We always find it interesting to learn about how others gather inspiration – is it always from the usual places or, if we peer a bit beneath the surface, will a whole new world of ideas unfold? I think that is the case most of the time. Inspiration comes in corners and alleys, in many shapes and sizes and often hidden upon first glance though once found, you wonder how others don’t also see it? I wonder if you know what I mean?
Take for instance, catalogs. Lots of us get them and are often inspired by the color palettes and patterns found in clothing. It could also be the obvious location, like an Italian square around a fountain or in an English garden. In fashion, surroundings and backgrounds can be blurred or barely noticed simply because the focus is on the clothing. It is in these shots that I’d like for you to pay careful attention. Go beyond the obvious and consider what you could extract from an inspiration standpoint.
I recently tried this exercise with my new copy of the Boden catalog, a fashion brand that is colorful, happy and feminine. In some ways though, it was cheating because the location for the shoot (at least most of the indoor shots) was in the home of my friend, London-based photographer Debi Treloar. In fact, I recognized it in their video right away shown on their home page – at least that is where it was last week. When the catalog arrived today, I dug in quickly to check it out – I’ve been to Debi’s a few times so I wanted to play a game of spot Debi’s cool house. Like all good fashion catalogs, the eye should immediately fall upon the fashion upon opening it – and a good fashion photographer will make that happen – yet try to look at the surroundings a wee bit to take away some decorating inspiration. You can do this in any catalog – especially those shot indoors – cafes, homes, shops, etc. Here are 5 decorating ideas that I picked up on immediately from Boden, via Debi’s home.
Another fun exercise is, after you’ve shopped of course, to take the catalog apart at the seams (carefully) and display pages on your wall using washi tape and other elements you’d like to stick nearby for inspiration – a little hunt & gather. In the process, you may even find a pretty dress to order for Spring (oops!).
Now, what to do with the big mess on your table? Why not arrange everything on your wall in 10 minutes with washi tape? In fact, I thought to combine idea #1 and #2 above and use vintage wallpaper, maps and others misc. papers with pages from the catalog and look — now there is something fresh nearby my desk to inspire me until I’m ready for something new.
I’m loving fresh green right now combined with mint, hot pink, yellow and turquoise so this is the palette I went with. Not only did a simple (free) Boden catalog give me 5 good decorating ideas, also for free, but it gave me images to arrange on the wall, free again, with things I already had laying around and viola! something pretty for my workroom without spending a dime. Okay, the dime was spent on a dress but still… (smile).
What do you think?
(images: holly becker for decor8)