5 Places To Find Inspiration (other than this blog)

I started this blog to showcase my projects, chronicle my journey as a home decorator, and inspire others. But, sometimes inspiration can be hard to come by. There are the usual: grocery stores, social events, and work/school. Wait. No. Scratch that. Those are ways to find a man. Hmm... I guess how to find inspiration for interior design isn't unlike the quest to find a good man. You need to know where to look, weed out the bad ones, and you'll soon be left with the best of the best.

Here are some of the places where I go to for design inspiration:

1. Houzz

Houzz is an online resource for all things beautiful. It is a massive database where users post pictures of various interiors, exteriors, products, services, etc. It is used both by home owners and professionals alike. What's great about this site is that you can create Ideabooks where you can collect and store inspiring pictures for your spaces. In addition, users are able to tag sources in these pictures. So, if you really love a wall colour in a posted living room, someone may have included the name of the supplier. Or, if you happen to know where someone got something, you can tag it yourself.

Houzz also includes articles submitted by professionals on clever ways to decorate your home, or new products on the market. It's a great tool for anyone who is looking for inspiration, wanting to get in touch with professionals in their area, or are simply voyeurs of beautiful interior design.

I have recently created a professional profile on Houzz. You can view it here. (And, psst... if you like my profile, please share via Twitter or Facebook.) I also have a variety of ideabooks that I have created with inspiring pictures that I have found. So, please take a look - you might find something that peaks your interest.

2. Style At Home

Style At Home is my favourite design magazine. I have a subscription to it and am overcome with giddyness when it arrives in the mail each month (you can ask my husband to confirm).

this issue

What's great about this magazine is that it includes sources of all different kinds - expensive and affordable, elegant and casual, store bought and DIY. They include articles on how to get the look for less, DIY projects, and inspiring homes that really are picture-worthy (that you can obtain yourself). They also have a monthly column called "High/Low". They create two very similar spaces for two very different costs. I use this article to test my skills in detecting differences in quality items (and I tend to get this "test" right every month, not that I'm tooting my own horn or anything).

If you're interested, you can subscribe to Style At Home here (and no, I wasn't paid by the magazine to promote it. I just happen to love it, and want to share the love.)

3. DIY/Home Decor Blogs

I follow a lot of home decor and DIY blogs (you can see these in the sidebar under "Blogs I Love"). I have followed most of these blogs for the past year or so. It's become a bit of a ritual reading their postings daily. These blogs really inspired me to create one myself. I love the idea of sharing your successes and failures while redecorating your home. There is something very honest in sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly with not only friends and family, but people around the world that you haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting.

What's really great about these blogs is the abundance of creativity. These bloggers post some really innovative ideas for DIY projects and they give you step-by-step instructions on how to recreate it yourself. So, I urge you to look through my list of favourite blogs. You might find something interesting to inspire you. I know I've been inspired...

4. Online Shopping

I never used to shop online. And I still try to avoid clicking "checkout" on these sites (if I clicked "checkout" as often as I would like to, I would have to use the garage for storage - and I don't think my husband would approve). But, I do use them for inspiration. Some of the best shopping websites to browse are:

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn offers pretty much everything to make your home feel warm, comfortable, and classic. It really is a "go to" place to stock your home with beautiful pieces. Or try your hand at recreating these items with a DIY project, like so many in Blogland do.

West Elm

West Elm is a great source for those looking for furniture and decorative accessories for their modern space.


Horchow offers high-end-only-in-my-dreams beautiful things. Just scanning these pages and I start to hyperventilate (with giddyness) and want to click "add to cart" on every second item. There are plenty of inspiring things on this site.

Restoration Hardware

I love Restoration Hardware. The look is industrial, unique, and interesting. (This is where I found a variety of Edison Bulbs that I blogged about here). Check out this site if you are dreaming of a downtown-loft-meets-suburban-home kinda vibe.

Joss and Main

Joss and Main offers a little bit of everything but for a set period of time. You can find great deals on items, but these sales only last for a specific time. So, you really need to check the site often for what deals are coming up and what is currently on sale.

All of these sites offer really beautiful things that anyone can create a home with. But they also offer inspiration. I have read plenty of blogs out there that have either used these pieces in their homes, or have used these pieces as inspiration for their own DIY projects. See what you can do with these sites.

5. Model Homes

I have always loved walking through model homes. When my husband and I lived in our townhome and aspired to one day live in a single home, we used to spend the odd Sunday walking through model homes. And living in Ottawa means there are many new communities (and model homes) popping up.

What I find inspiring about these homes, is that the builder spares no cost in making them beautiful. From the architectural details, the upgraded finishes, and the furniture, they really make these into "dream homes". And of course they want you to picture yourself living in one of these show homes, so you put down the big bucks. But, the look of these homes can be attainable by anyone and in whatever size or shape their home might be. You don't need high-end finishes to get the same look. Use these homes as inspiration for your own home. 

Where do you find inspiration? Is it somewhere other than these five? (let me in on your secrets...)

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