Is There Such A Thing As House Foreshadowing?

It all started when I was going back through old posts looking for a link to something when I came across this old forgot-about-it mood board of yore. It was made about a month before we moved into our second house (back in 2010) and featured this board with the words “we have no idea what our future living room will actually look like, but today this is what I’m loving.”

I thought it was pretty funny that 20 months later, after completely forgetting about making it, we have lots of gray and green going on, and even specifically have a big gray sectional, a green rug, and the exact same zebra pillows (scored about a year later on clearance from West Elm after I completely forgot about them from the mood board).

Of course some things are different, like the fact that we have yet to update our old media cabinet (we’re dreaming of finding an old thrift store dresser to tweak these days) and we ended up with a padded ottoman instead of two wicker tables for the coffee table area.

Our curtains also have a subtle white and gray print instead of being green (which is probably a good thing since a big green rug + green curtains might be a smidge too Kermit much green for our liking).

Then someone pointed out what’s possibly the craziest foreshadowing coincidence of all. Here is a post about some homemade art that we shared back in 2008 (four whole years ago!) which featured “blown up color copies from a decorating magazine of two graphic green wool rugs which I then snipped into strips so both patterns could appear in both frames.”

How crazy is it that I ripped out pages from a rug ad in a magazine, blew them up 300% at Kinkos, and framed them back in 2008 – only to buy a rug that was crazy-similar to that forgotten rug-turned-art four years later?! I never would have made the connection, so thanks to the reader who reminded me of that old art project!

Then of course we have the deer head from the mood board, who looks surprisingly like Ramsey (who used to live in our bedroom, until he met an untimely end during the last day of book photoshoots). Rest in pieces dear Ramsey.

And we can’t forget the other faux horned creaturethat  I adopted from Hobby Lobby and hung in our kitchen during our little renovation (hence the scratched up paint).

He also makes a great fascinator in a pinch.

And in another planning post, written just four days after we moved into our current house back in 2010, we shared a few inspiration images, which included this page from House Beautiful:

Which featured an oddly similar quatrefoil mirror to the one we found at the home improvement store and hung above our sink in the master bedroom. Once again, we only realized the similarity after a reader said something like “so funny that the inspiration image you shared a while back had a similar mirror on the wall!”

As soon as we were reminded of that image it all came back to us! Haha. It was subliminal mirror messaging. And if you scroll back up to that page from House Beautiful you’ll also see a dark teal tone on that accent wall, which ended up being very close to the color that we chose for the back of our dining room built-ins (Benjamin Moore’s Dragonfly)…

… and our guest room (Martha Stewart’s Plumage).

Another sort of hilarious similarity was when we realized that those two oak trees that were growing in the left front quadrant of our first house…

… actually existed in almost the exact same location of our current house. It wasn’t as easy to see when we moved in since everything was bushy and overgrown…

But once we cleared stuff up it became a lot more apparent (although we do have that big magnolia out there too).

So what do you think? Do you believe that inspirational images that you rip out, art that you frame, and mood boards that you make before you even move somewhere can somehow end up subliminally influencing your decor choices years later? I guess you could argue that “ya just like what you like” (so the same thing that makes you tear something out might make you buy something that looks like that later) but it was just so funny to see that old forgotten mood board, homemade art, and tear sheet and realize that although they weren’t something I revisited regularly, they all seemed to contain some key things that weaseled their way into our house.

Oh and have you noticed any similarities between your first house and your second house that only later became apparent to you? We have a theory that some people buy the same house over and over again (with slight tweaks of course, like more bathrooms or bedrooms as your family grows). A perfect example of this is my best friend and her hubby, who had a three story townhouse (with a big media room in the basement, the kitchen/dining room/living room on the main floor, and all the bedrooms upstairs). They later looked at about a million houses before buying nearly the same three story set-up (right down to the large media room in the basement). Although they have two small kids, they don’t mind living on three floors, so they made that choice again – meanwhile we seem to be crushing on mid-century ranchers, so we’ve found ourselves in another one that even has similar oak tree placement. Haha. Maybe we’re all just creatures of habit? On the other hand, I’m sure there are folks who look for polar opposites when it comes to moving, so we’d love to hear about that too!


  1. Christine says

    What is happening to you is called manifesting! you are putting out to the universe what you love and are passionate about and it is delivering! You have a great connection going, think big!

  2. Ashley says

    Yes! Our first house that we built, the floorplan was a lot like the house I grew up in and our second house we built, the floorplan was a lot like the house my husband grew up in! We didn’t realize it until later though. Guess it’s in our comfort zone to have rooms in certain areas and certain layouts ;)

  3. Kristin says

    I tore out a photo from southern living of a home plan I loved many, many, years ago. 3 years ago my husband and I were looking for home plans and he found one on southern living home plans on line, it was the same one I chose years before I even met him. We built that house!

  4. says

    I think it just shows that we’re creatures of habit (or like you put it, “you like what you like”). Once something makes an impression on us, it’s not likely to go away (even if we forget about it later).

    We’ve not moved on to our second home yet, but we both grew up in 1940s/1950s houses that were small, cozy, and always a little crooked– and that’s exactly what the Little House is!

  5. says

    This is our first house, so I haven’t quite noticed anything from house to house. BUT I’ve been changing mood boards left and right because my taste has changed so much since the planning stages before we moved in.

  6. Alex F. says

    My boyfriend and I have that TV stand from the first mood board in our apartment now. He picked out since he was the one dishing out the beans for it and at first I didn’t like it, but seeing it in our apartment with everything else, I love it and it has great storage.

  7. says

    Fun fact – legend has it that Kermit was actually originally made out of curtains! I thought it was funny you mentioned your curtains would have been too Kermit. :-)

  8. says

    It’s like ‘The Secret’. Whatever you focus your intention on comes into your life-or some voodoo like that.

    It’s funny because while our houses have been very different, our current house is very similar to the house I grew up in, in so many ways.

  9. Amber says

    I recently found your blog from a link on pinterest. I love it! My husband and I are about to settle on our first house two weeks from today! My pinterest boards are full of pins for things that I hope to do with the new house. Your blog is such an inspiration. I can’t wait to move in and start some projects. Thanks so much for sharing all of your wonderful experiences!

  10. says

    We’re still living in our first house (and I plan on never leaving… ever), but I think its cool the similarities. You love what you love.

  11. Amy L says

    You know what you like. I started a design notebook from magazine clippings & catalog pictures a few years back (pre-Pinterest) & flipped through it after reading your post. It’s fun to see the consistency, foreshadowing, & evolution of design styles & preferences. I’m glad you stumbled onto your old mood board & for your observant readers who pointed out other similarities!

  12. Jackie says

    Speaking of inspiration, domino magazine has two special “keepsake” editions coming out. The first is out now. A second issue will be released in early September. And the former editors have started which just got picked up so it will be a larger online issue than ever before.