When you design for a living, inspiration and creativity must be renewed. And if there’s one question that keeps coming up whenever I either get interviewed by a design magazine or clients, or even during informal social situations, it’s where I get my design inspiration from. Design inspiration can come from anywhere – but travel is a HUGE source of inspiration for me. Not in a “I-like-this-bathroom-at-the-Aria-so-I’m-going-to-copy-it-exactly” kind of way. I don’t necessarily frown on homeowners doing that. But I strongly feel that my clients don’t pay me to copy something. They pay me to come up with something they couldn’t have come up with on their own. So how does the magic happen and how can you apply it when designing your home?
Sometimes it’s a process that I don’t fully understand, probably better explained by a neuroscientist. It could be the way a tile pattern interacts with an adjacent wood floor that can spark my imagination about how to design a custom planter for the landscape. Or maybe the way my daughter’s red bathing suit looks in the turquoise water can lead to an unexpected color palette. International travel is particularly useful in helping our minds to see things used in a different way, which can lead to unconventional uses for objects, conversation pieces, etc. Like the way Cubans on the island have had to re-invent and re-engineer so many products because they simply have been isolated for so long (think old Chevy = cool BBQ grill). But most importantly, travel helps us recharge and rewire and be more in tune with the “beauty” in our surroundings. But that’s just the thing. That’s precisely the secret of how that magic happens. Ready? . . . Be mindful. Be in tune. If you’re there to create memories with your loved ones, do just that. If your objective is to marvel at the world by yourself, then do that. . . Inspiration will strike. I promise.