finding inspiration interior designWhen it comes to interior design, where do you find your inspiration? Does it begin with one simple object—a gorgeous piece of tile, the pattern of a pillow, or the colors found in a piece of artwork? Perhaps a beautiful element from nature, or a certain style, or era, awakens your design spirit?

We asked some of our favorite local interior designers one simple question:
“Where do you find design inspiration?” Read on to find out their answers…

DESIGNERS: Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters
Photo Courtesy of Itashia Jordan

Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters

“We both are very much inspired by our surroundings, as we feel inspiration is a state of mind. Tavia is strongly inspired by her travels, while Monet is inspired by nature and textiles.”


DESIGNER: Jennifer Glickman
FIRM: Glickman Design Studio
LOCATION: Charlottesville, VA
Photo Courtesy of Brook Robinson

Jennifer Glickman

“I get most of my inspiration from the runways. I follow fashion houses more than travel, blogs, or other designers because trends seen on the runway oft en lead to trends in interiors. When I meet with a new client, I ask them for two images of interiors they love and two images of interiors they do not like, then I also oft en look at their closet with them, as clothes are design decisions that reflect their overall design style—their design voice. For example, if I look at a client’s closet and see that it is full of bold patterns, it tells me that they are more likely open to bolder statements in their interiors. Conversely, if a closet is mixed with very structured pieces, it leads me toward a design that mixes in masculine elements. Fashion and interiors very much go hand in hand!”

DESIGNER: Gini Marshall
FIRM: Hive Interior Design
LOCATION: Asheville, NC
Photo Courtesy of  Jennifer Cole

Gini Marshall

“One common thread runs through all of my designs—the magnificence found in nature. I love
connecting the interior world to the beauty found in nature, bringing in rich textures of linen, natural woven materials, and colors that connect to their surroundings. I hike on my property almost daily as a form of meditation and grounding. This provides me with the opportunity to notice all of the nuances in a plant or to take in the saturated greens in the trees and mountains that surround us.

I also find great inspiration through travel to new places. I love traveling to the west coast, taking in the varied colors of rock and the unusual plant life that thrives in the desert climates. The colors there sometimes overwhelm me with their intense beauty.

Honestly, one of my most favorite sources of design inspiration is working with other creatives on projects. I love to collaborate with other designers as well as with furniture designers, craftsmen, graphic designers, metalsmiths, and local artists. I find that always staying open to a fresh perspective is the key to my success in interior design—it feeds me so that I can continue to create for my clients.”


FIRM: MA Allen Interiors
Photo Courtesy of Stacey Van Berkel 

MA Allen

“History inspires my work and style most. I take cues from the past, then add my spin for a classic, yet fashion forward feel.”


DESIGNER: Radhika Vydianathan
FIRM: Kalaa Chakra Interiors
Photo Courtesy of Heather Fulbright 

“My inspiration could come from any form of art (fashion, jewelry, sculpture), a client’s memorabilia, or travel. For example, one of my clients loved the music group 311. So I asked him to provide a list of phrases from their lyrics that inspired him. We used those phrases to create a custom wallpaper that we used as an accent wall in his home gym.”


DESIGNER: Kristi Lane
FIRM: 3North
LOCATION: Richmond, VA
Photo Courtesy of  Todd Wright

“As a designer, I am innately curious. I use every available opportunity to investigate new resources that might inform new ways of working, spark design inspiration, and, above all, bring fresh creative ideas to our clients. One of my favorite ways to find inspiration and reenergize my mind is to go exploring. This doesn’t have to involve taking a two-week vacation outside the country. Instead, I make sure to carve out time each week to explore a new city, neighborhood, or even a side street. You never know what unexpected design ideas will be sparked…

“While walking down a small residential street in Boston in search of a much-needed cup of coffee, I found a high quality boutique full of regional craft s and handmade goods aptly named Good. Though I never found that coffee shop, I went home with newfound design inspiration and even a few things for my home.

“On a recent long weekend in upstate New York, I found myself wandering around the quaint town of Rhinebeck. It was there I stumbled upon Sawkille Co., a high quality, custom craft furniture company that’s the best I’ve seen in years. Not only did I gain inspiration for my current projects at 3north, I also took note of how they set an example for collaboration among other crafts people in the area. It’s something we strive to do at 3north in the Richmond community and beyond.

“A bit closer to home, I found inspiration visiting the Nordt Family Farm, an idyllic merino sheep farm near Charles City, VA. The owner, Dianne Nordt, raises the sheep and shears their wool, creating soft and intricate woven blankets by hand. As soon as I visited the farm, I knew we needed to use them as design inspiration for a master suite in a new farmhouse under contract in Powhatan County, VA.”


DESIGNER: Stacey Lampman
FIRM: Spaces Design Studio
LOCATION: Fredericksburg, VA
Photo Courtesy of  Susan Kalergis 

Stacey Lampman

“Design inspiration can come (and go) at any point. Nature inspires me with its texture, colors, and layers. Traveling to different cities or countries inspires me with various regional aspects. One of my favorite sources of inspiration is our clients—taking their vision and wishes and turning them into reality.”


DESIGNER: Rima Nasser
FIRM: TEW Design Studio
Photo Courtesy of Allie Mullin 

Rima Nasser

“I find inspiration from traveling the world and experiencing unique cultures. As a Palestinian whose family moved to the U.S. when I was 15, I grew up noticing architecture from different parts of the world. From as far back as I can remember it’s been simple, earthy design that’s caught my eye, especially the use of greenery, as well as Moroccan influences with bold colors and patterns. Design is so personal I feel like it should be fun, exciting, and daring. And travel brings out the best in me.

“When we slow down enough to notice the world around us, everything from food to architecture
to textures, colors, and nature, it all can be so exotic in different parts of our world—and so inspiring. I lived in Florence, Italy, for a year and had the opportunity to travel through Europe, trying new foods and meeting amazing people. Talk about a rush of inspiration. So my design is nourished by cultural experiences abroad. I feel as though it helps when I’m encouraging my clients to take certain design risks that bring out their personality. Experiences from traveling help us be courageous and put the ‘fun’ in functional interior design.”


We shared this story with you in our Fall/Winter 2019 Issue of NEST Magazine. To view the full issue, click here.


This post is shared courtesy of the original author, Jasmine Bible.