Are someone who doesn't consider themselves 'arty' or 'creative', and finds themselves at a loss when asked 'what inspires you?' When you start planning an interior design project you need to start with inspiration, and trust me - you have as much inspiration for creativity in you as anyone else. It's just that you haven't been practicing recently and your creative muscles are probably a little flabby. Being inspired takes practice and the ability to look in the right places.
The right place to start looking is actually in the mirror. After all, how can you be happy if you don't know what makes you happy? How can you be stylish if you don't know what style you like? Marcus Aurelius said "Look within. Within is the fountain of good and it will bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig." I think he has a good point.
How to find your inspiration
Get yourself a pen and paper and start reflecting on who you are. The powerful mix of understanding your past, taking a close look at your present and considering the future will help you create your authentic style - the style of your home and the style of your life.
1. The Past
Who were you before you are now? Which bits of you have you forgotten? Are there any parts of you that could be worth bringing back again? I'm sure there are plenty of bits that you'd rather leave behind but what about the gems of the past? Don't leave them behind if they're worth taking with you.
Go through your old albums and look at who you used to be. Remember how you used to think, how important places and people were to you. What made them important? Bring back memories of what made you happy. Can you bring any of that into your life now?
2. The Present
Which part of you do you want to embrace? There are so many parts of you - I suspect some more fun than others - which bits do you want to highlight and which bits are you happy to keep in storage? Don't you want to see your efficient side in evidence around your home? Don't you want your eclectic taste to be seen somewhere - even if it's just the utility room?
3. The Future
The future - who you want to become: the Spanish you want to learn, the trombone you want to play, the home you want to retire to, the investments you want to make, the car you want to drive, the wedding anniversary you really want, the holidays with the kids you dream of, the solitude and tranquillity you imagine.
Now to make your vision board
Vision boards are about surrounding yourself with visions of who you are and what you want - which will help you to start noticing the goals or 'things' you aspire to. In this case, your vision board will serve as your interior design concept board.
By putting together a board of items, you can see how they 'work' - how they look together, whether any stand out and whether that's a good thing or not. They're a brilliant way of letting your brain make up its mind about whether it likes things.
With your concept board in hand, you can start making decisions about ways in which your interiors can give a nod to your loves, hopes and dreams in your day to day. Perhaps an aquatic wallpaper that reminds you of the pool you like to lie by. A bright green fabric that looks like the padi fields in Asia you'd love to visit. A vibrant painted blue wall in the utility room that looks like the sky in Greece; your white goods against it reminiscent of the white buildings on the Greek islands.
Your vision board of your past, present and future self is the perfect inspirational starting point for your new interiors. Remember, inspiration comes from within, so get thinking, reflecting, collecting and sticking and see what design genius springs out at you!