Finding Design Inspiration
Often the first thought when designing a space is the colour you might like to use. Or perhaps you’ve jumped into the Pinterest scroll hole and are looking for rooms to inspire. Whilst these are of course sources of finding design inspiration, there is a whole untapped world of design inspiration at your fingertips.
Designers gain inspiration from many sources. They are inspired by the world around them. Glance around the room, wherever you are at this very moment. What do you see that inspires you?
Nature, history, magazines, art, architecture and fashion are all wonderful sources of inspiration. Whether you are planning to decorate your own personal space or you are working on an interior for someone else, the role of an interior designer is to find inspiration and turn it into a space that reflects the people who live there.
Today I wanted to share 3 places for finding design inspiration that you can use to start taking your ideas up a notch.
Finding inspiration in nature
Nature has always been and will always be the best source of inspiration in architecture and design. Mother nature is an endless source of possibilities providing us with infinite colours, textures and shapes.
Look to nature when you want to create clean designs that are welcoming and fresh. If you’re seeking a particular shade of green or simply want to create a natural environment that oozes with serenity and beauty, take a stroll through a park or visit a farmer’s market. Baskets of produce, the leaves on a tree and the grass beneath your feet can all provide inspiration for a colour palette that breathes life into your space.
If you’re looking for vivid tones that add drama and create a visual impact, look to the intense orange of a ripe tangerine or the luscious red of fresh strawberries. Walk along a secluded beach, look at the water, palm trees, birds, sky and sand. Even the combination of wood planks and steel legs on a beachside bench can help you visualize a natural look that will make a space more inviting. There are thousands of sources of inspiration in your own back garden if you simply open your eyes to discover them.
Not only does nature provide us with inspiration in colour, texture and shape, the landscape provides inspiration for incorporating silhouettes, shadows, lighting, mood and texture into design. As the seasons change, the landscape provides a never ending source of new and exciting ideas for finding design inspiration, allowing the imagination to run wild and creative juices to flow.
Find it in an inspirational piece
Have you ever walked through a shop and been captivated by a beautiful pattern? Perhaps it was a cushion cover, sofa, rug, artwork, window treatment or throw. Something about the design and tones instantly caught your eye. Often, we are drawn to gorgeous designs or a unique combination of colours that we would never have guessed would work so well together.
When it comes to choosing colours for a room in your home, fabric can be the inspiration for something fabulous. Patterned fabric can direct you to a colour scheme or design style for one room or an entire house. While fabric can often be the finishing touch in a room (cushions, throws, linens) it can also be the starting point.
The next time you are contemplating a new colour palette for a room in your home, do a little online or in-shop research for patterned fabrics (side note, most interiors showrooms are currently open by appointment only if you give them a call). Fabric is a wonderful foundation upon which your entire colour palette for wall paint, flooring, light fixtures and furnishings can be built.
I often use fabric swatches, rug samples, cushion designs etc. as inspiration for the colour palette, style and desired ambiance of a space.
Fabrics are used to create balance and harmony. Pull a neutral (or bold) colour from a piece of fabric/cushion design and use it as a main wall colour. Use other colours from the fabric for accessories, furniture or window treatments. The beauty of using fabric as your source of inspiration is that the designer has already taken the guesswork out of colour coordination for you. You know the colours work well together because you love the look of the fabric itself.
Finding inspiration in boutique hotels:
Make sure you have a mooch around some of the boutique hotels for lovely ways of finding design inspiration. The boutique bedroom look is very much a design movement of its own, and for two very good reasons.
Firstly, the boutique hotel is a night of escape to sumptuous surroundings of elegance and luxury, cleverly creating the feeling of being at home. It’s a personal experience and even though you’re in a hotel, it feels more like the ultimate guest room over at your designer friend’s place. There is so much quirky goodness often created by some super talented designers to totally captivate and inspire creations in you.
And secondly, have you ever stopped to take in how much needs to be crammed into such small spaces? They truly are a lesson in space planning to absolute perfection. If you stop to really notice, you will see many considered design choices to maximise space, lighting, storage, drinking, relaxing, reading, eating, sleeping, bathing, showering….. normally also in a fairly bijou space that doubles as the perfect home from home for a weekend. There’s so much to be learnt from boutique hotels.
Here is the jazzy inspiration we’ve taken from one of Kit Kemp’s eclectic design masterpieces, and the scheme the inspiration has helped us create.
There you have it... three (of many) ways that you can find design inspiration, create and elevate the designs in your home. So rather than thinking of colour first look to these areas and see if you can be inspired to create your own design masterpieces.
If you’d like to take your designs skills up a notch further, or get several more ways to develop your design ideas, then click here to check out the Ultimate Home Design Toolkit