Though design may come across as completely effortless, designers need inspiration just like the rest of us. There are multiple sources and ways that companies and individuals seek out avenues to be inspired, be it for a new interior project or a room make over.
Nowadays, everything seems to be available at the click of a button or tap of a screen, but long before the internet took over, designers were finding inspiration in all areas of life. Though the internet seems to be an endless abyss of design ideas and examples, one can find inspiration anywhere. From nature to history, our world is full of inspiring design for those who care to look.
We’ve talked to a few different designers to find out what and how they find inspiration for their new design projects!
MELINDA MONROE DESIGN AND DECOR
Facebook – MelindaMonroeDesign
Instagram – @melinda_monroe_design
Design is evident all over! The obvious places being the internet and social media such as instagram. Following industry leaders and fellow designers is always a way that we are able to gain inspiration. But aside from online, design inspiration can come from anywhere. I find a great way to be inspired is by travelling. Having lived in Mexico, I found a lot of inspiration from local shops and architecture. Every culture around the world provides a new take on design and by compiling inspiration from different places and people enables me to have a truly authentic approach to my design and decor.
When working with clients, many times I am asked about my personal design styles, however, I find the best way to approach a new project is by channeling the style of my clients and adding my own take. Design, style and decor is a very personal venture. What might be right for one client, might not suit the next, therefore, talking with clients to find out more about their life, interests and tastes, I am able to tailor the design and decor to them specifically.
Pro Tip: If you are travelling and looking for design inspiration, remember you don’t have to go far. From local antique shops to vintage markets, there are plenty of opportunities within your own neighbourhood! If you are in a different country and wanting to find some inspiration, I find it best to venture outside of the touristy areas in order to get a really authentic experience!
Facebook – sloan.stone
In our industry, we don’t have to look very far in finding design inspiration. We are privileged to work with amazing suppliers and vendors who share their work with us and make it easy for us to get creative! We also work with incredible designers and clients who have spent hours compiling their own ideas (whether it to be from Pinterest or an HGTV show), and it becomes our job to make their vision a reality with what products we carry.
To achieve this, we combine the use of our remarkable selection of countertop samples, along with tile, cabinet, and paint samples to make their vision come to life! At the end of the day, our mission is to make our customers feel satisfied knowing their dreams were met. With the help of our design expertise, we ensure it will look beautiful for many years to come.
Thankfully, the online world makes it easily accessible to know what’s trending, what are the hottest colours, and best products. One of our quartz suppliers, HanStone Quartz (who are Canadian made, here in London!) market their quartz online in a strategic way of showing the countertop in various applications or designs which helps to give us and our clients vision of what that could potentially look like in their space. On our website, we have a handy “visualizer” tool that allows you to virtually design a kitchen or bathroom. You can change the colours of the cabinets, floor, backsplash, and then add one of our countertops to the design. This gives our clients the ability to envision what a certain countertop may look like with their cabinet colour or floor/backsplash tile.
We stay on top of trends by having an active social media presence (mainly Facebook & Instagram) which enables us to follow what the leaders in our industry are doing. Beyond this, we are fortunate to have a sales/design team of creatives who enjoy design in many aspects of their life, not just at work. Furthermore, we attend KBIS (Kitchen & Bath Industry Show) yearly with our team which is always an incredible weekend getaway to find out what the latest trends are, new products that will be launched in the coming year, which then gives us an opportunity to fuel our inspiration tanks.
Pro Tip: Use the internet, especially social media, as an easy way to find inspiration. Follow the accounts of industry leads as well as local businesses to find out what’s trending!
AYA KITCHEN DESIGN STUDIO
Facebook – ayakitchens
Instagram – @ayakitchens
Our design journey when starting a new project is truly a collaboration between designer and client. As a kitchen company, functionality is always a top priority for our clients. Being the heart of the home, a kitchen acts as more than just a place to cook. It’s a space where families gather, important conversations are had, where many start their morning and finish off their day. As such we understand the importance of a well functioning as well as aesthetically pleasing design.
There are plenty of avenues that our designers have in order to find inspiration for a project. From the internet and social media to personal experiences and tastes. This is part of the reason we knew we couldn’t offer stock parts – everything about our design and creation process is tailored specifically to each client! Everyone’s tastes and lifestyle are so unique, we strive to provide a top quality product that matches that.
Pro Tip: When it comes to designing spaces that are also meant to be high functioning, make sure to have an in depth conversation with your designer about your lifestyles and needs. A well designed kitchen should not only look beautiful, but function beautifully as well!
NIEMAN MARKET DESIGN
Facebook – NiemanMarketDesign
Instagram – @niemanmarket
We’re in a day and age where finding design inspiration is more fun.
Inspiration is a funny thing. It’s every which way we turn, surrounding us daily. You just need to be open and aware of what surrounds you.
That Spotify playlist that puts you in the right creative zone. Taking a walk in a tranquil park or trail. Have you ever been inspired by the colours of the grasses, or florals on your walk? Or even the sky? Trending magazines. And, let’s not forget about the easiest inspiration which is at our fingertips these days. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook anyone?? I’m sure I’m not the only one who is sucked into the rabbit hole of social media posts.
But on the days when I am truly needing to be inspired, I find inspiration from a couple of main sources.
My clients; I’ve worked with countless amount of wonderful people over the years who have had amazing ideas themselves. Whether it be a picture they found in their travels. A colour chip of a vibrant/bold/sultry colour. A swatch of a fantastic rich/soft/textured fabric. Sometimes, it’s just the conversation or interaction I’ve had with them that sparks inspiration. Or even the drive it took me to get to their location.
Our suppliers are also an amazing source for inspiration as well. A couple of our North American suppliers (let’s here it for Canada!) have fantastic images and articles on their websites, brochure’s, Instagram, and Facebook platforms. You can tell that they always have their clients in mind when updating daily on new ideas.
Sales reps keep us up to date on colours/looks that are in, and looks that are now trending out. We typically connect a couple times throughout the year; at the International Builder Show for the big updates of the year, or attending the training workshop in Scottsdale Arizona.
Lastly, I find inspiration through my morning workouts and podcasts traveling into work.
It might sound a bit cliché but nothing puts me in a clearer headspace then these two sources. Countless times I’ve had to pause, stop what I’m doing, and grab a pen or smartphone to write an idea out. Heaven forbid I forget that idea!
With endorphins flowing from my workouts, the ideas do as well. There are even times I’m stumped on a particular idea, or I have writer’s block and I’ll go for a run/workout to see what comes out of it.
Same goes for podcasts. Podcasts I find are amazing little bits of information which comes from either interviews, motivational quotes, or life ideas from the particular podcaster that I am following.
We are all inspired by different things, and in different ways. Inspiration is all around us, and can appear at a moment’s notice. You just need to be open and ready to receive it.
Pro Tip: If you are struggling to find inspiration, take a break! Enjoy nature, visit a vintage shop, listen to an inspiring podcast. All these are great ways to get the creative juices flowing! Remember – design is supposed to be fun! Don’t overthink it!
No matter how you channel inspiration, design is a highly personal experience. Everyone, from designers to the clients, have their own takes on projects. Working with a skilled designer is a chance at collaboration and through that process the plan is that a design that fits your life and tastes seamlessly will be born!