People always ask me where my inspiration comes from. Design inspiration can come from many places including fashion, art, social media, travel and of course other interior or exterior designs. Fashion is a huge source of inspiration for interior designers. You can look to magazines, the runway shows, and even your own closet to inspire new colors, textures and patterns in your space. Social media is also a very easy way to gain some inspiration for your next interior project. Resources like Pinterest, Instagram, and Houzz are my go to spots because the search options are endless. For this post, I want to focus on travel as the ultimate source of inspiration.
Travel exposes you to new environments and cultures that you may not be familiar with. The culture and design you discover while travelling is the most influential source of inspiration because you are actually having an experience rather than just looking through a magazine or surfing the web. Places like Spain with an abundance of mosaic tile work, might inspire a kitchen or bathroom, and a trip to the middle east might inspire you to use their opulent tapestries for rugs or wall art. Here are a couple different countries that serve as major outlets for design influence!
Japanese design is all about simple and natural expression. Interior spaces that are inspired by Japan will be minimalist and beautiful in the most understated way. One easy way to take inspiration from Japanese design is to use natural materials such as wood and concrete. Japanese design is all about nature and void of artificiality. The aim is to create spaces that feel tranquil and are clutter free. Check out these Japanese inspired spaces:
Classic Spanish interiors combine Moorish design characteristics with those of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. One of the most admired fundamentals of Spanish design is that they refuse to follow temporary trends. This has sustained the laid-back elegance of Spanish style for years and is still very influential in California’s architecture and interior design. One of the most recognizable and influential elements of Spanish design is the sharp contrast between simplicity and intricacy. For example, highly detailed carved doorways set in plain white plaster walls. With this use of contrast focus is placed on certain elements with nothing to detract from their intended prominence. Spanish interiors also speak to their love of strong colors. This was exhibited through intricate tile work and through the hanging of wall tapestries. Wrought-iron is also a very common material used in Spanish design. Here are some great examples of Spanish inspired design:
The Swedish (or Scandinavian) interior design style originated in the 1920’s and was greatly influenced by the environmental conditions of the area. For example, long winters, short summers and an overall lack of sunlight translate into spaces that feel warm and filled with light. The abundance of natural resources also explains the overt use of wood and other natural elements in Scandinavian interiors. Wood plays a large role in these spaces – it is the popular choice for walls, floors and ceilings. Scandinavian design incorporates both warm and cold color families, with brighter colors being used as accents. This could be rugs, throw pillows or other textiles and accessories. Functionality also plays a huge role in Scandinavian design and this is most apparent in the furniture design. The simplistic designs and use of natural materials create pieces that are fold-able and easy to assemble. Overall interior design in Sweden is natural, elegant, light, warm and cozy. Here are some Scandinavian-inspired spaces: