Inspiration is everywhere. The most simple of things captivate me. From the oldest of records at Goodwill to the scrap wood left behind in a neighbors ditch. Things can never be set aside for what they appear to be, but seen for what they can be. As an artist and designer I enjoy most when I’m able to take something from trash to exhibit.
Almost three months ago I was sitting across the table from a friend, Ian Collins (an amazing destination wedding photographer www.IGCPhotography.com), and he mentioned a loft available in Downtown Franklin, just outside of Nashville, TN. Years ago the Lord had placed a dream in my heart for a shared office space for creatives, and it only took his brief interest to spark a flame. It was done. Within 24 hours we had a logo, website, marketing launched, and money down on the loft.
Thus began the race. 30 days. We were running hard and fast. The first 15 days to get the clients for the space, and 15 days to build out an entire client suite. If inspiration was ever important, it was now.
A few things I always consider when decorating.
1) REPURPOSE: What do I already have around?
With my company, Epic Life Creative, we had just finished up decor for several weddings. I had at my disposal old windows & doors, candle holders, and books. This was the first step in inspiring the space.
2) REUSE: What can I gather from somewhere else?
I scoured my house for extra lamps, books, candle sconces, left over signage from a storefront and to tie it all up, a set of couches my mom had bought 4 years ago for me from a storage unit that was being cleaned out. Yep, I come from a long line of gatherers.
3) REINVENT: What can I build from 1 & 3?
Look at the pieces you have in front of you after gathering, and dissect them. How can each piece become something different? Another great way to look at these gathered items is to ask, what needs to be done and how can I turn what I have into the item I need? Nine years earlier I had saved signage used for a denim wall in a store that was being thrown away. I wasn’t quite sure why I was saving them, and certainly didn’t know they would become the beautiful sconces that now hang on our walls. Inspired from an Ikea sconce, these cost about $60 less each, and I like ‘em better!
4) BE UNCONVENTIONAL: What normal items do I have that I can use in an unconventional way?
This is a fun step! Whenever I have items that anyone else can have, I want to use them in a way others wouldn’t normally. Thats where we turned windows into tables, doors into windows, and old lumber into a slanted bookcase.
5) BE BRAVE: Try something. Even if you might do it wrong and have to start over.
One project in particular was the lamp in the client room. I had a huge ornament from the church and I thought a lamp in the middle would look incredible. So I started the process and painted the lamp black and the ornament blue. It started looking pretty nice.. but it kept hanging sideways. And compared to the room it was too large. So I took it apart a few times and put it back together to see if I could get it to hang straight. Never quite looked right. So in a last ditch effort to at least save the hanging lamp I screwed sections of leftover wood to the shade. Bam! We had a beautiful and unique lamp that I didn’t set out to create.
6) BE PECULIAR: Do things that make people stop and think.
Add some spunk. I love placing items around that just seem odd. From a warped vinyl record to a geisha statue. Find things that make you laugh and place them around in such a way that it blends into the decor.
7) BE PRAYERFUL: All the creativity ultimately flows from God.
Consistently when I’m stumped on how to move forward I stop and pray. And I keep praying until I have ‘know how’ to move forward. It’s amazing to me that the Holy Spirit is our friend, our comforter and counselor. Even when the counseling is about design.
We’ve been open now for nearly three (3) months with extremely happy suite members with even happier clients! Everyone that comes in walks around from wall to wall and just stares. It’s an exciting feeling knowing that something that could be so overwhelming, came together so quickly.
Be inspired. Be risky. Be adventurous.