Design Inspiration Photos - How Do I Interpret It?

Early in the e-design process, I always ask my clients to provide me their design inspiration photos via Pinterest, Houzz or any photos they find that speaks to them. How does this relate to an e-design project? It really helps me understand what you like and your style better in order to get a design right for your project. A photo is worth a thousand words and I search for design details and clues out of a photo.  Clients usually provide me a good number of design inspiration photos and it helps by allowing me to pick up on common threads of design across the photo to understand the client better. I will provide you five examples of design inspiration photos and show you how I interpret them.

 Living Room by  West Elm

Living Room by West Elm

See the living room design inspiration photo above? Here is my interpretation of this photo: You could like the mix of modern bohemian and modern eclectic style. You also might like your space to be lighter and airy but cozy room. You might like to have a mix of the art collection or houseplants as well. Lastly, you might want your space to have earthy tone colors too.

 Dining Room by  Pottery Barn

Dining Room by Pottery Barn

Moving on to the second design inspiration photo. Wait a minute... You probably don't want modern bohemian or modern eclectic style. This photo represents French country style dining room. There is something first and second photos have in common - rustic, lighter, airy, fewer colors, cozy, and warm.

 Foyer by  Crate & Barrel

The third design inspiration photo shows something different compared to first two photos. This photo represents modern farmhouse style foyer. You could still like rustic, mixed materials, lighter, airy, with a few modern touches.

 Office by  CB2

Office by CB2

This fourth design inspiration photo tells me differently about what you like/want for your space. This represents modern mid-century style office. I still see few things in common with other three photos above - rustic, mixed materials, fewer colors, a bit of modern touch, lighter, airy, and cozy. I think I am getting a better understanding of what kind of things you like and want for your space.

 Bedroom by  Anthropologie

Bedroom by Anthropologie

Last inspiration photo which represents eclectic style bedroom. What I see in this photo - you still like lighter, airy, mixed materials, cozy, and warm but don't mind rustic even this photo doesn't show any. Did I get your style right?

Now you see how I might interpret inspiration photos. When you plan to work with an interior designer, you might want to take a moment to think about what kinds of things you want for your space, even if it's emotions and feelings and not a color. That would be very helpful for an interior designer like myself to understand you better. If you see some pictures that you like or in love with - add notes to each photo to tell us what specifically you like about it. If you give us mixed photos with too many different styles which may include ones that you may like but don't actually want for that particular space - it gives the interior designer mixed messages about what you like. Trust me, you don't want to do this because it would lead to delayed design time to get the design right for you.

If you're planning to work with an interior designer soon, it's a good time to start gathering design inspiration photos that speak to you via Pinterest or Houzz.