Finding Special and Unique Items for Your Home
One of the consequences of quarantining and spending more time in our homes is that for a lot of us, our world has gotten much smaller. The only chance to see places, cultures, experiences beyond our own is through the internet or TV. And even when we were allowed to travel and shop and explore, it’s human nature to gravitate toward the known, the familiar. Yet the special, unique touches that can generate great design, often require reaching outside our own ‘bubble’ and bringing in some unexpected inspiration.
So how do you find these serendipitous items or ideas from your home? Here are a few ways to try and push through the norm and come up with your own statement of creativity:
Follow an Instagram rabbit hole:
Find an image you like and click on the account name, see if you like everything they post. Save some of their images to your collection. Then see who they follow – and start making an effort to find things at the edge of your comfort zone, rather than sticking to suggestions or the same type of design you always do, or what is similar to your home currently. Try to find brands or shops that you don’t know, where you might find something unique to add to your home, or even use as the main inspiration to build a room design around.
Choose something you already own:
Maybe it’s a neglected photo or piece of art, or a weird vase or piece of furniture you inherited and love but it doesn’t fit in your current aesthetic. Google DIY videos on upcycling to see if there’s a way you can refresh it to be a centrepiece instead of an awkward item that doesn’t “work” anywhere. (The Repair Shop on the BBC is a good place for general inspiration on this too).
Use your personality, passions, or memories as a jumping off point:
Often people get caught trying to use something literal as decoration – when you’re a child and you like trains, maybe you have trains all over your room. But as adults, if you like cycling, you probably don’t want to stencil bicycles on the wall or decorate with toy bicycles! So it has to be a couple of steps removed from the source – which requires a little more thought. For example, I trained as a pianist and organist, so I have a piece of artwork I inherited from my great uncle, another musician, that looks like organ pipes fashioned out of metal – but only subtly so – most people’s first thought is just that it’s a cool piece of abstract sculpture.
Taking the time to find some genuine, personal inspiration is definitely worth it. Send me your inspiration stories or design dilemmas at [email protected], or sign up for the online course and join in the discussion there!