Ideas and Inspirations

Contrary to public belief, us designers do not often start out with a blank slate.  Often we are inspired by an image or an idea and evolve it into something new.  The great part is that inspiration is all around . . .

As I mentioned in the last post, our ink abstract is one of my favorite pieces in our house and also gives me a lot of design inspiration.  I pulled the teal blue color from the ink splotches to paint the front door and it spiraled into a whole new color palette for the house.I have always been a lover of the color blue (case in point – sapphire engagement ring below! — I wear blue every day)  but up until now, didn’t really have any in our home.  Pretty crazy.  After already painting the front door and knowing I wanted to used some of the colors from our artwork to inspire the decor, I found this fabric swatch (in the image below left) at a local upholstery store (and it’s outdoor fabric so when I make it into some accent pillows they will be very dog friendly!)  When I got it home, I saw that the green in the fabric swatch was very similar to the nice lime-ish green in our artwork and I knew it was a match made in heaven.  The swatch also came with a helpful little color guide (isn’t color #1 a perfect shade of sapphire) that I snipped off and put into my wallet so I would have it with me at all times — just in case. That way if I am out and about and considering a pillow or some drapery fabric, I will know for sure if it will go . . . I also carry a little notebook with a list of things I am looking for (Saarinen table?) and measurements of my rooms and such.  It might be a little bit of overkill, but we’re talking about a person who has drawn her whole house in AutoCAD so I’m okay with an OCD/anal retentive label on this issue. 

Another place I get ideas and inspirations is from magazines.  I have a whole stack of pages I have torn out and saved away for future inspiration.  I kept that picture of the orange and blue kid’s bedroom on the top of the stack because of the amazing herringbone carpet.  (Because I am anal retentive I also try to write on the page a comment about why I tore it out because sometimes when I go back to them 6 months later, I’m not always sure.  My tastes can change that fast.  Yikes).

I also keep a folder on my thumb drive called “Ideas and Inspirations” and am always right-click saving anything I see online that catches my fancy.
When I save an image from the internet, I am trying to get better about keeping its source location and/or who created it so I can possible share it here on my blog later.  Since I’ve had this file for a while, not all of my images are very well tagged.  I’ve been using Tin Eye to do reverse image searches and that has worked out about 60% of the time.  You can see my obsession with the letter T is not limited to 3D objects and has crossed over into fonts as well.  I need help.

Another inspiration image for our new house palette came in the mail at the beginning of the year and since January (and still) I have had my PPG calendar turned to the April/May/June page. 
I love the teal/turquoise color along with the rich leathers, glossy white light fixture and all the old books.  It also had a nice color palette along the side but I knew the yellows and browns would not be right for me. 

I also have loved getting a “robot phone” or an iPhone as most people call it because then I can capture ideas or things I like where ever I am. 

I took this image (another illustrating my crap photography skills) on a trip to Kansas City.  We stopped in at a new(er) restaurant, UnForked, and I really liked the warm industrial/funky atmosphere they had going on. The food was really good too so that helped. 

How do you guys find inspiration?  How do you remember/save/recall your ideas and inspirations?  Are you as OCD as I am?

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