Inspiration from interior design

How Interior Design Can Inspire Other Great Design Work

Even the most creative people need sources for inspiration. During one of The Craftsman creative team meetings, our senior designer Sara mentioned how often she turns to interior design for inspiration. Gina, our executive creative director and CEO, and Mike, another of our designers, said it was one of their favorite sources as well. 

Intrigued, we asked them to tell us more. Of course, as we don’t like to keep inspiration to ourselves, we’re sharing their thoughts and favorite resources with you. Here’s our conversation.  

How does interior design inform and inspire your work?

Gina: The aesthetics can give me ideas for how a creative concept could show up in market, but it also can inspire me in another way. I find my surroundings definitely have an impact on my creativity. The beautiful interiors at The Wing and The Rosewood Sand Hill help get my creative juices flowing, and I decorate my home and office in a way that makes me feel lighter and more inspired. Even a vase of fresh-cut flowers can make a huge difference. 

Mike: The design of my workspace definitely makes a difference to me, too. And in general, looking at interior design is a great way for me to get the creative juices flowing before I move into a project. It’s an instant source of inspiration on color palettes, patterns, and textures, of course, but I think the biggest thing that interior design shows you is how all these disparate elements can come together to create an instant impression. You definitely feel something when you look at a well-designed room. This informs our thinking when we’re building out experiential activations, making sure that the branding and design elements are all working in harmony to create the desired feelings for the audience. 

Sara: For me, it’s really inspiring to see how trends transcend different forms of design. For example, indoor plants and foliage have made a huge comeback in interior design, and we’re seeing that work its way into graphic design. If you’re like me, then it works its way into your workspace, too. I’ll find myself looking at these posts that use up-close photography of huge glossy leaves, and I’ll be inspired to pick up a new plant to ogle while I’m designing. And connected to what Gina was saying about the impact that her surroundings have on her, there have been studies done on creatives and their performance depending on their environments being clean and well-designed versus not. Interesting stuff!

(Editor’s note: If you feel like your workspace is falling short, check out Mike’s tips on how to design an inspiring, productive workspace. He also includes info on how design choices impact your creativity and productivity.)

Gina and Sara, it seems like The Craftsman brand look and feel were influenced by interior design. How did it impact your choices?

Gina: The Craftsman brand look and feel were most definitely inspired by interior design. I found myself drawn to specific hotels and places that were feminine but still felt strong, and I made sure our brand conveyed that same feeling. The gold, blush, and white tones were pulled from a look that is popular right now, but it’s one that I felt would really resonate for a long time to come. It’s beautiful, welcoming, and immersive. 

Sara: I also pulled inspiration from current yet timeless interior design styles such as clean white marble patterns. I for one will never get tired of seeing a huge slab of white marble in a kitchen. Our look also includes strong black-and-whites with an accent color (in our case, dusty pink), which is a very prevalent look in Scandinavian interiors as well as classic Swiss graphic design.

What are your favorite interior design sources for inspiration?

Gina: Instagram and Pinterest are probably my top sites for interior design sources. HGTV shows are also good inspiration for me, as are magazines such as Southern Living and Architectural Digest. I rip the pages out that speak to me and file them by room.

Sara: Pinterest is a constant resource for me, especially because I can save my favorites and look back on them for inspiration. And if I like one post, I can just scroll down to see similar images, which is how I really get lost in the inspiration rabbit hole. Instagram is another favorite because I can follow pages that fit within a specific style theme (for example, mid-century modern or Scandinavian design), but I can also follow some really inspiring designers and their projects, such as Jonathan Adler and Emily Henderson. Lastly, I love Reddit and the fact that it allows complete freedom of posts and conversations from everyday people like you and me, free from brands and advertisers. One of my favorite subreddits is Mid-Century Modern.

Mike: My go-to source for design inspiration is Reddit. Some interior design subs that I follow are Cozy Places, Male Living Space, Tiny Houses, and—pardon the titles—Room Porn and Amateur Room Porn. I also get a fair bit of inspiration from browsing Abduzeedo and Pinterest.

Amazing. Thank you, all! 

Want even more inspiration? Check out nine of our favorite Instagram accounts. We hope that you have fun getting lost in the inspiration rabbit hole…and if you need any assistance climbing out, let us know!