Sunday, September 25, 2011

Where You Live: One "A-List" Designer Has Me Thinking About What Inspires . . . And, By the Way, Where Do You Find It?

As it Turns Out, Sources of Inspiration 
Might Be Right Under Your Nose.  
Ever notice how a little bit of white makes everything pop, especially when intermingled with darker colors?Like red and purple but not sure if they work together?
This brightly painted livestock feed trough holds the answer. Which is Yes.

Interior Designer Barry Dixon's new book -- aptly called Barry Dixon Inspirations -- explores the idea of looking at ordinary things around you in ways that allow you to identify what 
you truly love and appreciate. In other words, what speaks to you.  And during those moments of re-discovery, you likely will find the answers to some of your decorating dilemmas.  And if you need design guidance, buy his book. He's the design sherpa we've all wanted, as he understands more than one style . . . .

I have gathered up some my own images to share in hopes of reinforcing his point even more. Ah, the point, to be sure, is to look, ponder and determine what you like -- or don't.


Going From Book to . . . 

. . . lunching with a friend recently. At some point, she invited my opinion on a possible color palette for her new home. Since I haven't know her for long, I took the stand-by approach and suggested she look inside her own closet for inspiration. "What colors do you wear most often?" Her answer was black, brown and white. Colors she didn't want surrounding her, she added..

So what if she looked around her, as Barry Dixon suggests in his book. What if she looked to the sky, in her garden shed or elsewhere? I wonder if she might find two or three colors she loves?



Below is a photo of my Aussie, Sam. (And the truth be told, I do like showing him off.) He sits on the front porch of our log house. I like this snapshot for several reasons. First and foremost, though, it feels inviting for me -- even if he chose this moment not to smile. And, I like the simple screen door. As a take away for those who wonder what this composition might inspire . . .

 . . . how about the nostalia screen doors tend to conjure up? If you like the mood they evoke, then get creative.  For example, I've  seen them used in new kitchens to seal off a pantry opening, creating a warmer and more grounded look.

I didn't have an example at my fingertips of where screen doors have been placed in kitchens, but I did have this image. The pantry door is actually an old rustic one that offsets the shiny newness of this kitchen. This homeowner focused on incorporating rustic touches in her new home to make it feel inviting and lived in. 


An old weathered store counter inspired another homeowner to use it in her kitchen:

When I snapped this photo below, I heard someone nearby comment that she needed a relaxing place in her own yard. I bet this scene inspired her to make changes in her yard. Maybe she already had the snoozing dogs . . . .

 
In the same yard,a ladder and hutch inspire new approaches:



A showhouse designer recently used an old weathered corbel to design a side table. I think she did it to give a grounded edge to an otherwise all-new and perfectly placed room. It makes it real, more approachable . . . .


In addition to books, photos and ordinary things around me, I've been setting aside some of the zillion catalogues I receive in the mail. Their stylists and photographers offer some great home design inspiration. In addition to savoring placement and other ideas, I also consider what's being "overused." After all, I don't want someone to come into my house and ask if I copied Pottery Barn, Restoraration Hardware or West Elm, whose catalogue also offers some nice ideas. I want my house to be as personalized as Barry Dixon would hope for me. 

I pulled some that I liked for one or more reasons:


Restoration Hardware. I liked the look of the stripped Oak. However, for me, I like it used sparingly. But, still, it gave me a visual to consider.

Pottery Barn. I liked the quilts -- but they're part of a traditional decor that doesn't feel like grandma's house either.

Pottery Barn.   This inspired thoughts about using old silver goblets or other 
interesting pieces as vases.

Restoration Hardware. Someone who liked the coziness wingback chairs offer transferred
their design over to a headboard that certainly would accommodate late-night readers.


Pottery Barn. A new idea for blue jeans?!

 
Please visit Gifts, Books and Favorites, to read my other new post that spotlights "Barry Dixon's Inspirations." I've also pulled some of the design tips he shares within. Additionally, enjoy some of the projects, like the one below that he's worked on and now showcases.


Love-love-love to hear from you. And I gotta ask: What inspires you? Where do you find it? 
 

2 Responses to “

Where You Live: One "A-List" Designer Has Me Thinking About What Inspires . . . And, By the Way, Where Do You Find It?

Love that painted steer waterer planter. I use those all over to plant in but the painting around the middle is such a great addition. I might have to borrow this idea! Also love the chippy paint cabinet with the geraniums and the antlers-ooh la la!

Happy Monday Susan!
Caroline

Beautiful images, Susan. Inspirational indeed. Barry Dixon is a great designer...I loved reading about his inspirations.

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