You’ve got a house or a flat? Good start. You know you want it to look effortlessly stylish yet homely. OK. So where do you begin? Design inspiration can often strike in the strangest of places but while you wait, here are a few ideas to get you started:
Open your eyes
Ideas really can hit when you least expect them, so open your eyes and really see the things around you every day. Perhaps you’ve never noticed that shop display before on your way to work or the way your office reception is laid out? Just being open to ideas from your regular environment can be a great way to get creative.
Look to nature
Have you ever looked at a flower and thought ‘Ooh, I don’t like those colours together’? No, of course you haven’t. Mother Nature is pretty clever like that. Flowers, trees and even animals can be very inspiring particularly in terms of colour combinations so pay attention to your natural environment and you’ll soon start to notice colours and shades that work well together.
Take a trip to town
Shops and restaurants spend a lot of money on their design and layout so do make the most of this as a resource that’s at your fingertips. If you’re lucky enough to live in a vibrant city like London, interior design inspiration is not going to be hard to find, but even small towns and villages can hold hidden gems, even if not on such a grand scale. Look at details like lighting and the use of colour as well as getting a sense of the overall feel of a room. Check out my previous post with design cafes here.
Real estate agencies
Many agents style the houses before they put them online. I’ve noticed that especially Scandinavian agencies (like Fantastic Frank or Erik Olsson) have loads of stylish homes you can browse through. Good styling by the agencies or do Scandinavians just have better style?
Random websites with beautiful interior design
I sometimes stumble across random websites that I get lots of inspiration from, like the company that specializes in renting out locations for film or photo shoots and events that I wrote about in the ‘A place for stories’ post. Airbnb is also a great place to find beautiful homes (that you can actually stay in as well!). I have a saved wish list with places that have great interiors. Interior design websites like Increation is another great inspiration source.
Pinterest has boomed over the last year and is the perfect platform to hunt out design ideas. Browse other people’s pins and create your own boards to gather together the things that inspire you. You could even think about developing several boards and organising them by different themes such as room or colour. Check out my pinterest page.
Go for it!
Sometimes you can think for too long about something and end up afraid to take the plunge, but how will you know if a colour looks good on all four walls unless you just bite the bullet and paint? What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t like the colour and you have to paint over it – no big deal, that’s just an excuse for a new set of Pinterest boards…