As a designer, It can be extremely challenging to continue to push the envelope and consistently think of out-of-the-box ideas. But that is, more or less, our job as designers. All designers have their go-to place where they find inspiration. However, there is a very fine line between taking inspiration from something, and straight up copying someone else’s work. Today, we are talking to some of our designers here at Chicago Roof Deck & Garden, and exploring where they look for inspiration when that blank white sheet is staring back them.
Adam – I’m guilty of diving into some pretty deep click holes…specifically Houzz and Pinterest. When you get lost clicking the sites allow you to explore and find things you might not have known to search for in the first place. Whether it’s a click to an adjacent company, designer, architect or manufacturer the sites have the ability to be wonderfully un biased stylistically. As designers we can get stuck looking for and designing the same things, but the global design community is now digitally at your finger-tips to inspire!
My other vise; Hospitality. I find that hotels and restaurants can be some of the most forward thinking in terms of design trends in order to stay competitive in their own markets. On a good day this means traveling to new places and exploring not just the places I get to stay and eat, but often times I will tour other hotels while I am on vacation. There are always unique elements that can transition to exterior spaces you just have to open your eyes to see them.
SoHo House West Hollywood is crazy dreamy and provides plenty of inspiration to go around Farm Napa has a couple of indoor/outdoor spaces with massive stone fire pits creating an incredible ambience The SoHo House in Istanbul, Turkey did a remarkable job at capturing and preserving the vintage elements of the existing building while cleaning it up and creating a very stylish and edgy mood throughout the space
Tim – I love to look at what countries like China and Japan are doing, especially within their retail environments. Many major brands commission artists who are constantly pushing the way that we can utilize different materials in abstract and creative ways. What we see in these stores, is great inspiration for what we can do in our own homes.
Considering that I have never actually been to Asia, you might wonder how I find said examples. I am so thankful for a website called “The Cool Hunter”! They are constantly sharing really neat and original content. Sometimes when I am stuck on a project, I like to go on their website and it can be as simple as seeing the way in which a coffeeshop infused some natural wood elements with some vibrant colors and the lightbulb goes on in my head and suddenly I am feeling completely inspired!
Ally – When I look for design inspiration for a new project, I like to look back at all the places I’ve been that have left an impression on me. Most people don’t always remember, or don’t know, that a vast majority of the spaces they experience on a day to day basis have been intentionally designed by people sitting at drafting tables and computers. There are amazing examples of good design everywhere you go. I love looking through photos from trips I’ve taken near and far to see how other designers have manipulated the built environment to create meaningful spaces.