Inspiration has never been easier to find than it is today. With Pinterest boards and Instagram pages for every passion, you could spend all day, every day immersed in your ideal home. But is this endless stream of images really helpful? Or is it simply overwhelming?

In this blog, I would like to share with you how to get outside of your favorite feeds and find new influences. This is the first step in developing a uniquely “you” approach to design to help you turn those influences into reality.

After all, seeking out inspiration is one thing, but pulling off the tricky alchemy that turns a cute idea into an even cuter reality, whether that’s a TV corner, book nook, or a floor to ceiling family room renovation, can be pretty intimidating!

The fact of the matter is that there’s no right or wrong way to approach your space. I absolutely love this space! It is sooo eclectic, fun and totally inspired by influences that are near and dear to its owners, and it works perfectly.

Get Out Of Your Home – And Your Head

Believe me, as a designer, I know that inspiration can strike anywhere and be applied in so many different contexts. The question is, how do you learn to trust your own taste? It starts with experience, so getting out into the world is crucial.

It’s the step that turns your “Italy Is Always a Good Idea”, bumper sticker into a collection of antique linens, a found portrait from a flea market (mercatini dell’usato) near the Veneto Region, or a grouping of antique marmalade jars.

Seek out objects, pallets, architectural details, and textures that speak to your sensibility. At the end of the day, experience is the difference between thinking Italy is always a good idea and knowing it. A caveat: I am not suggesting that international travel is the only way to develop your sense of style. For me, it is all about seeing what makes a place special. Every region, even every town, speaks to its own design jargon, that can be learned or unlearned, if it is not your cup of coffee.

Log On (But with Intention)

How do you express your style at home? Start by using the tools that are readily available to you. For example, really engaging with Pinterest can be a great first step towards any informed way of interacting with the world.

Create a mood board of things that interest you and then break it down; focus on colors that speak to you, shapes and textures you love, and whether or not you’re drawn to bold patterns.

Find historical references that inform your contemporary crushes and use online research and recommendations to make informed decisions about where to go and what to do once you get there.

Then disconnect and live in the moment…give yourself permission to create your own meaning and to have your own experiences of a place, even if you and everyone else found it on Instagram!

Cancel Your Catalogs

It is always tempting to flip through the latest offerings from one big box retailer or another and think, “I’ll have what she’s having, please”, but the key to personal style is unlocking what your own latent creative potential. This means unlearning the lessons of design group thinking and stretching yourself to find new outlets and resources.

All those coffee table books you’ve been collecting are good for more than just sitting pretty. Try setting time aside time to read them and find unexpected lessons and inspirations.

Make your way through that backlog of home decor magazines and tear out some of your favorite rooms, new designers and maybe a bit of design history while you’re at it.

Go window shopping, my all time favorite! Hit up a boutique design shop, an antique dealer, or a design showroom and check out different fabrics, finishes, and even lighting schemes to start dreaming of your ultimate room arrangement.

Remember, at the end of the day it is all about finding and manifesting what makes you unique.

NextGen Design Academy can help you hone your eye through our diverse array of experiences that our course provides you to develop and refine your understanding of what you like and how you want to live.

Join NextGen Academy’s Wait-List….Our next session will be open for enrollment starting the week of June 24, 2019.  Just fill out the form below and we will be in touch with you very soon!