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Inspiring Inspiration

I often get asked how I decide what I want a finished room to look like when it’s completed. People are curious about where my inspiration for a space comes from. Do I get a vision of how the room will look and feel? Do I decide on a focal point and work the room around a particular piece of art or furniture? Do I read home décor magazines to find inspiration?

Well, to be completely honest, my reply is not usually what people expect to hear. Yes, I do indeed spend time browsing décor magazines and watching HGTV (usually late into the evening). I find listening to experts in the field to be quite fascinating and their thoughts and ideas are often tucked away in my head until I think I can use them. However, often the inspiration for a space I’m working on comes from the most random, seemingly mundane, things.

The colour pallet for my former kitchen (a rich, bold red), came from a purse I saw in a store front window. Yes, you read that right, a purse. It grabbed my attention as I walked by and I couldn’t help but stop to take a better look. The luxurious red reminded me of a lovely glass of wine I had recently enjoyed… which naturally got me thinking about food… which then got me thinking about the drab décor in my kitchen. And so, a bold red went onto the walls.

A couple of years ago, I decided our living room needed to be refreshed. I didn’t want to tackle a major renovation but I felt it was time to update some of the furniture and accessories. I was having some difficulty deciding exactly what to do with the space, so I felt a trip to our local furniture and accessories store might provide some inspiration. My daughter, who was 5 at the time, joined me on the trip. As we began our search for something truly ‘inspiring’, my daughter was immediately drawn away from me. Something had caught her eye, but I was wrapped up with my own search and decided to continue my quest solo. But, from the other side of the store I could hear her:

“Mom! Check this out!”

“Hey Mom, look at this! Isn’t it cool?”

“Moooom, come heeeere!”

“Pleeeease come here, I found something!”

Finally, I decided that bringing her had been mistake and that I would have to continue my search on my own at a later date. I made my way over towards her voice and found her sitting (bouncing) happily on a large, beautiful, teal ottoman. “Mom! Look at this! Isn’t it cool!? I fit perfectly on it! We should get it!”

I had to admit, it was ‘cool’, and it would provide additional seating in the living room, and it was the perfect piece to fashion our living room around. With her help, we also chose a new couch, new drapery, an area rug, and a couple of vases to complement the new ottoman.

Through my experiences I’ve learned I don’t always have to ‘seek out’ inspiration, often, it finds me.

What inspires you?

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