Finding inspiration for those not inspired

I frequently have conversations with friends about finding inspiration, or more to the point, about where I find my inspiration for interiors. In all honesty, I’ve always been a creative person, and to me, it’s like breathing. But I am well aware that this isn’t the case for everyone. I often have people tell me that they don’t know what they want, but know it when they see it. But this, my friends, is where inspiration is born!

When I talk with people about space design, I often have people bring tear sheets, images they have pulled from magazines or pinned on Pinterest, making it clear that they don’t actually have to be of interiors, but can be images of anything that speak to them. It could be the color of a tulip, or the emotional feeling an images gives them. What I’m really trying to do is get a better understanding of what they connect with—what speaks to their soul. Because ultimately, we want our homes to reflect what is in our hearts.Image

photo credit: paperfashion 

I also ask them how they want the space to feel, creating a list of adjectives to add to the pictures. Cozy? Chic? Traditional with a twist? Contemporary and high contrast? Their words are just as important as their images. What someone tells you about how they want the space to feel tells you about how they want to feel when they’re in it.

I then lay out their images and words on a table, looking for a theme. What people often view as disjointed, “I love this style, but I also love this styles,” is often not as contrary as they believe. There is almost always a universal factor that ties the images and words together. It may be a color palette, an appreciation for rooms with high art impact, a love of sumptuous texture, but it’s there, that tie that binds. You just have to have all your ideas in one place to see it.  

Using the theme then allows me to search out materials and pieces that fit this collective idea. I create a space with an online program like Olioboard (which is free), including furniture, wall colors, etc, and take that along with me when I shop. It’s an easy cheat sheet for making sure I’m keeping on point.


But ultimately, one of the greatest sources of inspiration is to listen to your intuition. Okay, I know this sounds a little new-agey, but you know what you like. You may just have a hard time taking those ideas and putting them into action. Pay attention to what calls to you. Bring those things together and find out what unites them. Use that to guide your choices.

Your inspiration is there. Hopefully these tips will help you find it. 

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