Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Where do you get your Design Inspiration?

These days, people are much more decorator savvy than ever before.  There are so many places from which to draw inspiration for design, it can be somewhat overwhelming.   I've complied a list of the some of the most popular ways design aficionados scratch their creative itch.  These are some of the newest, some of the more traditional and some of the best places I've found to get home design ideas.

1.  Pinterest - This has been a huge game changer in the way we can get ideas for home decor.  As a Designer, I used to tear out photos from magazines, print pictures from websites and put them all together in a spiral binder.  Many spiral binders.  But today, my book shelves are empty (well no more binders, anyway).  Instead, I have a Pinterest account with over 50 boards and more than 5000 pins, subdivided into any design topic imaginable and available for review with just a few clicks.   And not only can I reference my collection, I look into everyone else's too!  Talk about information overload.

2.  Design Blogs - You're reading one now.  Many of the Pinterest "pins" link you directly to design blogs.  Professional Designers, DIY-ers and all around creatives have made the internet a cornucopia of design information.  From professional installations to your neighbors house, you can truly learn from everyone.  Complete with how-tos, what not-to-dos and resources.

3. HGTV - Now, many will agree that HGTV is not what it used to be.  I personally prefer the shows featuring interior designers (Divine Design, Sarah's House, Secrets from a Stylist) to the home selling and flipping variety that tend to dominate their current programming.  That said, HGTV is still a decent source for design ideas.  Fixer Upper and Sarah Sees Potential are two shows that are able to satisfy the house hunter fans, while still showcasing good professional designers.  Here's hoping they get some more variety in their line up soon.

4.  Magazines and Books  -  At this point books and magazines are considered to be pretty "old school", but I think they still have their place when it comes to interior design reference.  Though a few of my favorite magazines are no longer in print (ex. Blueprint, InStyle Home, Domino on a monthly basis), those like HGTV, Dwell, Domino's quarterly releases are still a great place for ideas and inspiration.  Books are also good resources.  Good design is good design whether it's new or not.  
Just as in fashion, the classics are always in style, so flipping through an interior design book, even if
it's 10, 20 or more years old can be very inspiring....even if it's a reminder of what not to do.

5.  Stores and Store Catalogs - There are many store brands and catalogs that have created a very clear aesthetic and a very recognizable look.  Ikea and Pottery Barn, to name a few.  Many people would describe their style as being "very Pottery Barn" for example.  I happen to love Pottery Barn and Ikea, but the important thing to remember when it comes to brands is it to mix it up.  Be sure to inject yourself into the space.  You want your house to look like a home and not a showroom.

6.  Model Homes - Before Pinterest, Blogs and HGTV, there were model homes.  I have toured countless Model Homes over the years, not because I was in the market for a house, but because I wanted to check out the floor plan and interiors.  Coincidentally or maybe not, my first professional job, right out of college was at a design firm specializing in Model Home Merchandising.  I was part of the "install team" and I basically got to shop for accessories and set up Model Homes.   It was more of a styling position, than a design position, but it was really fun and I learned a lot!  So anyway, Model Homes are still a good place for inspiration, especially when you are deciding on kitchens, bathrooms and finishes.  

7.  Art or Fabric - Most every designer has run into a client that doesn't know exactly what they want, but they do want to make sure their sofa size flea market oil painting, photograph of their Great Grandparent's wedding or 4 foot ceramic gray hound is in the space.  My opinion is that art should inspire a space, but not dictate the direction of it.  For example, just because a painting is mainly green and gold does not mean that your color scheme has to be green and gold or if the frame is an antique, that all of your furnishings should also be antique.  But the right piece of art or fabric can be a good jumping off point.

8.  Your own Closet! - When it came to decorating mine own house, this was the greatest nugget of wisdom I ever heard.  Design school included.  Simply look at the clothes hanging in your closet.  If it's a color or pattern you like to wear, odds are it's a color you like to live with.  

Where do you look for design inspiration?  Was there something I missed?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

No comments:

Post a Comment