Need Some Design Inspiration? Just Look Around You

As a principal of an interior design studio, people quite often ask me, “How do you come up with innovative ideas all of the time? How are each of your projects so different from the others? How do you get inspired?”

I often hear, “I just don’t have a artistic bone in my body. If I only had a little bit of creativity, my home or office would be much better.” I simply don’t believe this. We all have a creative side, but in some, this ingenuity has not been tapped into.

In reality, creative people also need to be constantly inspired and recharged. For our clients who are uncomfortable or have not tapped into their ingenuity, I take them on a journey to discover what inspires them. This is my journey.


I am a sucker for anything that has texture, both visual and tactile — rough, glossy, embossed, smooth, striae, decay, metallic and patina, just to name a few. Many textures inspire me and can turn into an incredible custom rug or wall-covering design.

Don’t be afraid to combine textures in the same room, giving a layered effect. Layering texture in a room is no different than layering texture in your fashion. Think about it — just like a pair of embossed suede shoes combined with a smooth wool skirt and a trendy metallic handbag.

Your interior space is no different. The right amount of layered textures combined can take a room from boring and bland to the room all your friends are talking about. Texture can be seen in the everyday things you are surrounded by, with nature being the biggest. Take a walk, look around you, and tap into your imagination.


Open your windows and let the light in. Lighting can make or break a space, but it is often the last element thought of in architecture and design. Lighting should be an integral part of the project from the beginning, so it can be cohesive throughout the interior.

Just like you should layer your texture, lighting needs to be layered as well, from architectural lighting such as recessed and cove lighting, to decorative lighting found in chandeliers and lamps. Incredible lighting, whether functional or dramatic, can inspire us to feel good in our personal space and bring out our originality. Lighting can directly affect our mood, therefore suppressing or enhancing our creativity.

Park Cities native Sarah Pickard is the president of Pickard Design Studio in Dallas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *