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Getting Interior Design Inspiration

Waldron Designs is entering its FIFTH year!!!

I can't believe time has flown so quickly! Have four years really gone by? I suppose a good reminder is that two amazing things happened to me four years ago. My youngest son was born the same time that I launched Waldron Designs. Sure enough, it's almost time to be planning a fourth birthday party (for my son, not my business).

Every year, I create goals for my business. I have accomplished all but one for 2016. While I still have time, the goal is to get my Facebook fans up to 500. If you're not following me on Facebook, now is as good a time as any! If you are following me, I would appreciate a share!  Now, I've never landed a client from Facebook directly. In fact, it's been almost useless in regards to marketing my business. I confess, it's a bit of an ego booster. I love to show off my projects. I love to hear questions, ideas, and feedback. So, I'm not growing the "fanbase" for marketing purposes as much as I am to simply feel like a cool kid. Fair enough, right?

This year has been a big year for Waldron Designs. I've seen more work than I ever have before. I have a waiting list for the first time, and it's not short. I am currently booking consultations for August. A consultation in August does not guarantee that the project will start in August. It's more likely that consultations booked now will be for services in the fall. With all this happening, I've kept busy, I've learned new things, and I've turned away potential jobs. This was hard, and sometimes there simply wasn't time. Other times, the budget seemed unrealistic, and this made me more sad than anything because I can be that person... having someone over to give me a bid and it's oh... 100x what I was expecting. So, I created a package for projects on a budget. This package is also a good way to gauge pricing for larger projects! Take a look- I'm calling it Designer LT right now, but seeing as that name hasn't been approved by my image consultant (AKA- my husband), it may not stick. Regardless, the package is here to stay!

Gather Inspiration

I want to tell you a secret. You know Pinterest, Houzz, and all those magazines we collect to get inspiration? Sure, they're great, but honestly- they're a bad starting point. The reason is because you're starting with literal THINGS, objects, and functions. Inspiration should come not in the form of things, but in feelings. Design is touchy-feely and emotional, and it should be. Honestly, it's a bit like interior psychology. We are manipulating spaces to make us feel differently. 

Think about it. A kitchen isn't remodeled for a new stove, or pull out drawers. A kitchen is remodeled for ease of use, reduced stress, a brighter lighter feeling. It's not the things that move us, it's how the space will make us feel. It's convenience and comfort.

Now, let's take that up another level. What is comfortable to me, may not be comfortable to you. Additionally, what I understand to be midcentury modern, you may see as art deco. It is so important that we communicate first with feelings and second with visuals.

Step 1: Think about how you want to feel

So, when you gather inspiration for your design project, before you go straight to images of rooms, first think about how you want to feel and what makes you feel that way.

My own example:

I want to feel joyous, playful, energetic, and magical in my home. I want warmth, but in the way I feel warm when the sun hits my skin vs. the warmth of blankets and bundling on a cold day. I feel this way when the sun shines through the trees, when I watch my favorite childhood fantasy movies, when the sun is warm on my skin and I can smell the ocean. I love the feeling of sand in my shoes (really, I mean it)- it gives me childlike energy!

Now, my husband isn't one for these kinds of exercises, but here's what I know about him. He loves scenery, expansiveness. He likes calm and quiet, but also loves to rough house with our kids- so I think that it's important for me to create a space for us that can offer tranquility and playfulness.

Step 2: Find imagery that makes you feel this way

I still want you to avoid actual spaces initially. I showed you some of my imagery in last month's article, but here are some more that represent how I want to feel along with the images that I imagine my husband would choose:

Step 3: Translate this into images of interior spaces

When I look for interiors that will serve as a precedent for a design, I search things like "sunny bedroom", "playful dining space". That adjective does so much! It can be hard, but the images of the interior spaces should remind you of the inspirational images. Take a look at the Pinterest board I quickly created using my images above. These are not spaces I would naturally gravitate toward in regards to designing my own home and I think that is actually the point. We gravitate toward what we see in trendy magazines, on Houzz, on Pinterest, and we forget to think about how we want to feel in our homes and how our homes affect us. Our spaces shouldn't be designed just to look cool. They should be designed to give the feeling of paradise at home. While I also gather images of interior spaces and trends I love, this is truly the best way to establish a look that will bring joy into daily life. And after all, that's what it is all about, isn't it?