Seven Surefire Design Inspirations for the Home

Is it just me, or does it feel like another year has come and gone in the blink of an eye? You feel it, too?  It's nice to know I'm not alone!

As I prepare for 2016, I am excited and motivated. I’ve set some major goals for myself and believe this year is going to ROCK!

In addition to laying out plans/goals for my design business, I have been thinking about my home. I call my house “Little Jewel” because it’s a small, cozy two bedroom, two bath townhome, and it’s all mine. It really is the perfect size for me and my son. I actually prefer smaller homes. There’s less to clean!   

With the new year and all this planning underway, several questions arose:

  • Does my home make me happy?

  • Does it work for my lifestyle?

  • Is my home a reflection of me and my style?

And the answer is no.

I’ve been so busy helping others making their house a home that I’ve neglected my own.

2016 is the year I make MY house a home.

Hopefully you’re feeling the same energy and motivation to take your house to the next level this year, but before you start choosing paint colors and shopping for new accessories, you have to know where you’re going with your new look. That starts with inspiration.

I’m kicking off the new year with this goal, but like any homeowner, I’m not immune to the inspiration stage! Here’s what I’m using to draw inspiration from, and I hope you’ll consider exploring some of the same sources for your 2016 home remodel projects.


Pinterest is a fabulous choice when it comes to home design. I have over 54 boards and 3.5K pins with categories ranging from living rooms all the way down to closets and hallways.

Granted, you don’t have to go that crazy with it! I pin items for both my own home and my clients’ homes.

However, if you’re planning a full-home remodel, I suggest creating a separate board for each room so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for when you design the final layout.

Then, search Pinterest and follow relevant boards, but don’t forget to pin from other websites when you see something you like.


Like Pinterest, is a fantastic site for exploring photos and browsing home categories. What makes Houzz great is that you can search for local professionals to help with your projects. You can also shop furniture, appliances, accessories, and more.

Download the mobile app to share ideas with family members or designers. You can also search professionals and shop for your home on the go.


When you think about Instagram, you’re probably picturing endless selfies and photo filters. In that case, you may be surprised to find that Instagram is a hotspot for design inspiration.

For example, you can visit inspirational profiles like this one from one of my favorite designers, Miles Redd

Otherwise, just search hashtags like #living room, #master bath, or #kitchen to discover an endless stream of beautiful interiors. And, of course, you can always “like” the photos to view them later.


What do you see when you travel? When I travel, I see an endless supply of inspiration. A trip to New York, for instance, might inspire a funky, modern, or industrial interior. After a stay at a beach resort, you may find seashells and sisal rugs your inspiration.

I’m lucky to have visited places like South Korea, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic, so I’ve witnessed many foreign cultures and design ideas that I can pull inspiration from.

ALWAYS have your camera ready when traveling, whether it’s your phone or an actual camera. I have so many fabulous photos from trips I’ve taken that continue to inspire me.

Here are just a few from my trip to Germany and Austria.

However, you don’t have to travel around the world to find inspiration. I find inspiration in the city, the country, just about everywhere. One of my favorite places to visit for inspiration is the local DC museums. What a treasure trove!


When you’re not dreaming up your new home design while on vacation, get outside and see what you can find there.

Great Falls Park, Virginia

Great Falls Park, Virginia

You might discover the perfect color for your bedroom in a bird’s feathers. Perhaps you notice a flower you want accented in the living room. Maybe a fallen tree inspires you to choose hardwood floors over carpet or you find that three acorns inside a leaf-shaped dish makes the perfect centerpiece on your coffee table.

Take a walk or plan a weekend trip outside the city to gather ideas. Don’t be afraid to bring a camera along in case you spot something that moves you.

One of my favorite places on this earth is Great Falls Park.  I have been visiting this beautiful place since I was a little girl and still feel awe and inspiration when visiting.

Movie Sets

When you’re watching movies, you’re probably analyzing the plot or character development. Me? I’m checking out the set design and making mental notes.

For example, have you seen the set design on the movie Something's Gotta Give with Diane Keaton? The set designer, Beth Rubino, designed a gorgeous home that many people have tried to recreate in their homes.

Take a look at Apartment Therapy’s link of the 20 most unforgettable American movie interiors. You might also want to read Elle Décor’s list of 20 movies to watch before decorating your home . The possibilities are endless!

The idea isn’t to copy the movie sets, but there are certainly plenty of ideas to draw from and incorporate into your own home.

Design Magazines

Like Houzz and Pinterest, design magazines are pretty much a no-brainer go-to for design inspiration, and you don’t want to miss them.

Some of my personal favorites are:

  • Architectural Digest

  • Elle Décor

  • Garden & Gun

However, any design magazine should do it. You don’t have to worry about a subscription, although having the magazine in-hand is nice. Instead, you can start at the magazine’s website. There, you’ll find plenty of photographs and tips to draw ideas from. Better yet, you can pin those photos to Pinterest to keep all your ideas organized!

With these sources of inspiration in mind, I’ve collected some pretty cool ideas throughout the years. Some of this year’s projects will be small, like a new paint color, and others will be larger, like a half bath re-design. It should be an adventure. I hope to share these projects with you, including before and after photos.

How about you? Does your home make you happy? When you think about the New Year, what are your goals/aspirations for your home?

Liza JonesComment