Working in interiors it’s sometimes easy to get caught up in the depths of Pinterest, and Pinterest only, when it comes to looking for inspiration – I’m guilty on that front and it’s hard when there are so many amazing images on there. But today I wanted to share some of the other places I reach out to when I’m looking to gather ideas and to motivate my mind a little bit when I’ve found myself with the dreaded writer’s block.
Despite working in publishing for my 9-5 away from Apartment Number 4, there was a point a year or so ago where I fell out of love with magazines. I never found time to read them and most of the information I read, I knew I could find online anyway. So I cancelled my subscriptions and stopped buying my monthly glossies. Except Sunday morning would come around, when I was having my weekly online detox, and I’d have nothing to read as I lay wrapped up as snug as a bug in a rug. And after being treated to a subscription c/o magazine.co.uk I can now savour those Sunday morning moments now, turning each page with my phone turned off.
My favourite interior design magazine, without fail, is ELLE Decoration. From discovering a worn out copy in the library at university, devouring it page by page, to now cutting pages out to stick on my vision board of future house ideas, this magazine has inspired me in so many ways. The August issue which dropped into my letter box earlier this week is my essential guide to a/w 17 home decor trends, covering everything from Japonisme – the mood of the moment as interior design influences turn Japanese, to the use of the colour plum in your home, which symbolises wealth and power I’ll have you know.
If you’re like me and want to revive your love for good old fashioned printed media, I’d recommend a magazine subscription to your favourite interior design read of the month, which will not only save you money, it’s always a nice surprise to receive it through the post. Rejoice, for once it’s not a bill!
Although this is like Pinterest in the fact that you have to use your phone or laptop to be inspired, I love Instagram because it shows real homes decorated and styled by real people. Yes, some of the pictures have been edited and purposely shot, but most are a genuine view into houses we wouldn’t normally see. I have so many Instagram accounts that never fail to give me a daily dose of interior inspiration, including Ilka Elise, Lust Living, Svenja, Kate La Vie, Zoe Olivia, Angloyankophile, GypsyTan, Style Loves Home, Erica Davies and many more – just head to my Instagram to see which talents I follow for yourself.
Shops, Restaurants and Bars
If a restaurant has an amazing interior, I’ll book it instantly – regardless of whether I’ve heard a good review about the food or not. I’m swayed very easily by beautiful decor and have been known to spend most of the night snapping pictures rather than actually enjoying my surroundings. Some of my favourite places in the UK to visit in terms of interior design inspiration include The Principal in Manchester, Hotel Gotham close by in the city, Chiltern Firehouse in London, Iberica Restuarant in Leeds and Clerkwell Grind in London. In terms of shopping, the moment I step into Anthropologie or Barker & Stonehouse I feel instantly inspired – hell, I feel inspired the moment I step through the doors of Ikea. It’s about taking a moment to look around you when it comes to interior inspiration. I spotted the most beautiful green velvet chairs as part of the visual merchandising at Next yesterday and that was only because I was rushing through to get to the children’s section. Next time you’re out, whether that be shopping or grabbing a coffee with friends, take a look around and see if you can see any snippets of design inspo.
Books & Blogs
Now I’m grouping books and blogs together as one because I’m the queen of judging both a book and a blog by its cover. If either has a beautiful design, they’re already a winner in my…well, book. Some of my best interior choices have been from newly discovered blogs, and I’m always on the hunt on Bloglovin for more home decor websites to bookmark. If you’re looking for glamorous inspiration then I’d definitely recommend reading The Decorista. However, if you’re a fan of DIY’s and crafty interiors I’d say check out both Sugar + Cloth and A Beautiful Mess, while you’ll love Coco Kelley if bohemian decor is your thang.
In terms of books, I have quite the collection now, from huge inspirational coffee table books like my signed Kelly Hoppen Design Masterclass bible to smaller bite-sized books like Dream Decor by Bright Bazaar’s Will Taylor. When a book has beautiful imagery and plenty of it, I’m more likely to devour it in a matter of days. There’s nothing more inspiring than being able to see how a book’s advice is played out visually. A little tip from me is to type in interior design into Amazon, see what comes up and if anything sparks your interest, scroll to the bottom to view the “Customers who bought this also bought…” section, which, in the past, has unearthed some amazing gems for me. Some of my favourite reads found this way include: Modern Bohemian and Styled both by Emily Henderson, Decorate for a Party by Holly Becker, House of Plants by Caro Langton & Rose Ray, Your Guide To A Stylish Home by Domino and Shades of Grey by Kate Watson-Smyth
Let me know if any of these recommendations are new to you, and I’d love to know where you look for your design inspiration as it might help me when I’m stuck for ideas.