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?