This post is part of a series of tips on interior design and working with an interior designer.
So, if you followed the first post in this series, you’ve had a think about what you need in your space, what you want, and what is possible and impossible. You’ve thought through the practicalities, and had some ideas about what you want the room to look and feel like – what next?
For me, this is the most fun, creative part of the design process. We’re going to come up with an interior design concept and seek out some inspiration for your room.
Get flicking through magazines (interiors, fashion, lifestyle…), on Pinterest, Houzz, design blogs, books, anywhere really. Go out and take photos of things that catch your eye. Collate items that you like too – perhaps a vase, button or item of clothing might be a great starting point. Do all this while keeping half a mind on the room you want to create, and the answers to the questions you’ve just considered.
There are two types of inspiration you’re looking for: abstract images with nothing to do with interiors that just feel like the room you want to create, and images of rooms that have elements that you like. Images of rooms that you really dislike are useful too.
Whenever you come across something that you like, rip it out, take a photo, bookmark it, draw it, scan it into your computer… just keep a record of it somehow. Separate the abstract images from the room interiors.
Edit the images
Now let’s look at what to do next with each type of image.
Abstract images not related to interiors
Look through your pile of images here. Can you see themes or colours emerging? Pick two to four images that look good together. These will form the basis of your design for colour, shape and texture, and is referred to as the concept. See the image above for an example of an interior design concept.
Inspirational room shots
Edit these out to leave you with several that you absolutely love, and some that you strongly dislike. For each of them, note what it is that you like/dislike. Is it the colours, a particular item of furniture, the layout, how minimalist / cluttered the room is, the general style, the windows…?
Now, you should have a few key abstract images to guide the aesthetics of your design, and a catalogue of likes and dislikes based on actual roomshots.
What to do with your collection of images
If you’re doing your own interior design, these images can now be used to shape your whole design. Keep them safe as you will refer back to them time and time again!
If you’re working with a designer, they’d be over the moon if you presented them with a pile of images that you like, and some that you dislike too. In fact, if you hire me to do a design consultation for you, this is part of the preparation I’ll ask you to do before we meet.
Was this useful? Let me know in the comments!
Coming soon – space planning and the layout of the room, sourcing, specific tips for individual rooms, tips on how to use colour, choose floorings, wall coverings, paint…
If you have any questions you’d like me to answer in this series, leave a comment or send a message via the website – I’d be delighted to help!