Archive for May, 2009

Inspiration. Where do you find yours?

Inspiration. What an elusive thing. Really hard to describe. Words don’t always fit. It’s really more of a feeling – a visceral experience… at least for me. My pulse quickens…my breathing becomes shallow…my vision blurs…I get goosebumps. That’s what I experience when I am inspired, truly inspired. I know it sounds a bit like I’m having a heart attack, but really, for me, it’s more like falling in love, even if just for a moment. So what might cause this kind of physical reaction in me? Where do I find my inspiration? That’s a question I get asked a lot. Having spent my life pursuing one creative venture after another, it’s a good question.

13wine500.1Well today, the New York Times provided two really good examples of things that inspired me. The first was somewhat expected – in an article on an absinthe, that mysterious, mythical, recently legalized drink. What first grabbed my attention was the photo of a stunning Art Nouveau fountain used to drip the water over a sugar cube into the beautiful green liquid. The lines are gorgeous… so fluid, so graceful. It harkens back to a more civilized time. The second were the descriptions of the absinthe itself…from crystal clear to celadon to tourquoise. The flavor… anise and herbs. Then, the alchemy…when water is added, it moves from being clear to an opalescent cloud. Heaven. Now I have never had the opportunity to taste absinthe, butI love the name, the color and reading this article made me want to run out and try it, as long as I could also have it served from a stunning Art Nouveau fountain.

netoslide17Art is something that never fails to inspire me. Again the NYT didn’t disappoint. They have an online slide show of an art installation by Brazilian artist Ernesto Armory. These photos literally took my breath away. This installation engages all of your senses – sight, smell, touch, taste and sound –  and the organic, sensual, forms are other-worldly. To be able to conceive of such a thing is beyond my comprehension. I stand in awe.

So where do I find my inspiration? Everywhere. I find it everywhere. I am so inspired by creative minds…artists, thinkers, innovators…the way they work, their vision, their passion. I am inspired by things of beauty, art, color, texture – natural and man-made. I am inspired by people…your average, everyday people…living their lives, going to work, raising their kids. I am inspired by my brother, one of the most remarkable people I know. I find inspiration everywhere. It IS everywhere, all you have to do is look.

Where do you find your inspiration? Tell me, I’d love to know.

Photos: Absinthe – Tony Cenicola/New York Times,
Neto –  Librado Romero/The New York Times

Design Plans: Your Road Map to the Home You Imagine

20770-se-hollis-007Plans…business plans, financial plans, vacation plans, weekend plans…love ’em or hate ’em we all utilize plans in various areas of our lives. They are our roadmaps, they guide us, direct us and keep us from going too far astray. So why then, do so many of us neglect planning the one area meant to nurture and support us the most…our homes? Left to our own devices, most of us go about decorating our homes in a shotgun manner. We move from room to room, idea to idea in a scattered, haphazard fashion. No wonder so few of us feel like we have that pulled-together look we want and desire for our homes.

One of the most common things I hear from my clients is “Nothing feels finished. I know the look I want, I just don’t know how to get there.” They have spent the last several years accumulating furnishings in a fractured way…chasing sales, trends and moods. The result is often a home that is somewhat functional and schizophrenic in design. Not surprisingly, the first thing I do is a room-by-room master design plan. It covers everything from remodel ideas, if appropriate, to suggested furniture, lighting and accessories. Then, together with my clients, we prioritize the projects and set budgets. Working room by room, means that we can complete a vision and feel good about the finished product. Then as time and budget allow, we move to the next project/room on the list and get it completed. The design plan is our road map. Design plans are even more important if you are going to work in stages. In other words, you have the budget to complete the living room this year, but the guest room will have to wait until next. It’s so easy to forget where you left off. With a good plan to refer back to, you won’t lose your way.

mm_0022_wOf course, like any plan we make, it can revised, updated and tweaked – nothing is carved in stone. The important thing is to make the plan so that you are able to make informed decisions and real progress toward your goal of a beautiful, functional home.

So do a walk-through. Make a list. What needs to be done in each room for it to be complete? If this seems overwhelming or you’re not sure what your home needs don’t be afraid to consult a designer. It’s what we do. And who knows we may surprise you with what we come up with.


Contact the Author

martha@mmdsf.com 541-330-5899 www.marthamurraydesign.com

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