Have you ever looked at home decorating magazine or watched a design show on HGTV and wished you could make your own rooms look that good?

Design is not always about expertise or even an unlimited budget, but more about taking inspiration and making it work for your own space.

That is the philosophy behind Ditto DiY.

Once a month, beginning in May, nine very different bloggers will attempt to recreate in their own homes a project or design element inspired by a haute couture design selected by the (uber talented) Darlene Weir of Fieldstone Hill Design.

Silver Painted Yard sale tray @beautyandbedlam For the Love of Painted Yard Sale Trays: Ditto DIY

Edited to Add: My first month’s challenge is complete. Head over to see my love of painted yard sale trays.

As far as my own decorating style is concerned, I’m definitely a culmination of varying styles, and just like my Frugal Fashionista wardrobe, I am comfortable in just about anything. Yet as I browse my Pinterest boards, I find I lean towards  Shabby Chic, Vintage, Cottage-y, Pottery Barn style, with a hint of polished casual, so what in the world kind of style is that? Anyone?

My dream room showcases painted walls in a light hue, a white slip covered sofa (yes, I am still looking for one), a crystal chandelier  and  pops of color, such as turquoise, green and yellow, thrown in everywhere.  Yes, I adore that look, and will attempt to redo one of my rooms like that this year.

My biggest challenge for this series will be to try and streamline all my finds to bring a bit more  elegance to my rooms. I remember when sweet Darlene, mentioned that she never buys anything cute.  Not that she doesn’t think others should, but “Cute” doesn’t fit Darlene’s more glamorous style, and that decorating tip really stuck with me.

Decide what you love and stick with it.  That’s a bit of my problem. I love most everything, and have definitely bought too much cute over the years. Now that our children are getting older though, my desire is to eliminate some of the cute clutter and incorporate more casual elegance.

On the other hand, my biggest strength is that I can sniff out the deals everywhere and I can find nearly anything for my home on a strict budget. The majority of my projects will include thrifted items, and my goal will be that everyone can afford what I present. There may be a bit more work involved and it may mean some sanding, painting or thinking outside the box, but together we can achieve a beautiful home on a thrift store budget.

Over the years, the one thing I have yet to find from my second hand treasures is a Pottery Barn (or look alike) sofa in great condition. I am still on the hunt, but that may be an investment I make soon.

In addition to Darlene, the participating bloggers include:

Ruth @ Living Well Spending Less
Cindy @ Skip to My Lou
Jen @ Balancing Beauty & Bedlam
Edie @ Life in Grace
Rachel @ Surviving the Stores
Karin @ Trophy Mom Diaries
Lauren @ I am THAT Lady
Kelly @ View Along The Way
Melissa @ The Inspired Room

Be sure to pop over to each of these fabulous ladies’ sites to find out more about their personal style, as well as to discover their own decorating strengths & weaknesses!

So here’s what happens next: Monday, May 6th, all nine of us will share our inspired DiY projects, while Darlene will provide expert design tips on incorporating the featured design element into your own space. She will then present our inspiration photograph for the following month. The truly fun part will be seeing what different interpretations of the same photograph this incredibly eclectic group comes up with!

After you’ve had a month to see what Ditto DiY is all about, we will be inviting you ALL to participate! Beginning in the first Monday in June (and every first Monday of the month after that), all you with blogs will be able to link up. (Non-bloggers can share your pictures on our Ditto DiY Facebook Page!)

Be sure to tune in Monday, May 6th to check out our first Ditto DiY projects.

Won’t you join us? I’d love to have you challenge yourself with these fun projects?

And now, without further ado, here is this month’s inspiration:

ditto DIY

{ditto} DIY

This month’s Inspiration, selected by our interior designer:

A chic painted tray and vanity vignette, from the home of nina bergsten, photography by marcus lawett.

The {ditto} DIY Challenge:

Create your own painted tray and vanity vignette.

Designer Thoughts:

“Study the image above, and be inspired by the sophistication and simplicity of this design. The attention to each detail adds up to a beautiful vignette. “