07 November 2013

Inspiration everywhere

In this Pinterest-driven décor world, there are more beautifully staged rooms and impeccably DIY’d crafts than my computer or me can handle. And yet... I would much rather find my own subjects in real life than spend hours scrolling my life away on Pinterest. I’m constantly out shopping for our home and taking photos of things in stores that inspire me – fabric stores, retail stores like IKEA, consignment stores around St. Louis. Not every photo is necessarily Pinterest-worthy (at least, if you’re trying to impress your followers) – but it’s inspiration, nonetheless, which makes snapping a photo worth it.

But recently I realized I was taking photos that others might think... odd. They would not get re-pinned. And perhaps out of context, they would not seem inspirational. Like this photo I snapped last fall when our hallway at work was repainted:

I was standing there, waiting for the elevator, and I noticed that the deep-cherry red of the fire alarm looked pretty killer with the new blue walls. And I’ve been trying to figure out a way to use this color combo in my house somewhere ever since! (I’ve been too shy about red décor lately, BUT you better believe I’ve worn a red shirt with a turquoise scarf a time or two since then.)

See, I am all about finding inspiration everywhere. I’ve just about lost the patience for Pinterest – there are too just many pretty pictures of places I’ll never live, too many crafts I’ll never take the time to do. Instead I try to notice things in real life that inspire me. Things that weren’t carefully sculpted to impress. Like this commercial (for bathroom cleanser? paper towels? hmmm) with an absolutely perfect vanity. Mr. P rolled his eyes when I asked him to rewind and pause the commercial so I could take a photo of the television, but the next time I need to paint cabinetry in a bathroom, I know the shade I want.

My time is short nowadays and yours probably is too. I can’t compartmentalize my design-inspiration time into a block of “Now I will go look at Pinterest and read pretty blogs for hours!” I have to work with the time I’ve got. Like the time spent at brunch with Mr. P.

I snapped that at a nursery-slash-shop-slash-restaurant a few blocks from our house, but I wish it was in my house. I love everything about that cabinetry! Love it enough to have the waitress give me a funny look for standing back and taking a picture.

My most recent real-life inspiration came while doing laundry. In our basement. Yes. I noticed at the bottom of our stairs that our landlady had this amazing, abstract canvas leaning against a wall:

Silvery blue and gray, a little bit of brown. That would totally go in my house! I snapped a photo because I was, serendipitously enough, listening to my iPod while tackling the laundry. Then I stood there, wondering if I should ask her what she was planning to do with it, when I got the nerve to touch it and realized...

It’s metal. It’s a rusted metal worktop. That I thought was art.

But that’s the beauty of walking through life, looking for inspiration everywhere! You see a stained worktop, I see abstract art. (And I still hope she doesn’t get rid of it because YES I would still totally hang that on my wall).

Of course, if my time is too short for Pinterest, then it’s definitely too short to create all the projects I see. But by developing an eye for design in everyday life, when I do have time to tackle a new project, I’m better equipped to know what I want.... especially with the photo I inevitably snapped.

And even if I never get around to it? Well, turns out, I’m already surrounded by design that I love... I just have to be ready to notice it.


Tina said...

Guess what color my new iPad cover is... Light blue with a cherry-red monogram. I added a pair of red ear buds w/a red cord and have gotten so many compliments wherever I carry it. You are so right to gather inspiration from what you are attracted to... I just added a few more arches to this kitchen re-do we're in the midst of, too and I love it even more! :-)