Interior design, like many forms of creative art, is often as much a product of inspiration as it is of skill and knowledge. Every day, in unexpected corners and overlooked spaces, a world of design possibilities awaits discovery.
As interior designers, we’re frequently asked: “Where do you find your inspiration?” The reality is, inspiration is everywhere, from everyday scenarios to sweeping landscapes. We sat down with one of our interior designers to unveil the secrets behind their sources of inspiration.
Nature: The Unfathomable Muse
Nature remains an inexhaustible wellspring of inspiration for any designer. It is a realm where Mother Nature consistently delivers, whether through the rich colours of a sunset, the almost mathematical patterns of animal print or the ever-evolving textures that come with the passage of seasons. These natural marvels provide an array of colour harmonies, complementary patterns, symmetry that echoes nature’s perfection, and a balance that mirrors the equilibrium found in the natural world.
Architecture: The Blueprint of Inspiration
Architecture can be used as an incredible source to ignite the imagination and inspire a design concept. Consider spacious urban warehouses, transformed into stylish living spaces with an industrial aesthetic. The open layouts, exposed brick walls, and expansive windows often inspire a rugged minimalist look, whilst the charm of a Cotswold cottage nestled in the serene English countryside can evoke a softer approach, guiding us towards earthy colour palettes and rustic textures that encourage the cosy ambiance of country living.
The architectural diversity of a cityscape can also provide a rich source of inspiration. The bustling urban environment indulges the senses with vibrant street scenes, skyscrapers with sleek lines, bold graffiti artworks and eclectic urban lofts—elements that can all contribute to an assortment of interior design ideas.
Books: Turning Pages Into Designs
Beyond the enthralling stories and informative non-fiction, the tangible elements of books – typography, cover design, and illustrations – can all shape design ideas. Publications like ‘The Kinfolk Home’ offer valuable perspectives on timeless design principles and insights into fellow designers’ work. Coffee table books such as ‘YSL Catwalk’ and similar titles serve as handheld galleries of design excellence. They not only showcase the visual evolution of iconic brands and fashion but also inspire the fusion of fashion and interior design. Through their beautiful photography, meticulous attention to detail, and artistic content, these books provide fresh approaches to combining styles from diverse creative domains.
Travel & Culture: A Journey Across Time and Space
Traveling immerses us in a vivid tapestry of architectural styles, décor, and designs, each crafting its unique narrative through colours, textures, and patterns. Picture the dynamic streets of Marrakesh, Morocco, where every corner radiates an electrifying source of inspiration. The bustling marketplace, ornate architecture, bold hues, and intricate textiles converge to create a perfect recipe for an exhilarating design palette. Yet, shifting your focus to Japan will reveal an equally captivating yet strikingly different energy for a design. Japanese design effortlessly blends tradition and modernity, achieving a delicate balance of simplicity and sophistication. From serene gardens to elegant architecture, every element in Japanese design embodies harmony and a profound respect for nature. These qualities serve as the foundation to inspire a design that encapsulates serenity, uncluttered elegance, and a deep connection with the natural world.
Social Media and Pop Culture: A Digital Design Playground
In today’s digital age, an abundance of inspiration can be found in social media and pop culture. Platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok offer a wealth of creative ideas and trends. As these platforms host a global collection of interior design influencers and trendsetters, even just a quick scroll through your feed can spark an innovative design concept. TikTok, with its quick videos and trend-focused community, rapidly turns out new colour schemes, DIY hacks, and viral trends that catapult us into new ideas daily. Pop culture can also be seen to shape design choices, from the drama and grandeur we all dreamed of in Bridgerton to the 80s nostalgia we loved in Stranger Things. The evolving landscape of social media and pop culture ensures that design inspiration is only ever just a click away.
Art & Fashion: The Intersection of Style and Space
Art and fashion, two realms known for their vibrant expressions of creativity and personal style, provide a boundless source of inspiration for interior design. Art pieces, in their diverse forms, can guide the choice of colours, textures, and forms in space. From the sweeping strokes of an abstract painting to the intricate details of a sculpture, art can influence rhythm and balance in design.
Similarly, fashion, with its ever-evolving trends and timeless styles, is a rich resource. A walk down fashion week runways or a quick browse through magazines like Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar can offer a variety of patterns, colour combinations, and stylistic eras. The aesthetics of iconic fashion houses like Chanel or Gucci often inspire the sophistication and elegance reflected in high-end interiors.
From the colour blocking in a Mondrian painting, to the drapery in a Greek sculpture, to a print depicted as the new big thing by a fashion house – every piece of art tells a story that can influence and trigger a design concept.
Inspiration, for an interior designer, is omnipresent. It’s in the infinite beauty of nature, the richness of diverse cultures, the pages of evocative books, and the innovative realm of art and fashion. This ability to find inspiration everywhere is perhaps the most valuable tool in a designer’s toolkit.
But it’s also worth noting that inspiration is not always found in grand or majestic settings, it can sometimes be found in the magic of mundane moments. Everyday life can provide us with abundant and unexpected design inspiration. As sculptor Anish Kapoor once said, “There’s a wealth of information in even the simplest things”.
In need of more design inspiration? Take a look through our portfolio.
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