From Inspiration to Execution

So you know you have a project ahead of you, but not a clue as to where you start… No worries, there are a ton of places out there to help guide you along like Pinterest, Houzz and resources like, which takes you from design inspiration to the next step of your bathroom or kitchen project. But really you might have the inspiration for a design project in the most unlikely of places, like a trinket sitting on a shelf, or a vacation you took 10 years ago!

I really like to pull inspiration from what I know, things I love or places I’ve been… This is by far the most authentic way to develop the bones for a successful project! The reason being is that it means something to you! So often we see beautiful spaces, but can’t connect, and that might be because there’s nothing that personally speaks to you.

Here are just a few examples of my initial inspirations and how they were transformed into their completed realizations so you see what I’m talking about…


A Color Palette Inspired by Nature

So as a kid I had a slight obsession with gems and minerals. I just thought they were like the most amazing things on the planet! Which, by the way, they still are! But, I remember visiting the Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C. and wishing I could just live there and purchase everything in the gift shop.

photo courtesy:

photo courtesy:

That’s actually where I generated my color palette from when a bachelor was looking to pull his apartment together. He made a typical bachelor move and bought a black leather sofa, not seeing the stereotype in the purchase. Thankfully he quickly realized he needed my professional help before he went down the wrong path. Hehe!

photo courtesy:

photo courtesy:

Fortunately, the sofa had clean lines, and was actually quite handsome, and easy to integrate into a ton of design aesthetics. I pulled from my early love of minerals and chose to celebrate the dark colors which the client already naturally gravitated towards, but punch that up with intentional splashes of rich cobalt blue and touches of white and grey found in Lapis Lazuli.



Channeling Culture Through Color

On another project I got to travel overseas and designed two residences in Turkey, one in Istanbul and the other in Bodrum! Yeah, designing has its perks! Well, needless to say, it was an amazing experience… I traveled around Istanbul soaking in the thousands of years of culture, sights, sounds and smells. One of the places that I remember distinctly was the Spice Market. The individual vendors all proudly merchandising their products had a strong impact on me. It was spectacular!


A few years later a young gentleman purchased a magnificent apartment, bathed in light. His family was from India, and in a very early conversation, he and I of course started talking food, cause I sort of always incorporate food into conversations… Ha! But speaking of the vibrancy of Indian culture, my thoughts quickly drifted back to my time in Turkey, and how both are so rooted in their cultural flavors. I referenced my memories of the pottery, the vessels, the ground cumin, paprika and chilies to spearhead my decisions. The space I created is a nod to the rich heritage of my client and his family, but also my own travels.



Using Playful Patterns

Sometimes my point of inspiration isn’t as steeped in the richness of a culture, but just pure enjoyment and fun. I had the opportunity to transform an unused detached garage into a new playroom for a quickly growing family. Immediately I thought of my son, who at the time was just outgrowing his toddler stage, and what might interest him. Automatically I thought, “What is most exciting to kids? Candy!” I mean come on, I get it. I’m the same way now as an adult! Candy! Yum!


I wanted to create a space that the kids could grow into that wasn’t just a glorified nursery setting but a space that was chic, and punctuated with every color of the rainbow! I used black and white as a base to keep things grounded, but then use very deliberate pops to keep things playful! This is now a space where kids from 1 to 100 can enjoy!



Go Out and Get Inspired

These are just 3 examples of how I took a physical object or a beautiful memory and used that as a basis for my projects, but inspiration is everywhere! The smell of the ocean walking along a boardwalk, the silky texture of bedding you slept on during a vacation or a favorite photograph or piece of art you have… Once you have set your foundation, like I mentioned, resources like Pinterest can expand and elaborate on your inspiration point and for a kitchen or bathroom project, visually breaks down design inspiration so that it’s easy to turn all those plans into reality.

Don’t forget too, taking a risk or two isn’t a bad thing, and I always applaud that. After all, this is your space. Personalize it! Once you have the walls, the floors, the cabinets, etc. all done, it’s about layering your accessories on to really tell your story.

There are no rules with design! Just make sure you commit to it. If you love it, go for it! Kind of like an outfit, people know if you’re uncomfortable in something, but if you strut your stuff and own it, you win… I want you to WIN!

*This post is sponsored by Kohler, but all opinions are my own.