Finding Inspiration by Eliminating Noise

People often struggle with home improvement projects because they don’t know where to begin. Shopping culture, which focuses on fads and conspicuous consumption, is stifling. People become paralyzed when faced with too many voices telling them what they should and should not buy, what trends to follow, what is “in” or what is “out”. Hopping on the bandwagon of the latest trend means creating a design that will look dated within five years. Making the decision to invest in the function and form of your home or work space isn’t one that should be taken lightly nor should anyone pressure you into purchasing something that just doesn’t feel right.

So where to begin? In a previous post, I suggested using color as the starting point for design inspiration. But not everyone responds to color, at least on a conscious level. Another suggestion is to start with objects that are deeply meaningful to you. An object can be as small as a greeting card sent to you by someone you care about to something as big as a large piece of art. I personally styled this corner of my living room by starting with a beautiful needlepoint pillow my third-grade teacher made for me as a wedding gift many years ago. Some people might look at this space and think it too spare, too traditional, too “grandma”, too whatever. That is their prerogative and it's fine by me. Others might appreciate the simplicity, austerity, soft light, deep shadows, and the lovely needlepoint. I love raspberries and my teacher chose to needlepoint them simply because she knew I love them. There is no better place in my home to sit on a rainy day and look out the window.

This is true design. Something that functions well, has beautiful form, and that resonates with you personally. Listen to your inner voice and search for those objects you already own that are meaningful. When you do, you will have discovered a strong foundation for creating the living or work space in which you feel most comfortable. Regardless of the latest trend.

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