It may seem old fashioned but the first place I look for interior inspiration is in print. Magazines such as Elle Decoration, House Beautiful and Wallpaper are full of beautiful and aspirational visuals and information. If I am feeling like I need to get my creativity flowing, sometimes I flick to the back of the magazine and check the stockist list, which tells you every retailer that has featured in that issue. I just pick one at random and go to their website, and start scrolling until I see something that sparks an idea.
Social media is a great source of inspiration as there’s so many people, both professional and amateur, who share their own take on interior design. Pinterest allows you to bring together all your ideas in your own interactive mood board, while Instagram shows how real people have interpreted trends in their homes, and how different room shapes and sizes suit different styles. Some of my favourite Instagram accounts are @scandinavianhomes, @malmo_and_moss and @townhouse_on_elegance, and hashtags like #MyStrataStory and #healshome.
I love the immersive experience of walking around a show home and being able to see and touch the design. Show homes help you to visualise how the trends that you see online and in magazines come together in a real home, and how the designer has interpreted the trends with the space available. You can also pick the room apart and see why they have chosen to dress each area in that way, considering the natural lighting and bare bones of the room’s composition. I like to try and visualise the designer’s process when they pieced together the room from a blank canvas. Find your nearest Strata show homes and plan a visit.
Most of us won’t start looking at paint until we have decided on a direction, but actually you could take inspiration from it before you even begin to create your design vision. Retailers such as Dulux or Farrow and Ball don’t just sell paint, their colour palettes are carefully crafted by teams of designers with a wealth of knowledge; something they’re now starting to share with the world.
This may sound like a cliché, but most interior design trends are inspired by things that we see and experience in everyday life. Designers often take inspiration from all over the world, whether it’s from travelling to a beautiful new country, or seeing the beauty right on their own doorstep. The rich colours and textures of nature are a big influence for me, and I like to go exploring my surroundings when I’m looking for inspiration.
For more interior design inspiration, follow @homesbystrata on Instagram.