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Blog by Krisztina Neglia

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Inspiration in Decoration

You may feel that you have no idea what you like when it comes to decorating.  But if you look a little, you will find great ideas that will give you inspiration.

In starting your design journey you may not know where to start.  I find the easiest way is to find one truly special item and draw inspiration from the piece.  One object, which could be a painting, area rug, piece of furniture or even a piece of clothing,  can be the jumping off point for a theme or a colour scheme.

Decor magazines can be a wonderful source for ideas. You may not be able to completely duplicate exactly what you see, but you can get inspiration and direction.  I personally have a library of hard cover books and stacks of magazines that I find are very helpful as they are easily referenced.  To get a sense of what you respond to in the marketplace tear out the pictures of rooms and objects from these publications.  Then view the cuttings and watch for a theme or pattern to emerge.  Generally you will get a better understanding of how flamboyant, organic, fashionable, contemporary, modern or traditional you are.   Keep the cuttings in a file to allow you to draw upon them when needed.

Another source for ideas may be homes from your past. Delving into your history may be the first step in creating a space you want to live in - even if you end up defining what you love now as the opposite of what you grew up with.  Some people consider their childhood home as something to return to and some as something to move away from. Was there a spot in your family home that you grew up in that made you feel special, safe or happy? Determine what is was about the special place and incorporate it into your existing home.  Maybe you loved visiting a friend's or a relative's home where there was a room, piece of furniture of wall colour that interested you for years.

The houses in our memory are not the only ones that can affect our design choices.  Show houses, preservation houses, garden club tours, and even charity house tours allow access to any number of design ideas and perspectives.

Travel is another valuable source for inspiration.  Do you have a favourite spot that you like to vacation?  What is it that draws you there?  It could be a room in a cottage where you go for summer vacation.  A hotel room that forever sticks in your memory could give  you a starting point.  The colours in a beach house that made you feel at home.  Even small points of interest can start the design journey. Tile floors  in an old villa,  the colour of a wall in a small village, or even artwork in a gallery can speak to you and help in defining your creative path.

Small boutiques and web pages can introduce you to new thoughts and ideas.  The Internet gives us access to tiny far-off stores, out-of-print design books, and back issues of magazines.  Bloggers, designers, and other opinion makers share tips, images, and sources.

Inspiration is just a way to jog your memory, and to open your eyes to what is not directly in front of you.  It is using the narrative of your life as a palette from which to choose ideas.  In the creation of your own space, personal meaning is crucial - pulling together odds and ends that you have collected over the years.  Mixing these with existing pieces, inherited items and brand-new purchases adds intimacy, sentimentality, and identity to a home.

Next week - Where to spend and where to save.

Terry Kuivinen

Interior Decorator and Stager

Wingrove Hill Design

905.467.4187