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Finding inspiration

Sometimes we all hit a mental block when it comes to designing a room. Once we’ve searched pinterest, instagram the web, interior mags then what? I say look at commercial installations like hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants for inspiration. Why well because stepping away from places we normally seek inspiration from makes us think a bit differently. The key is to look outside your normal comfort zone. For example most hotels – the blander of them use lots of creams and whites, sleek furniture, neutral toned accessories that kind of thing. It’s a no brainer and it’s not particularly inspiring, decorating by numbers I call it.  I don’t know about you guys but I see no point in finding inspiration from a look that has been done to death and doesn’t particularly inspire. Yes it may be luxurious and beautiful but is it inspiring enough? I’m talking stopping you dead in your tracks inspiring, making your heart skip a beat inspiring! Now you may say that is all very well but we do not have the bank account to pull off the look. I say you’re looking at it a little too practically. The whole point is number one find a place that inspires and number two drill down into why it inspires. Is it the paint colour, is it the different use of materials, maybe it’s a piece of upholstery? One thing I should point out is that all these commercial spaces have to be practical, which believe me, as a designer is the biggest pain in the butt. I hate practical and if you can make practical look cool you’ve nailed it. The cool guys do this by creating impact through colour, texture, scale, and pattern. For my inspiration I’ve chosen Kettner’s restaurant in London – designed by Ilse Crawford. Right now we are in the champagne bar. I adore this space from the restrained but luxurious palette to the lighting.  Note and double note how the light actually blurs and fades into darkness (remembering that when we light spaces we never want to over light them as shadows create mystery and drama). It is a space that wraps you up the squishiest of blankets I think its beautiful. ket Look at how traditional the space is below, knocked out of the park by that ultra modern, ultra blue sofa. Colour palette is retrained again; I love the use of scale from the oversized wicker chair to the lighting fixture which is way to small for such a grand space. ket1 Lastly we’re literally knocked out of our seats by this shot of eclectic blue (again note the size of the pendant) teeny tiny tiny! ket2 Pretty inspirational don’t you reckon?

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