Gearing up for a redesign? You could spend hours scrolling through Pinterest and ripping out magazine pages. Or you could ditch the mood board and open your front door. Our design experts find inspiration everywhere they (or their clients!) go.
Your vacation doesn’t have to end. If you swoon over the serene style of that romantic beach resort or lust after your favorite ski spot’s log cabin flair, bring it home with you.
Beverly Hills, Calif., designer Christopher Grubb did just that for one husband and wife. He used the couple’s love of Aman Resorts and the Asian-deco mood of Miami’s Setai hotel as inspiration to create this tranquil master bath retreat.
“I did a mini bamboo forest to separate the master bedroom from the bath, koa hardwood floors and a bath/shower area with a water wall,” he says. “It feels tropical, but it still has clean lines.”
Nancy Wolff, the artist behind wallpaper and textile company Loboloup, simply walks out her New York City front door to be inspired (just guess what sparked her Cityscape pattern!).
“I’ve trained myself to look a little harder,” she says. “Just walking by a building, I notice the way bricks are laid, and when I get home I start writing down ideas.”
And that dog run she passes every morning on her way through Central Park? Those pups became the stars of her Wiener Dogs design.
Instead of selecting a style and color scheme first, and then finding décor that connects the dots, work backward. Find a stunning piece of furniture or art, and let it inspire an entire room.
“This kitchen started with a much-loved stainless buffet the client found at a flea market,” says Tucson, Ariz., designer Lori Carroll. “I drew from the details of the cabinet to create a kitchen that was as memorable and unique as the piece itself.”
“The forms you see repeated over and over in nature are appealing to us as humans,” says lighting designer Mary Wallis. That—and her PhD in genetics—means she’s inspired by the shapes that make up living things.
Take her Eadie fixture, for example. This sculpture of hand-cut smoke-gray glass with a brass skeleton took its design cues from a bird’s tail feathers. “The longest pieces come down and overlap like a bird’s tail,” she says. “I wanted it to feel like you’re seeing a bird when you look up.”