considered making a mood board because you know what? it needs to show stuff that is at my local goodwill for it to work LOL.

    You are so wonderful, Melissa. And I can see you fixing up your Barbie house when you were a girl. I remember playing with barbies but i have to say that until a few years ago i couldn’t have cared less about how houses looked.

    I’m a remodeled woman. HA!

    • Melissa

      Em! You could totally find stuff at the goodwill once you get inspired by your inspiration board. No, it won’t likely be an Anthropologie chair but it could have the same shape. You can do it, Em. I know you can!

  4. Debbie

    Melissa, I used to play with my dolls as a kid. I would line them all up on the window seats in my bedroom. And in the midst of my dolls was …my little sister. LOL. I used to teach them.

    But I also used to love to day dream about the house I would live in one day. I cut out magazine photos in a file. When I grew up and we had our house done I pulled out my file of things I love. It really helped.

    I need to link to the post you mentioned as I don’t think I read that one. I find I really am such a child inside. It’s a good thing my husband is too. (at least with me) :)

  5. flowerlady464

    Oh my gosh! I had a cardboard house I decorated too! I was so lucky because my Dad had a paint and wallpaper store so I had an endless supply of discontinued wallpaper books to use. I still LOVE the smell of fresh paint and wallpaper.

  6. heidi

    What fun! I’ve recently come across this site as well. When I was 14 or so my parents built a new house. I discoverd my love for design (at least appreciating it!!) flipping through the many magazines they had collected to aid in choosing items for their home. First, I would choose my favorite floor plan and then flip through magazines and choose interiors to match all the rooms in the blue prints. I got so caught up with it!

  7. Karen B

    The only babysitter I remember was a girl that came over one time. She made a doll house with me out of cardboard. It was awesome! As a teenager I was very into decorating my room. My bulletin board was especially important, along with the posters. It all had to be just so. Should’ve been a sign.

  8. Lisa

    I love it! My twin sister and I painted boxes and put them together to create our two-story Barbi dream house. Oh, those were the days. Thanks for the memory.

  9. sandy

    My sister and I built a double-decker Barbie house in the garage of the new house we just built. My dad built the house (he still lives in it) and we used all the wallpaper scraps, carpet, paint – it had a double garage. All the neighbors came to play in our homemade house – they brought their own Barbies. We made our TVs out of little boxes wrapped in foil. Drew pictures on the walls.

    My sister and I still talk about it! Thought about a post on it, after my kitchen is done (and scraps are lying around):)

    Fun! Hope you’re having a great week, Melissa! Hugs!

  10. Donna S.

    I have great memories of decorating a huge cardboard box, adding floors, rooms, windows, carpets… oh it was so much fun. I can’t wait to do this with my daughter when she gets older.

  11. Kathleen at Set to a Tea

    I just discovered this site yesterday! Sooooooooo much fun!
    And your post made so many fun memories come flooding back.
    Ah the grand old days of cardboard dollhouses and rubber cement!

    Have a tea-rific day!

  12. Heathahlee

    I used to have so much fun trying to figure out what I could use for Barbie furniture. A conch shell made an ooh-la-la couch…a shoe box lined with fake sheepskin was the ultimate bed, and a rocking chair that had been made from horseshoes welded together made the sturdiest of chairs. Memories… : )

    So, is Polyvore very user friendly? I was rummaging through it a few minutes ago and it seemed very helter-skelter…is there a certain area I should look for to make my “room”?

  13. Tracy

    I so want to try this! But too much boring stuff–like my job–keeps me from finding time. And if I knew where my childhood sketchbooks full of dream house floorplans were, I would totally post them!! Do you still have yours?

  14. Jessica

    I also made little inspiration boards by ransacking my mom and grandma’s decor magazines and furniture catalogs! It was so much fun. I’d fill notebooks with rooms I created.

    And as for my Barbies… they lived fabulously. :) My two cousins, younger sister, and I would spend more time creating our Barbie dolls’ living spaces than actually playing dolls. We would turn the top of every piece of furniture (especially dressers and bookcases, we loved those) into rooms. We cut art out of catalogs and taped up on walls. We used carpet remnants for flooring. And you wouldn’t believe all of the little decor accessories we had.

    Long after the age of “playing dolls” I would still help my littlest sister decorate her Barbies’ houses and “apartments”. Those are the best times of my childhood… and now I get to decorate life-size. :)

    Loooove this post. Brought back happy memories!

  15. LexyB

    Cute. But what sort of word is polyvore? It sounds like a meat-eating creature that wears polyester …

  16. teresa

    Sweet- I remember doing similar things- fun.
    Thanks- you always help keep things real and love that you give us the okay to dream-

  17. Rebecca

    We had a big refrigerator box that we turned into a two story Barbie hotel! Boy, I remember playing with that thing forever! Love your net-playhouse! I think you SHOULD do some more playing and get those curtains and lamp! lol….

  18. janice

    I did this with showboxes and my Barbie sized dolls and also developed the pioneer/gardener in me by setting up camp outside with Jane West, the cowgirl doll, and her plastic horse! When I was 16, my sister got married (we shared a room until then) and the first thing I did the day after the wedding was strip off all her taste in wallpaper, dismantle her bed, move out all her furniture and paint out the whole room white, apart from one feature wall!

  19. Chele

    We all need a break from the grown up stuff! I know I do right now! :)

  20. Kristen

    I love that chair and table. As I try to decorate my new home (ok, apartment), I’ve been feeling a little scatter brained. I should definitely create an inspiration board. I bet that would help pull everything together. Thanks for such a great idea and for sharing your inspiration!

  21. Deanna

    I always was moving furniture around and my girlfriend and I would go to the local department store to walk through the furniture department talking about what we liked and didn’t like! I really think that was the early signs of my love of decor and making my home a warm and welcoming place!

  22. Deidra

    I remember creating beautiful dream homes out of Legos. And I was forever redecorating my room – wallpaper, paint, fabrics – my mom let me go wild in that room…in a decorating sense, that is.

  23. Bugs & Sunshine

    Hey there! Today I was talking about change on my blog. I’m sending folks to your blog for a great post you did on household duties. Lovin’ your website! Do you mind if I linked folks over to you from my site? If you’d rather me not, I’ll take it off :)!

  24. AnNicole

    Isn’t Polyvore such a fun escape?! And the possibilities are endless…you can decorate Barbie’s home and then create an entire wardrobe for her. Love it!

  25. The Bella Girls

    When I was a girl I love, love, LOVED making inspiration boards. Inspiration boards of my future home, my future wedding, my future kids room, et cetera. I also enjoyed building collages of the perfect boyfriend. LOL. What good times.


  26. Blessed Mama

    I just started wondering the other day about where my love for all things “HOME” came from and it was fun to remember things that I thought I had tucked in the back of my memories. I think I have been inspired for my new blog post. THANKS!

  27. Janet

    Oh, I love Polyvore. I haven’t “played” for awhile. Now I am gonna have to go and visit and my laundry won’t get done.

  28. maureenlynne

    i loved decorating my shoe box house as well as a child…..maybe that’s how i came to appreciate the space we live in, that we call home.
    thanks for sharing, maureenlynne

  29. LuLu

    I’m in the mood to do an inspiration board, and doodle a quite evening away! Gotta love Barbies house!

  30. Tamara

    I’m trying to get back to the things I love so that I remain inspired and passionate! Thanks for the little reminder :)



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