A few months ago, thanks to Pinterest, I stumbled across a great quote by Pablo Picasso:
I wholly agree with this; those ‘lightbulb’ moments are only going to happen if you’re feeding your brain enough interesting stuff for something to finally click together. Often we live on autopilot, waiting for inspiration to strike. But the reality is, we need to fully engage with our surroundings, and with content that is there to inspire us.
So where do I look to for my home inspiration? The world around me, travel, shops, photographs, films – it’s everywhere if you look with the right eyes. But I also often turn to the experts and the other bloggers out there who have been doing this for longer than me. So for Sunday, I thought I’d do a two-part review of my current inspiration sources, and how I think they stack up.
First up, magazines.
My husband will be the first to tell you that I’m a bit of a magazine addict. I have copies all over the house, and every six months I have to do a clear out, or else they would take over. My mix of magazines is pretty wide. Here’s the current pile (this is only from this month – see what I mean when I say addicted?)
World of Interiors: Amazing for interesting stories about architects, features on unexpected places (like an increasingly-derelict palace in Marrakech), and really bold interiors. This is not a ‘flip’ magazine, but one that really takes time to read, and is where I go if I want a bit of a history or architecture lesson, or some styling that will push the boundaries.
Vogue: Fashion is another love of mine, and there’s so much cross-over between what’s happening in the fashion world and the interiors world. So when I’m reading Vogue or Elle or Nylon, I’m looking at the clothes and designers, but also at textures, patterns, materials, forms and the settings of the photographs. Sometimes the settings are as amazing as the fashion.
Elle Decoration: The styling featured in here is stunning and contemporary. The magazine also mixes it up with a wider look at what’s going on in the cultural world, fashion and food, so it’s a great ‘all rounder’ with a focus on the home. The only problem is the price; most of the stuff I find in here I will not be able to afford for another ten years. So instead, I use it as a mood board to find what I like, and then try and source it elsewhere.
Living Etc: This magazine is a great place to find inspiration from other people’s homes. The aesthetic tends to be pretty fun and forward thinking, but also relaxed and liveable. Less magazine spread, and more a spread of the best homes and the best creative thinkers in your city. This can be more of a ‘flip’ magazine because the pictures are so great. But it’s also got some great serious content inside if you want to slow down and read the interviews. Definitely one of my favourites.
Ideal Home: If I had to venture a guess, I’d say this publication is aimed at a more conservative and slightly older demographic. This month the focus was all about interiors inspired by the seaside, and tended to features homes that are lovely, but more classic in their style. Some smart tips for affordable styling, and good places to source accessories, but I’d say this is better for finding down to earth ideas than it is for cutting edge inspiration.
Real Homes: This was a wildcard publication I picked up at Tesco last weekend for the first time, so my impression of it may be wrong. But I’d say that if you’re thinking about doing an extension or detailed renovation, it’s great. If you’re not planning to knock down walls any time soon, then probably less so. It features real homes (catchy title, ey?) that have been through major construction work, even going as far as to give pricing break downs. What the couple paid for the house, what they invested in the building work, and what the house is worth now. Lots of detailed interviews, less photographically-led, but useful if you’re planning a full-on transformation.
Conde Nast Traveller: In addition to fashion magazines, I love looking at stylish travel publications for inspiration. After all, the hospitality business is all about creating spaces that are either a ‘home away from home’ or a breathtaking break from your everyday life. Who wouldn’t want a little of that to come home to every day? So while you won’t find direct home advice here, you will find lots of beautiful eye candy from around the world. And this month’s edition even has a section on ‘Best British Houses’ (holiday homes to rent) so it’s got even more interesting stuff than normal.
Wallpaper*: This magazine does what it says on the cover: designinteriorsfashionartlifestyle. I always find amazing things in here, and the styling of the publication itself is great too. Articles are well written, insightful and sometimes even funny. If I were going to subscribe to one publication every month, it would be this one. Keep your eye out for the August issue – the focus is Handmade, so I’m sure it will be filled with lots of great new designers that create truly bespoke items.
What about you – what magazines do you buy when you want some home inspiration? Do you agree with my summary of the above? Happy reading!