Where Do You Get Your Design Inspiration?

Irwin Weiner ASID - It's gratifying to me to be working in an industry like interior design that most people find fascinating. I can imagine that not everyone fancies themselves to be a plumber, but most homeowners certainly consider interior design to be something that they're passionate about and enjoy in their spare time.

It could be the television shows, from This Old House to the spectacular HGTV lineup and the DIY Network programs that have fueled a hunger in people to decorate. That's exciting to me!  But there are many other non-TV sources of design inspiration that has captured the public's fancy. Here are a few of my general observations.

  • In the United States and abroad, we have media personalities like Martha Stewart to thank for elevating taste levels and motivating homeowners to transform their lifestyles and make them more stylish. 
  • Design magazines like Architectural Digest, Traditional Home, Veranda, The World of Interiors, House and Garden, Elle Decor, and others have shared the best interiors in the world with their readers - and that's created a lot of aspirational energy to decorate and make home improvements. 
  • Retailers like HomeGoods, Home Depot, Lowe's, and Target make DIY home improvements and decorating more approachable and affordable. I love looking for the latest accessories from both high-end industry vendors and big box stores. Mix and match them!
  • Finally, you can't beat Nature for design inspiration! Look at the many different shades of blue in a robin's egg or the patterns of flowers and leaves and you'll be able to design any room. And look at the top photo from Silverman Trykowski Associates and the photo below from Design Seeds showing color inspirations from nature!

We just had the chance to interview designer and design textbook author Susan Slotkis and asked her what triggered so many of her design inspirations.

My camera serves as my sketch book. I'm driven by architectural details, color, pattern, texture, and composition, as I travel and in my everyday locale. There's always something new to observe and record. I admire designers who can bring those design elements successfully into place—and if those spaces resonate with the users' lifestyle, all the better: aesthetics plus functionality.

Read our latest Williams-Sonoma interview by clicking here: Design Inspirations from Author Susan Slotkis.