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Inspiration: From where does creativity flow?

St. Louis Interior Designer: Planning & Design Inspiration

Inspiration. It's a big word. As a St. Louis interior designer I often get asked what it is that inspires me to interior design. It can be many things. But I usually seek out ONE thing as a jumping off point if you will.

"Themed" rooms as interior design inspiration:

For example, the client may simply tell me that they love boating and ships. They may say that they would love for a room in their home to showcase a nautical theme. And there it is! This St. Louis interior designer is inspired and already imagining how to incorporate this theme into their room before we finish the consultation.

Existing furnishings can naturally inspire

If the client doesn't specifically tell me what should inspire me I can easily figure it out. Maybe I see that the most gorgeous thing in the room is a great piece of artwork. The colors may inspire me, the subject theme may inspire this St. Louis interior designer, or I may ask the homeowner what they like or don't like about the artwork, why they bought it, etc. Now if they hate the painting, then I move on and find inspiration elsewhere, but the best aspect of a room's furnishings is always good for inspiration.

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Inspiration from outside influences

Or another path to inspiration can be the magazine or Pinterest "pins" clients show me of rooms they love. So let's say that the client wants to redecorate their bedroom, and that the current bedroom has French provincial furniture filling it. If the client shows me pictures of rooms with modern clean-lined furniture, then the heart of this St. Louis interior designer starts racing! I can see immediately how to re-do the room and exactly what should go where!

For help discerning what styles of furniture you may favor, peruse my articles entitled, "Classic furniture never goes out of style" and "Mixing and matching furniture styles: How to make it work".

Treasured objects are a great place to find inspiration!

Often if clients are very confused as to what they want, I will simply ask them, "What is the one thing in your home that you love above all others?" This is why if you download the complete pre-consultation questionnaire from the "Contact" page on this St. Louis interior designer website you will see one of the questions that I find to be the most important for inspiration. That is:

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"Now let's fantasize. If your home (God forbid) were to catch fire, and all members of your family, all pets, all important documents, all photographs and your jewelry have already been saved but you have time to go back into the house for only ONE more object, what would it be? Do not consider the size or weight of any object, in this fantasy, you can carry anything."

Prospective clients often do not answer this question on the questionnaire. And in my opinion, that is a mistake. Whether you hire me to handle your St. Louis interior designer project, or do it yourself, you need something to inspire you. So if you don't answer the downloadable complete questionnaire or you leave this question blank, it is one I may ask during the initial consultation. This question can lead to inspiration more than any other. How you may ask?

Simple. Let's say a client shows me a handmade jewelry box that their grandfather made, and the box is roughhewn, unfinished wood, and has beautiful decorative hinges, then this St. Louis interior designer is going to ask the client questions concerning whether they want the entire room decorated in roughhewn furniture. Often this St. Louis interior designer sees the client light up right in front of me. They get inspired as I seek inspiration for their room. Frequently they then can see some ideas in their mind's eye of how they may want to decorate the room. For this we may choose Arts and Crafts furniture or maybe even a more primitive style.

The question of what is the client's most treasured object leads straight to inspiration more than any other method. It is simple to understand that the client who shows me their children's finger-painting as their most treasured object is going to want a room very different from the client who shows me their all metal and glass sleek silver and black desk with the black leather drawers.

Obviously it isn't a question of one loving their children more than the other. This St. Louis interior designer knows that both clients love their children as much as the other. But they want their interiors to reflect different things about them. Discerning what they want exactly is the specialty of a St. Louis interior designer as experienced as me.

Advice on how to use treasured objects in your interior design is found in this St. Louis interior designer article entitled, "Accessorizing: Avoiding interior design clichés, kitsch, trends, and grotesques".

Inspiration deriving out of the architecture:

The architecture of a space itself may inspire me to see bold colors, dramatic forms, and huge pieces of sculpture or painting. In other words, if a space has high vaulted ceilings at dramatic angles, triangle shaped rooms and large open rooms this St. Louis interior designer will immediately think of interpreting these things about a space as assets to be played up by bringing attention to them.

If you would like to use color to accentuate your architecture, see this St. Louis interior designer article entitled, "How to pick colors for your home decorating".

Conversely, if a space has dark woodwork and floors, crown molding, and other more traditional details, then a St. Louis interior designer would be inspired to more formal interiors probably.

My article "Finishes: What to do with walls, ceilings, and floors" can help you with serious ideas for more traditional interiors.

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Of course it is always the custom of this St. Louis interior designer to ask the client if they want bold colors and the drama of their space played up, and if not, inspiration needs to come from somewhere else. Or does it? If the client with the dramatic large open spaces and high vaulted ceilings says they want more privacy room to room and do not like the acoustics of the vaulted ceilings that inspires this St. Louis interior designer to envision a different room entirely.

Also it is with the client with the more traditional interior architecture. If the client answers that the traditional spaces feel stifling to them then inspiration is had in the idea of downplaying the traditional themes of the room.

So to answer those that want to know where this St. Louis interior designer gets inspiration, it's simple. It is everywhere around me and the client in many instances hands it right to me.

If you need creative help to get inspired, and you are in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, contact me at [email protected].