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A “Progress Report” Style Collage {A Very Useful Tool for Decorating Your Home!}

by | Feb 29, 2012 | Decorating Inspiration | 27 comments

A "Progress Report" Style Collage {A Very Useful Tool for Decorating Your Home!}You know how confusing it is sometimes when you are evolving a bit in your decorating style, trying to work with what you have collected over time and yet still adding in the new?

If you like to use what you have or decorate over a longer period of time, you might know what I’m talking about. Especially those of you like me who love so many different things and head off on a whim in all directions.

I’ve been kind of in that place lately, wondering how I was going to bring it all together as I work my way around the house, decorating bit by bit. Wondering what should stay, what should go, what might work, what might not. Wondering what is missing, what I might want to bring in.

And wondering exactly where I’m headed and if that is even where I want to go!

Lots of wondering.

But then, I had an idea I thought might help me. What if I made a virtual style collage? Not an inspiration board, like I made below. But something to show me where I already am?

A "Progress Report" Style Collage {A Very Useful Tool for Decorating Your Home!}I made an inspiration board for my office (above, using Polyvore) because I wanted to see how I might put that room together using old and new accessories and furnishings. But for my progress report style collage, I wanted to use photos of the parts of the house I’ve already done, to see if I’m on my way to a look I like or if I need to make some adjustments.

So, that is what I did. I created a “Progress Report” Style Collage! Maybe there is a better name for it, but it is late and my mind is mush.

To get started on it, I went through photos of my home and looked for some areas of the house that I like or already have worked on. Then I started putting them together on a Pages document (I have a Mac and it has a program called Pages). Then once it was laid out, I started looking at the collage, thinking about what I liked about the style as a whole, what I didn’t like so much, and things I think I need to add to round things out. It was kind of fun and it really helped to see things as they actually are and things I wanted to change.

I haven’t come up with all my answers to my design dilemmas yet, but it is fun playing around with it. I even might add photos to the board as I think of new options I might like for pillows, new fabrics and furnishings, things I plan to use in other rooms. I hope to use my style collage as a spring board to get the whole house vibe just right.

Besides using Pages as I did, you could do a style collage even if you don’t have photos of your home by using Polyvore like I did for my home office inspiration board.

To create a Polyvore, you just look around Polyvore for photos they have of furniture and accessories similar to what you already have and add them to your board. It is super fun.

How to Make Online Inspiration Boards and Collages

Here are a couple of other ways to make some great looking online collages with your photos: 

How to make a collage in Pixlr via Blogging with Amy

How to make photo collages with Picasa via Skip to My Lou

Anyway, the photo collage I made is bigger on my computer, but I had to shrink it down kinda tiny for you to see in a blog post. It is much easier to study when it is a bit larger!

I hope you make your own style collage! In fact, I just thought of this,  I could do a style collage linky sometime and we could link up to see each other’s boards? Thoughts?

Are there other easy ways of making virtual collages that you know about?

Friday is the last day to vote for blog nominations in The Homies before Apartment Therapy chooses the six finalists to compete! Thanks again for your support of me and some of my awesome fellow blog writers and BFF’s!! It means so much!


  1. Suzy

    I’m going through exactly the same process as you on the main level of my house! This is a great idea…but, alas, I don’t have a mac. Guess I could use Picasa though! When I was trying to figure out art for my dining room, I cut and pasted pictures to a Word document. It really helped with my visualization of different art pieces together. I could even print it and take it with me while I shopped!

    • Melissa

      Yes, that is a great idea to take your inspiration print out with you shopping! Love that.

  2. Jen

    This is a great post. I kind of feel like I’m in te same place. My style has evolved and I’ve tried to ignore it for as long as possible bc I don’t want to redo my whole house, now I’m redoing rooms and trying to update others. The progress report is a really good idea, m going to have to try this!

  3. Mimi

    Melissa, Just voted for your blog. Best of luck! What a great idea. I have never done one of these, but it makes a lot of sense. I might just go old school and take some pictures of different parts of my space to see what each area needs.

    • Melissa

      Thank you so much for voting! I appreciate that a ton!

  4. Susan

    I’m just sad that picnik is going away – I used that tool to make collages for my blog (although I haven’t done it as an inspiration board). I need to look at the other options!

    • Melissa

      Me too on Picnik, SO bummed. I’m still in denial and couldn’t even bring myself to talk about it. lol.

  5. Heather

    Now if I can only figure out how to do more than just type on Pages, I’ll make one of these for myself.

    • Melissa

      Oh yeah, that is a learning process. It is pretty easy though once you figure a few things out. Of course, that is how it is with most things HA!

  6. Tabitha (From Single to Marreid)

    Thanks for the tutorial – we’re getting ready to redo our bathroom and kitchen and then we’re turning around and trying to sell our house since we’ve found what we think is our “dream home.” I always wanted to know how to do those collages but haven’t figured them out yet so thanks again for the know-how.

  7. Jennifer

    Melissa, this is such a good idea. My style evolves every 5 seconds…it’s hard to make things flow because I like SO MANY DANG styles/colors/fabrics, etc etc etc. This will help keep me on track!

    • Melissa

      It really is helpful. It is hard to stay on track when you love a lot of styles and colors, so I’m excited about using this method!

  8. Amy

    You can also use Kaboodle to make styleboards. I’ve used that site on countless occasions to design rooms. :)

  9. Sandra

    Thank you for sharing the links =)

  10. Barbara

    I’ve been using Picasa, including their collage method, for all my photos, and am very pleased. If I can stumble my way through it, anyone can. So, don’t morn Picnik. Just jump in.

  11. Noelle

    Thanks for all the information!!!!

  12. Jenny

    This is a great idea! It’s funny how the little things can throw us off track. Right now it’s curtains, which my husband picked out without consulting me. I was so sure of the direction in which I was going, but every time I look at those I get so confused! I will have to try this.


    Hi Melissa, these are both great tools and ideas. I just did two post on some techniques that I use to use with my design clients to help myself and them to zero in on what they truly loved so when they did make a decision they felt self assured of their choices. here are the post if you would like to read them, they are fun exercises and as long as you are truly being truthful you will come up with all the elements that you need to have in your home to make it personally YOU!! Have fun,

  14. Dana at Cooking at Cafe D

    Love your idea – and I’ve had a version of that going for a while now.

    I have 2 Pinterest accounts. One is CafeD and the other is just a plain old personal one.

    One the personal one, I make Boards of my current home – divided by room – showing things I already have. That way, I can visually see my home at a glance :)

  15. Jennifer M

    Thank you for this post! I, too, am sad about Picnik. I’ve tried Moodboard on the iPad, but it’s not exactly what I’m looking for. Can’t wait to try these! Having a hard time trying to blog on the iPad, too, if anyone has suggestions! Can’t link pictures…could very well be user error, though. ;)

  16. Bettsi

    Hi Melissa! This is really a great idea. I am also evolving into a style that is more authentic to me, but at the same time, I do want to incorporate elements that are fresh while staying true to me. I love this idea because I think it will give me an opportunity to view my home more objectively. Thank you so much for this!

  17. Phaedra

    I just love the style collage sites! Especially PolyVore and Pinterest! They are so fun to use and I find when I use them it really sparks my creativity. I have been away for awhile but am back to blogging and browsing blogs. This has always been one of my favorites and I see that has not changed. I have been following you so long I feel like I know you. Great job on your latest projects. You are true to your word, I find your blog very inspiring. Great to be back in BlogLand : )

    • Melissa

      Welcome back! Good to see you again! xo

  18. Tara

    I’ve never even used Pages. I guess I’m missing out, huh?

    I really love the dog in your style collage. He made me laugh.

    What I really wanted to say, though, is that this is a great idea. My living room is a conglomerate of free-to-us furniture and kids’ toys, and it’s been bothering me as of late that we don’t have a style or even a unifying color in the space. This sounds like a great way for me to figure out what I’d like to be going on in there.

  19. Natalie

    YAY!!! I have been searching the internet just this week on this very topic and poof… your post in my inbox! Thank you for sharing your knowledge! Going to give it a try and see what happens! Maybe I can figure it out! (got a Mac for Christmas!) I love your blog and recently subscribed to your girls! And, I enjoy their’s as well! You are blessed! :)
    Thanks again!

  20. cate

    I love the idea of a style collage. I also love the chalkboard in your home pictures. I’d love to get one for my hallway. Did you make it or purchase it

  21. Imelda

    Thank you so much Melissa for introducing me to making photo collages with Picasa….now I’m hooked and enjoying every minute of it!:)


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