Category: Interior Design

Designers strive to be original, forward thinking and unique but this can seem challenging when it feels like everything has already been designed. We all get stuck for ideas from time to time and tend to rely on the Internet for inspiration. Instead of turning to Google for help: take a more active approach and use the world around you to find your inspiration.

Some of the best design can be found in the natural world so it is not surprising that so many designers take their inspiration from within nature. Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Antoni Gaudi and Frank Lloyd Wright are all known to use organic forms and shapes within their works. It is thought that the spiral stair structure of The Guggenheim Museum was based on the shape of a Nautilus shell and the radial symmetry of a spider web inspired the design of the skylight.

bfe035bb12d693bcf8093b247f9c93c6The Guggenheim Museum, New York 1937 – Frank Lloyd Wright

People, music, architecture and history are other great forms of inspiration. However, some designers have found theirs in more unusual places:

  • Artist Salvador Dali was an eccentric character with a vivid imagination and his fascination with Freud’s writings about dreams and the subconscious mind lead to his work having an extraordinary dreamlike quality. Dali’s work was influenced by the people he met during his life. But it was his wife, Gala who was his main muse and greatest inspiration and as a result, she featured in many of his paintings. I think that because Dali was inspired by many different areas of his life it meant that he did not limit himself to one style or media and as a result he was always growing and evolving as an artist.

37SwansReflectingElephantsSwans Reflecting Elephants 1937 – Salvadore Dali

  • Yayoi Kusama, is an 84 year old Japanese artist who has suffered from hallucinations and a obsessive compulsive disorder throughout her life. In her world everything is covered with net patterns and polka dots. I love how she channels her mental illness into her design and creates artwork for the world to enjoy. She works in a variety of media that includes, painting, drawing, collage, sculpture and performance art. My favourite is her recent collaboration with Louis Vuitton for Selfridges which features her trademark polka dot pattern on both the exhibition and fashion collection.

Louis_Vuitton_Yayoi_Kusama_Selfridges_05Louis Vuitton and Kusama concept store at Selfridges, London 2012 – Yayoi Kusama

Design inspiration can be found everywhere and the more you open your mind, the more you can discover. Fashion designers can find inspiration within history; artists can find it in music and architects can even take inspiration from nature. Don’t just stick to what you know. Great design encompasses a collection of ideas that flow from exploring different cultures, lifestyles and eras.

Explore outside the boundaries, take inspiration from something you love and look at things with a new perspective.