Sources of Inspiration for Interior Designers

Interior Designers, Design Assistants and Decorators are by default creative people who use their imagination and create spaces that people can live in, work in and enjoy. Sometimes it can be difficult to know where your next idea is going to come from, so here are some ideas for sources of inspiration to keep you on your creative design path.

1. Invest in, Loan and Borrow Interior Design Books


To become great at any discipline and to find your own unique style it is important to read about the ideas of other designers and decorators. Book shops are lined with a wide range of books covering this topic and you can enjoy searching for the books that are right for you.  Here are a few suggestions to get you going, Interior Design Master Class (100 Lessons from America’s Finest Designers on the Art of Decoration) edited by Carl Dellatore, Interior Design Visual Presentation: A Guide to Graphics, Models and Presentation Techniques by Maureen Mitton and History of Interior Design by Jeannie Ireland.

2. Visit Open Houses and Stately Homes

Muckross House


There is an abundance of beautiful stately and historic homes that you can visit to explore the architectural styles and designs of the past and to think about how they can influence your present style. Muckross House in Killarney, Montacute House in Somerset  and Ham House and Garden in London are just some of the stunning homes to see.

If you are the type of designer that prefers modern sources of inspiration, many cities and towns offer a version of a open house event, where you can look around houses and buildings belonging to other people or private organisations. In September, the city of London is hosting Open House London where you have the unique opportunity to wander around private homes and buildings. Make sure that you research similar events happening in your town or city.

3. View Websites for Visual Inspiration

Nowadays we seek guidance from the internet for everything from directions, to questions like ‘What is the most effective way to cut an avocado?’. Random questions aside, the internet is a powerful tool to use when you need to get your creative juices flowing. If you are seeking visual inspiration then you cannot go too far wrong with spending some time gazing at the extensive images on Pinterest, just search for the styles that interest you and hey presto! a visual feast for your eyes. Another great website is Houzz, where you can browse pictures of homes and homeowners can find designers and construction professionals to work on their projects. Not only can you be inspired but you can also inspire others and maybe secure clients. This website is definitely worth a look.

4. Feed your eyes and mind in Art Galleries and Museums

art galleries

Art Galleries and Museums are wonderful places to learn about artists, past and present and let your imagination grow. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Design Museum and the Tate Modern in London and the ArtScience Museum in Singapore are just a small number of the fantastic museums and galleries around the world that will keep you inspired, as you continue to develop your signature style.

5. Visit Home Shows to Learn and Network

Home Shows or Expos are excellent ways to see design ideas in action. You can network with other professionals in the industry and learn from your peers. The Phily Home Show in Philadelphia, the New Jersey Home Shows in New Jersey and the Ideal Home Show in London are some of the upcoming home shows to attend, be sure to check out the ones in your local area.

6. Wander around Home Stores, Antique Stores and Fabric Shops 


It is important to remember that Home, Antique and Fabric Stores are not just useful when you need to buy furnishings for a home or building that you are designing , they are also great sources of inspiration. Antique Stores offer amazing historical items that can help to shape a concept or mood board. In Fabric Stores you can run your fingers over the materials and take in the colours to help you to generate the feel and texture to be implemented into a design.  Home Stores are great places to see new staging ideas and how different areas of a house can be styled. When you have some time and need to step away from your laptop, take a wander and be inspired!

I hope that you can use one, some or all of these sources of inspiration as you continue to develop your style and your business. Please share your comments and let me know of your reliable sources when you need some inspiration.

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