Now I know my ABC’s of decorating: I is for inspiration

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Do you ever wonder where interior designers, artists or furniture and fabric manufacturers come up with their ideas?  How do they choose a color scheme, for example, or decide on a particular style or pattern?  While everyone is different, the answer is usually “inspiration”.  Designers, like artists, writers and other creative people usually find inspiration in many different areas.  For example:

  • Nature.  Regardless of where you live, you are surrounded by nature in some form.  It could be the colors found in the sunset that inspire a palette for your kitchen or something as simple as the green leaves on a tree and their contrast to the brown bark that become your home’s library color scheme.  Colorful blooms in the garden, the glistening blue of the ocean or the colors of changing leaves can spark an idea.
  • Artwork.  From a soft and ethereal watercolor to the vibrant pops of color in an abstract painting, artwork is always inspirational. Stroll a local art festival or take a day off and visit your local museum for the specific purpose of studying colors and color combinations.
  • Model Homes.  Model homes provide an opportunity to see how other design professionals have pulled together fabrics, furniture and paint to create a home that flows from room to room.
  • Magazines.  This is an obvious source of inspiration but you are not limited to shelter magazines for all magazines feature colorful ads that can be inspirational. However, those that focus on interiors in particular provide a wealth of design inspiration by sharing beautiful rooms that have been created by designers and decorators and local tradespeople.
  • Your own neighborhood.  Take a leisurely stroll through your own neighborhood, or one you would like to live in, and see what catches your eye.  Take note of details like accent colors, shapes in the garden and even seemingly simple items like house numbers and mail boxes, along with paint colors, and see how they work with other homes in the community.
  • Travel.  Another obvious source of inspiration, when designers travel they pay attention to not only local attractions but also to architectural styles, color trends and local culture.

Regardless of where you receive your inspiration, keep in mind that the goal in designing and decorating any home is to make it livable and comfortable for those who occupy it and to reflect the personality of those who live there.  What inspires your design decisions?

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