My Quest for Inspiration - Design Pulp
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My Quest for Inspiration

My Quest for Inspiration

By: Stephanie Andrews

I feel very lucky. In my professional life, I feel as though I have found my Ikigai. Ikigai is a Japanese term loosely translated as “a reason to get up in the morning”. Even with that sentiment after 22 years as a design entrepreneur, I still need to find ways to stay inspired, stay relevant, and just enjoy what I do, without getting burned out. This blog post is focused on the little nuggets that I find helpful for inspiration, and I hope that there will be some ideas that you can use to create comfort, beauty, and peace in your own spaces.

To start, let me tell you about a current project that I am working on.  It is a beautiful mountain home in Cashiers, NC for one of our very favorite clients.  (Not hard to imagine being inspired in a place like this!) The goal is to lighten and update the rooms while still maintaining the gentle spirit of this beautiful home that is nestled near a babbling brook. We did not want trendy, nor did we want “expected” mountain home vibes. We want our clients to feel happy, vibrant, and inspired by everything that surrounds them. Tall order!

Enjoying the Beautiful Nature of Cashiers!

Allie (my daughter and design assistant) and I went up there to measure the space and take pictures.  To be honest, I would find it so much harder to do without her because we bounce ideas off of each other and then she renders them in 3D.  We talked about what we wanted to change and what we wanted to keep.  Ideas flowed and we ended up excited about some and rejecting others all while amongst the nature of this secluded home with rain drizzling on the metal roof.  So much possibility came from the Nature that surrounded us and the Collaboration between us.

Some Very Inspiring Rugs From Our Favorite Rug Vendor- Turkish Carpets!

Alas, I came back to Atlanta, after responding to seemingly hundreds of emails during my 2 day absence, I felt overwhelmed.  I was unable to spend the time needed to have any quality creative juices flowing.  I felt pressured to produce something quickly  (after all I have a business to run!)  As you can imagine, I failed miserably that day.  So the next day, after all of the email responses, I gave myself some time to gather.  I went to my favorite Turkish rug source to play and select some rug options to begin the thought process of the colors and textures.   I recently traveled to Turkey  (Turkey Blog) and found so much inspiration in their layers of history and beauty.  Then, I set aside time to visit a fun tile store to see creative uses of tile work.  I went to Barnes and Noble to peruse some European design magazines like my favorite- Living ETC.  At the end of the week, I topped it off with a visit to ADAC (Atlanta Decorative Arts Center) to wander around and see what was new.  I spent quite a bit of time simply marinating in the possibilities of what this home could be.  By the way, I mentioned that these are some of my favorite clients, so there have been many conversations about their wants and needs for their mountain home. Collaboration with them is critical to success because they need to LOVE it!

My Favorite Magazine!

These design updates are just beginning to take form.  It will take much more time to create and collaborate with our clients and our team to revise and perfect the design for the presentation.  My quest for inspiration starts with time and collaboration. These key elements allow me to pull from an endless library of resources that are sourced from nature, travel and the unique and talented people around me.

Coordonne Countryside Pink Wallpaper

If you have been reading our blog for a few posts, you may be wondering where I landed on the wallpaper in the kitchen space to accompany the new pinkish paint in the dining room.  After time and marinating on the team’s suggestions, I am leaning toward this option that I recently found.  This wallpaper brings in the beauty of our zen garden, the pinks of the dining room, and a feeling of serenity that I love.  I still need to get my husband on board, and actually order the paper, if this is the way that we go! Hopefully, soon,  I will share my final decision and pictures of the new paper.  But like everything else that is worth doing, it may take some time.  So I ask you (and myself) to please be patient.

Taking a Moment in the Studio With Andrea and Marlee.


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