Stuck in a rut? Need to get the creative juices flowing again? Here are 20 interior design sources to reference when you need a boost of inspiration.
20 INTERIOR DESIGN SOURCES TO REFERENCE WHEN YOU NEED A BOOST OF INSPIRATION
I think this is everyone’s go-to nowadays when looking for anything. Outfit inspiration, new recipes, the perfect fudgy brownie, and of course design inspiration.
Pinterest is one of my favorite sources for interior design inspiration. I frequently use the search bar to discover new ideas or to bring an idea to life.
When trying to figure out the crown and picture molding for our dining room and living room, I jumped into Pinterest to help my visually-driven brain figure out the look I was trying to create
Another great resource is Instagram. I mean, with all those beautifully curated feeds, how could this NOT be a great resource.
When looking for something specific my go-to is still Pinterest because I think it is easier and a more direct way to search and drill down quickly.
But I’ve been guilty of disappearing down a rabbit hole of awesomeness only to surface an hour later wondering where the time went and my heading spinning with ideas.
Like THIS one.
Do you ever drive down a street filled with beautiful homes and think “why can’t there be mandatory home tours for these lovelies”? No just me?
The next best thing! When I discovered blogs and stumbled across a blog hop, I thought my dreams had been realized! People inviting me in (ok virtually, but still) to see their homes?!?!? YES PLEASE!
People are so creative and I love seeing how others decorate and use their spaces. Especially during the holidays! So much gorgeousness it makes my heart happy!
The One Room Challenge, or ORC, is a semi-annual event where designers come together to design and renovate a space in their home in just 6 weeks!
Projects range in size and the event is not competition based but rather a community of people coming together to share their projects and get encouragement to finish. Which is something us multi-taskers struggle with!
4. MAGAZINES AND BOOKS
One of my OG go-to sources for all things interior design inspiration is still a fav of mine. I’m usually drawn in by the interior shots but circle back to read all the great nuggets of info.
Some of my favorite magazines to reference include Southern Living, Traditional Home, House and Garden, Country Living British Edition, Better Homes and Gardens, and House Beautiful.
For books, anything that talks about interiors, furniture, or fabrics I gravitate towards. I also like to reference books on architecture for design details, art for color pallet inspiration, and photography for a creative boost.
When looking for accessories like pillows, vases, art, etc I turn to Etsy.
I have found so many great small businesses knocking it out of the park with their wares!
You can find items at great price points and even designer pieces that you wouldn’t necessarily have easy access to without going through the “trade”.
I have quite a few pillows, wallpaper, and art saved to my favorites making it easy to find and reference when needed.
6. HOME AND CLOTHING STORE DISPLAYS AND VIGNETTES
What better way to get inspiration for that new product or piece of furniture you bought than the home decor store it came from.
Stores like Crate and Barrel, Arhaus, Magnolia Market, and Restoration Hardware all have beautiful displays giving you different ways to translate the item into your own home.
Don’t forget about the clothing stores too! Shops like J Crew, Anthropology, Banana Republic, Draper James, and Nordstrom all utilize home goods to help create enticing vignettes featuring their goods or comfy seating for guests.
Some of the yummiest leather seating and prettiest finishes can be found at higher-end clothing stores.
7. HOME DECOR AND CLOTHING STORE ONLINE SHOPS OR PUBLISHED CATALOGS
Just like their brick and mortar versions but with more options.
I love strolling through the shops, being able to touch and feel the products but who doesn’t love to online shop nowadays? Especially if there is no store local to you.
The online shops and catalogs bring additional points of view and multiple iterations of it.
Just a few of my favorites in this category include Ballard Designs, West Elm, Ikea, and, Frontgate.
8. ANTIQUE STORES
To layer in character, charm, and patina look to antique shops.
Always changing, these little treasure troves of goodies are great places to go when you want to pull some history into your home or are looking for a great piece to be your jumping-off point.
Whenever I am looking for something unique that can’t be found in everyone else’s home, I start here.
9. FLEA MARKETS
Same thing as above. If you are looking for something different, something no one else will potentially have, try flea markets.
I shared my top tips and tricks for shopping a flea market and how to ensure I successful trip here if you need some ideas.
10. HISTORIC HOMES
For a girl who loves traditional, old-world, classic homes with chunky, detailed moldings and doors, historic homes are filled with all sorts of eye candy.
Locally we have Stan Hywet. We try to visit every Christmas to get inspired by the theme they select for the holiday decor that year.
I was also able to make a girl’s trip to the Biltmore a few years ago and was in HEAVEN!
From the layout of the rooms and furnishings to the flooring and finishes, It was a beaut!
11. DESIGNER SHOW HOUSES
Ever been to one of these? I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few and can tell you first hand that they are AMAZING!
Different designers each take a space and showcase their skills and create their interpretation of their vision for the space.
If you ever get the chance to go through one I highly encourage it. Or, take an online tour of one of the HGTV Design Homes if you haven’t or are unable to locate one!
12. HOME RENOVATION SHOWS
Probably one of the most popular ways for people to get new ideas is by watching the home renovation shows on TV.
There are so many good ones out there and they touch on a wide variety of budgets, spaces, and design ideas.
Some of my go-to’s are fixer upper (always!), Windy City Rehab, Good Bones, Tiny Luxury, Rehab Addict, and Home Town.
13. MOVIES AND TV SHOWS
Maybe not top of mind for most but one of my secret sources for inspiration is TV and movies. Especially if we are talking about anything British.
The sets for The Crown, John Admas, Victoria, The Poldark Series, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Little Women, just to name a few, are FULL of gorgeousness.
Some I use to pull inspiration from the color pallets used, others the furnishings, fabrics, accessories, and finishes.
I have watched most of these multiple times and find something new and inspiring each and every time!
14. TRENDY RESTAURANTS AND THEIR BATHROOMS
Ever walked into a fancy restaurant and just stared at the interior? (hand raised)
Yep. That’s me!
A well designed and thoughtful restaurant can be a great source of reference. The tables and chairs chosen for the space, flooring and tile, even the dishes and glassware.
Some of my faves are in our beloved city of Charleston, SC. They are all so thoughtful in their designs and finish selections that the whole experience is elevated. Making me want to recreate the look at home.
And don’t get me started on the bathrooms. If the restaurant you’re in is being that thoughtful out front, check the bathroom too!
Ever see that Fixer Upper episode where they reveal to their kids the Magnolia Bakery??? Now THAT was a bathroom reveal!
15. TRENDY AND BOUTIQUE HOTELS
Trendy and boutique hotels are also perfect spots to get a boost of interior design goodness.
If I could live at Zero George in Charleston, SC I would! The hotel’s 16 well-appointed rooms were painstakingly remodeled to honor the structure and design details of the building and envoke that warm southern charm we all love.
Boutique hotels that go the extra mile to create inspiring spaces for their guests are always great resources for me and my designs.
When I think about architecture there are a few things that come to find. My semester abroad in Italy and closer to home, you guessed it, Charleston, SC.
In my junior year of college, I had the privilege to attend our school in Florence, Italy. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience to study and be surrounded by so much history and beauty.
Their architecture spans 3,500 years and is a mix of many different styles like Neoclassical, Baroque, Rococo, Gothic, and Renaissance.
My love for many different types of architecture and the design details really started to grow there.
Charleston is also home to many different periods and styles of architecture. You can find Georgian, Regency, Classic Revival, and Italianate just to name a few. All beautiful in their own right and awe-inspiring for sure.
17. ART MUSEUMS
One of my favorite things to do when I was abroad was to visit the art museums wherever we were.
The Louvre in Paris, The Tate Modern in London, and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence are MUSTs if you ever have the opportunity to go.
The volumes and collections of work featured at each will leave your head spinning with ideas and your heart happy for the experience.
I urge you to explore your local museums. Check out their websites in advance to see what exhibits may be on display or coming soon that may interest you. Trust me they will help cure your creative rut.
18. GARDEN CENTERS
Beginning in April I start to make my way to our local garden centers. Not only to get ideas for our flower beds but to get inspired by the colors and textures and displays they put together.
Seeing the mix of all the different flowers and plants together, the complementary and monochromatic color schemes, starts my creative wheels turning for sure.
Flowers and plants bring so much life to a space and can instantly change the mood of any room and bring a pop of color or texture that may be needed that other non-living accessories cannot.
When the seasons change to fall and winter, You can still find me stopping by for a creative burst. The flower and plant varieties change and so do the colors and textures. Bringing a different perspective for the new season.
An even bigger source for inspiration and along the same lines as garden centers is nature!
Go on a hike in a local park. Observe the colors of the grass and moss together and the texture of the trees and rocks.
The color pallet of nature is STUNNING! And bonus! It will help to calm and clear your mind allowing it to reset and become ready to receive all the new ideas you’ll receive.
Last on the list but definitely one of the greatest ways to expand your creative mind and get new ideas is through travel.
I already mentioned my once in a lifetime trip studying in Italy.
While abroad we tried to take advantage of our location and travel as much as possible to other countries and cities. Really expanding our horizons.
We did this knowing that by experiencing and immersing ourselves in other places and cultures, it would change our thinking and perspective. Giving us new ideas and knowledge to draw from.
I hope these sources for interior design inspiration help you the next time you feel stuck or in a creative rut. There is so much out there to be inspired by and different ways to experience it. Find the ones that speak to you and when in need put them to work!
What other ways do you get unstuck? Where do you go for interior design inspiration?