inspiration

10 Unexpected Sources of Inspiration for Your Home

We all know the basic ways to find inspiration when you’re looking to make changes in your home. But with all the options that are now open to the homeowner, why should we be satisfied with just a shelter magazine here, and some HGTV there?

We’ve polled our panel of experts for alternative means of finding new ideas for your home design. Want to see what they had to say? We present the top 10 unexpected sources of inspiration for your home’s renovation…

1. Try out a decorating style by staying in a boutique hotel.

Without committing to anything other that a weekend’s stay in a new place, you can explore a variety of different styles trying out for size the unique look that most boutique hotels offer.

2. Get inspiration from fashion.

Inspiration can come from the most random places. Fashion is a great outlet because texture, color, and fabric are all essential elements in the industry, making it very similar to interior design.

3. Create a wish book.

Organize it by room, and keep inspiration in it. Whether it be photos, magazine articles, or fabrics, you’ll have one easy place to look at and compare all your ideas. If you only like a certain element of a picture, be sure to mark what you like for easy look-up later.

4. Google reviews of design elements and styles you like.

You can often find forums of other homeowners speaking to how the ideas worked for them. You can even reach out to people with more expertise to get advice and ask specific questions.

5. Try using aggregator websites.

A lot of websites allow you to explore your interests around the web by category and keyword, and then easily bookmark the things that inspire you. Two of the best options for this are Pinterest and Stumbleupon.

6. Traveling can be a great source of inspiration.

Independent of the places you decide to stay on your travels, look at the differences all around you; from a famous architectural monument to a hole-in-the-wall shop, you can find new perspectives on your own home.

7. Go on tours of high-end homes.

A lot of neighborhood associations will organize home and garden tours in expensive areas; just do a search for such tours in your hometown and you’ll be able to explore them for inspiration.

8. Look at model homes.

Everyone knows about open houses, but what about model homes? Upscale builders always load up their homes with decorating accents so that buyers can see all the possibilities. Model homes also often show what is new on the market and what will have a good resale value.

9. Attend trade shows and decorator showhouses.

These are usually annual events that show the most cutting-edge new design and decorating styles. You can often talk to the designers and landscapers who worked with the houses for further clarification.

10. Find inspiration in commercial spaces.

Retail shops, restaurants, and spas have often been carefully designed with specific styles in mind. Keep your eyes open as you go through them for how you could incorporate their ideas into your own space.