A lot of people ask me where inspiration comes from. Great question — it’s a creative endeavor to come up with many fresh ideas after doing hundreds of rooms. You really don’t want to be repetitive or even worse, stay only in your comfort zone. Kiss. of. Death.
Sometimes it’s about collaboration — and how someone else sees something that you yourself never did. Case in point, this room:
The designer, Debbie Miller of Beautiful Homes, thought to do a striking accent wall for the bedroom of a hip, upscale young couple. I set about creating a sample for her based on the fabric, but as it frequently happens when I’m in the studio, I have a lot of different ideas for the finish. So, I taped out different squares on the sample board to show her all the color combinations she could choose from. When she saw them she immediately exclaimed “Yes!”. I asked her which one she really liked and she said “all of them, just like you have it in the squares.” I looked at the sample again and realized all the colors had created a pleasing pattern…and it’s exactly what we created on the accent wall.
Sometimes you have happy accidents. In the case of this room,
we created the tadelakt finish on the walls and noticed (after we did all the work) that you could see a horizontal seam line right down the middle of all the walls. It looked awful and this was a Showcase house…you definitely have to bring your A game. I went home and brainstormed about how exactly to hide the hideous seam without redoing the entire room. My crew was calling me with supportive messages, my husband had no idea what I was fretting about, I was facing a deadline and there was no chocolate to be had in the kitchen (I remember that part vividly). At 5 am, I sat up and thought of a solution: having a chunky horizontal Venetian plaster and gold leaf border running around the length of the room that added visual interest. (Because everyone thinks of plaster and gold leaf at 5 am, right?) The colors and finish would create a nice contrast but most importantly, would hide the seam line. In the end, we added a Moorish Trellis design with jewels along the top of the border in the accent wall. Voila! A room I still get compliments on and my crew still talks about.
Sometimes, it’s about visual inspiration. This gorgeous doorway (left pic) inspired the dimensional design around a client’s wine cellar entrance (right pic):
I also have a scrapbook of magazine photos and finishes I like. I think I’m subscribed to about every home design magazine out there and every couple of months, I go through them and take out anything that is beautiful, unusual or just sheer creative genius on the part of the interior designer. It helps to thumb through these books when I am feeling low on creative ideas — and I like my clients to feel as if their space is the best yet. Fabrics and wallpaper (especially Maya Romanoff, I adore him) are muses, so to speak. Regularly going to museums or art galleries is wonderful as well. Anything to keep the love and passion alive for all things Imaginative.