From texture to history, inspiration is all around you
WRITTEN BY Sarah Pickard of Pickard Design Studio
As a principal of an interior design studio, people quite often ask me, “How do you come up with innovative ideas all of the time? How are each of your projects so different from the others? How do you get inspired?” I often hear, “I just don’t have a artistic bone in my body. If I only had a little bit of creativity, my home or office would be much better.” I simply don’t believe this! We all have a creative side but, in some, this ingenuity has not been tapped into. As a collaborative interior design firm, we encourage our clients to tap into their inner artist and become a part of the design process with us.
In reality, creative people also need to be constantly inspired and recharged. In my studio, I insist my designers go on a three-day sabbatical once a year to get recharged and re-inspired. For our clients who are uncomfortable or have not tapped into their ingenuity, I take them on a journey to discover what inspires them. This is my journey – this is how it starts with me.
I am a sucker for anything that has texture, both visual and tactile – rough, glossy, embossed, smooth, striae, decay, metallic and patina, just to name a few. Many textures inspire me and can turn into an incredible custom rug or wallcovering design. Don’t be afraid to combine textures in the same room, giving a layered effect. Layering texture in a room is no different than layering texture in your fashion. Think about it. Just like a pair of embossed suede shoes combined with a smooth wool skirt and a trendy metallic handbag. Your interior space is no different – the right amount of layered textures combined can take a room from boring and bland to the room all your friends are talking about. Texture can be seen in the everyday things you are surrounded by, with nature being the biggest. Take a walk, look around you and tap into your imagination.
Open your windows and let the light in. Lighting can make or break a space, but it is often the last element thought of in architecture and design. Lighting should be an integral part of the project from the beginning, so it can be cohesive throughout the interior. Just like you should layer your texture, lighting needs to be layered as well. For example, architectural lighting such as recessed and cove lighting, to decorative lighting found in chandeliers and lamps. Incredible lighting, whether functional or dramatic, can inspire us to feel good in our personal space and bring out our originality. Lighting can directly affect our mood, therefore suppressing or enhancing our creativity.
LOCAL ARCHITECTURE AND HISTORY
As we are from a big city (Dallas), we are spoiled and surrounded by incredible architecture and design. For multiple projects, we have done extensive digging through local archives and interviews to discover the history of our projects. Through our in-depth research, we found that one project was located on an Indigo plantation in the 1800s, which set the tone for our color palette and found objects. We used this inspiration in subtle details throughout the space to spark a conversation. Take time to get to know the city where you live. You don’t have to live in a big city to find architectural inspiration. What was located on your property before you lived there or officed there? Our office is located in an old cotton gin dating back to the late 1800s. Every day we are inspired by the original hardwood floors, beams and old brick and mortar walls. The building is relatively untouched. Take a bit of this history and put it back into your home or work space through artwork, murals, lighting, furniture or found objects to make a conversation piece. Pay tribute to the history and let it inspire you.
In short, there’s no secret recipe or magic key to creativity. There is no special gene or chromosome that makes one person creative and another person dull. Inspiration is all around you; it’s just simply a matter of tapping into your inner self and finding out what inspires YOU.