Every month I check out my pile of shelter magazines and inevitability find an article where a designer talks about how their newest design, fabric, furniture line, etc. was inspired from their latest exotic trip. When you travel do you see the world like a designer? Keeping your eyes open for new color combinations, textures, patterns and ideas? I’m still trying to train my eye to look for these inspirations. Part of the trick, I’ve discovered, is to just take a picture of anything that you like — be it a color, tile design or pattern. In November I took my own exotic trip through Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Here are a few of the things that inspired me in Vietnam and Thailand.
Why not paint your front door a bright yellow? And let everyone know that an emperor lives there. In Asian cultures yellow is believed to be from the earth and generates Ying and Yang meaning that yellow is the center of everything. Is your house the center of everything? How about a yellow front door?
How about hanging a series of pendent lanterns outside within a covered porch? Or several down a long hallway or passage? The lanterns aren’t the only inspiration in this shot. Look at the ceiling beams. What if you painted, covered in wall paper or fabric your ceiling beams? Don’t have any ceiling beams? I’m digging that pattern — that would be a great print for summer patio pillows. How does one go about getting their own fabric made…
Not all inspiration has to be ancient. I love these oversized silk feather pillows on my bed at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Bangkok. I am
stealing this idea inspired to make this my own.
Another contemporary inspiration. This awning spanned the length of the building with vines planted every 5-6 feet. Big impact that really transforms this building (I’m sorry I didn’t get a long shot of the building). How about an iron trellis over your door or garage?
Perhaps my favorite inspiration; the beautiful aged, muddied pastels of the walls of inside the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Wouldn’t a powder room wallpapered in a similar pattern be fantastic? Or how about being inspired by the color combinations and decorate a room with golds, greens, blues and corals?
Have you been inspired? What will you try at home?
For more photos from my trip please visit my Flickr account.