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  • karen9617

Interior Design: Finding Inspiration -

People often look to interior designers for new ideas, design inspiration, and creative solutions to help them with their homes and business environments. Often when they ask advice from friends, family, colleagues, contractors, etc., it tends to only create confusion and uncertainty which does not lead to solid, wise, long term decisions. I love helping my clients who need assistance with paint colors and interior design. It's always a pleasure for me to offer my talents and share the knowledge and experience that I have.

We all love to be in a well designed space that makes us feel good. Many people love home makeover shows on t.v. and luxurious interior design magazine photos that show beautiful homes with well designed, custom interiors. We like to "oooh" and "aaah" over inspiring images we see and dream of having such a space. But how do we come up with the inspiration and ideas that fit our own unique sense of style, personal taste, budget, and every day lifestyle? Where do we find inspiration? Here are some fresh ideas that will hopefully ignite a spark and help you get going in the right direction:

First Let's Identify The Problem:

1) Identify the specific area or place you need help with or where you may be "stuck." Is there something about your space that doesn't look right, feel good, or function well? Sometimes we just get overwhelmed and don't know where to begin. Many of my clients need a design professional to help them identify where exactly to start.

2) Give yourself some grace to feel okay about asking for help. When we are used to seeing our personal environments day in and day out, it becomes very difficult to be objective or see clearly with a fresh eye what is lacking. As an interior designer I've had this problem with my personal residence when my kitchen was in desperate need of a remodel. After sketching multiple plans, racking my brain, and still not knowing what to do I finally reached out to my architect friend to help me with ideas and inspiration. I paid her to come up with a few plan options and it worked. I chose a plan and moved ahead.

Now Let's Identify The Solutions:

1) Get help from an experienced, trusted professional. There is a great energy that happens when we collaborate and bounce thoughts and ideas off someone else. I enjoy asking questions to draw out what's in the mind of my clients just as much as I enjoy offering objective input and sharing what I've learned from years of experience.

2) Ask yourself: "What do you love?" What colors are your favorite? What places do you enjoy going to? What objects or things make your heart sing when you see them? Some people love the ocean, a specific European country, plants and flowers, animals, the city, the country, the outdoors, etc. Whatever makes you happy...start there. The goal is to surround yourself with things you love that make you feel good.

3) Create a dream board made up of visual images of things you love and absolutely anything that inspires you. You may find images in magazines or you can go to and begin to search for and save many things. You may even have personal photos of beautiful landscapes or places and things you have seen in your travels. Think outside the box. Anything that makes you feel good can be added to your dream board.

Example: I have a friend who loves to buy original fine art. She surrounds herself with paintings that she loves which set the tone for the interior of her home. Sometimes one object can be a key place to start drawing inspiration for creating a beautiful new space.

4) Get out of town. Get out of your head. If we're going to the same places and seeing the same things day in and day out, our world can become very small. We are unaware of our own limited vision. My first trip to Europe was a profoundly eye-opening experience that completely broadened my mind, expanded my vision and inspired me in greater ways than I ever expected. It made me realize how small my little place in the world was and how narrow my vision truly was when I saw France and England for the first time. Now for me, Italy is my greatest place of personal inspiration. Even traveling to other cities in the U.S., rural small towns in my home state of TN, or just looking at nature can create a spark of fresh new inspiration. Nature is an endless source of visual stimulation.

5) Keep your eyes open and be aware. Once you start a dream board that inspires your vision, you will begin seeing things around you that you may not have noticed before. When you take that first step and decide to begin, you will start finding things because now you know more clearly what you're looking for. When we actively seek, we will find.

Here are some personal photos of Italy that I hope will inspire you...just as they do me.

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