Interior Inspiration: Where to find it…
It has been a while since I took some time out. To be creative, to gather inspiration. Design Week was well timed this year. After a busy start to the year, designing for clients and growing the business, I needed some time to stop and look around. It’s this reflective time; time to take in new inspiration, that nourishes creativity and keeps designs fresh.
Design week and trade shows are a great source of interior inspiration. A chance to explore new materials, finishes and colours. A chance to meet new suppliers and consider new design solutions. But there’s more to creativity than design shows, and my time out this week has started me thinking about where I get my inspiration for work (and home).
I don’t think there’s anything more inspirational than exploring new places. Or even revisiting places you’ve been to, and loved, before. There’s something special about travelling, when we don’t have the pressures of day-to-day life, that means we respond to, and absorb our surroundings in a completely different way.
For me, it’s about the different light, the smells, the colours. Enjoying different architecture and soaking up details which, even though they might be relatively mundane at home, seem almost magical in their new surroundings. We have time to reflect, to stop and observe. We can take things back to basics; appreciating things for their colour, their texture and the way they make you feel.
There’s something very special about visiting a beautiful hotel. It can feel like a complete escape from real life, and it’s a great opportunity to see, and enjoy, different interior styles. What tiles are used in the bathrooms? What do you love about the seating, or the way a lounge is laid out? You’ll get a real sense of how you respond to an interior style. Take it back to basics; how does the interior make you feel? That should, in my view, be the starting point for any interior project.
But remember, hotel interiors can be more daring in their design. Guest are only there for a night or two; they are not designed for long-term family life. So, whilst they can be a great source of inspiration, make sure that you properly translate any design ideas so that they work for your space and your life.
And remember, you don’t have to splash out on an overnight stay. Choose a favourite and book in for afternoon tea or just a drink in the bar.
Inspiration and creativity doesn’t need to be big, or expensive or glamorous. A quiet afternoon at an art gallery can be enough to transport you elsewhere. And sometimes, just the space for quiet reflection is what’s needed to enable you to absorb different colour, texture and pattern. Take a look at art you wouldn’t normally gravitate to, ask yourself why you like or don’t like it. Or just spend time looking at it. Often there’s a need to try and critique artwork but actually sitting, quietly and enjoying something is all that’s needed to spark some creativity.
Let’s be realistic though, sometime we can’t always escape on holiday or even to a beautiful hotel. Inspiration for interiors is all around us though and even an hour on the high street can be enough to get a boost of inspiration for your project. It’s still really easy to turn to online shopping – it’s so convenient and we’ve got so used to doing it during recent Covid years. But I don’t think anything beats hitting the shops for an explore. You’ll see things you weren’t looking for. Things you didn’t expect to love. Colour combinations in the window displays you never thought of putting together.
And don’t just think you’ve got to scour the interior shops. Wandering around fashion stores can be just as inspiring. Look at the colours, the fabrics, the style of the displays. What do you love? What do you hate? Again, it’s all about learning to identify how you respond to things; how they make you feel.
Last but by no means least. Mother Nature does really do it best! Take yourself into nature. A wood, a field, a walk by the river. It doesn’t need to be far. Just being away from the pressures of consumerism, away from the trends and fashions can be a really inspiring and liberating feeling. Time in nature gives you the ability to go back to basics – to explore colours, shapes and textures in a really simple, but beautiful form.