Finding Inspiration

Adele Shotton-Pugh | Posted

Design is all about inspiration. An architect or designer without it is like an artist without a muse- he is lost. During the Georgian period of British architecture, people would embark on pilgrimages lasting for years and taking them to every corner of the globe, such was the importance placed on being inspired. Of course it doesn’t always require a trip to the Parthenon in Athens or Italy’s leaning tower of Pizza, the catalyst for great design can be found anywhere and everywhere- often in the most inconsequential items.

Growing up in Liverpool I was surrounded by a wealth of beautiful architecture. During its time as a thriving port city, Liverpool rivalled both New York and London in terms of global importance and at one point was the wealthiest city on the planet. Unfortunately, where its prestigious competitors continued to build on their success, my home town remained stagnant and eventually fell into decline. But for a budding designer the sight of these beautiful but forgotten relics enshrined and surrounded by the concrete wasteland that was 1980’s Merseyside, was a powerful and somewhat mystical image that inspired me to follow the career path that I did.

If you are having trouble starting a home project due to a lack of creative stimulation, put your hammer down and your paintbrush in its pot and relax. The trick is not to look at all- allow inspiration to come to you. Take a week to notice the smaller things. Appreciate the work Mother Nature has put into a snail’s shell or the bloom of a tree. If you see something that interests, amuses or amazes you, ask yourself what it is that you like about it.

If you begin to jot down your thoughts you will eventually have lots of things to reference when it comes to decorating. When looking at objects forget about what they are and look at them only as shapes and forms. This will prevent you being too literal with your thoughts and therefore prevent your rooms from becoming themed. You may like cars for example, but unless you are ten won’t want a Formula One themed bedroom. By thinking more about what you like about cars, the end result is likely to be streamlined and futuristic- much akin to the Art Deco style of decorating.

As with everything in life, there is of course the inevitable exception to this rule. If you happen to be decorating a child’s bedroom, you can afford to be much more direct in your approach. For example if your daughter loves pop music, working around some Kylie Minogue bedding is a great way to ensure success. Just be careful not to be too specific when it comes to the things that aren’t so easily changed such as wallpaper and flooring as we all know how fickle youngsters can be.

It is not just in objects that we can find our inspiration. Often it can be found in necessity and need. What do want your room to offer you? What activities will be carried out in it? Take the time to listen to your family, how could you make their home-life better through your design? Perhaps, glare from the sun prevents you and your family from being able to watch the television in the afternoon. Obviously you don’t want to have to cast the room in complete darkness so you might start your room design with some wooden blinds. From here you could use the wood of the slats as inspiration to go down a nature themed route. Alternatively you may like the simple rhythm of the blinds and choose to adopt an ordered and minimal approach.

It really doesn’t matter where your inspiration comes from- all that’s important is the end result. Remember, even if you find yours in the ridiculous, you can always lie afterwards!

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