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The Creative Process: Finding Inspiration in Unexpected Places

“When you see beauty all around you, beauty will seek and find you, even in the most unexpected places.”

– Alberto Villoldo

Finding design inspiration is now easier than ever due to the amount of digital portfolios, online periodicals, and social media profiles available. However, the level of noise and opposing opinions can be overwhelming at times, necessitating the need for another source of inspiration. Moving away from your regular sources of inspiration can lead to unexpected insights.

Finding Inspiration

Explore New Places

Exploring new places introduces you to new cultures, architectural styles, traditional crafts, and distinct aesthetics from around the world. Travelling to a distant location exposes you to new people, customs, and experiences. By immersing yourself in a place far from home, you can push yourself beyond your comfort zone and uncover new creative possibilities. Conversely, if you find yourself travelling abroad frequently, take some time to get to know your own town and city. Visit local museums, art galleries, and historical places. Take a walk down streets you’ve never been on before. By chatting to locals, you can learn about the area’s history and culture. You may find previously unknown sources of inspiration in your hometown.

A quick tip: Instead of relying on a GPS while discovering new locations, try navigating through a map and road signs to engage your brain to the fullest. For an even better experience, opt for public transportation if it is available, which allows you to be fully immersed in the journey. Going on a train ride, for instance, helps to carve out a time that frees you from distractions. It can act as a moment for you to sit and read a book, or just stare out the window and observe your surroundings which can fuel your creativity.

Cultural Festivals

Discover a variety of art forms, traditional crafts, and unique aesthetics from different regions of the world by attending cultural events and festivals.

Architectural Details

Examine intricate architectural details, such as door handles, stair railings, and window frames, in addition to the building’s overall design. These elaborate details may serve as a motivation for developing original design features.

Explore the World of Culinary Arts

Design concepts can be inspired by food presentation, including plating and culinary aesthetics. Interesting arrangements, textures, and colours in food can be transformed into innovative design ideas.

Creative Finding inspiration

Antique Shops and Flea Markets

Vintage goods can be found in abundance at antique shops, offering a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind items that are sure to ignite your creativity. Within these stores, you can uncover rare finds from past decades, complete with their unique typography, illustrations, and designs. These old-fashioned objects, retro packaging, and forgotten artefacts can evoke feelings of nostalgia and serve as a valuable source of creative inspiration.

Watch Other People

Observing people can be an enjoyable and intriguing method of discovering inspiration. Sit down in a communal area, like a park or café, and carefully watch the individuals nearby. Observe how people engage with their surroundings and the objects within them. You may discover that even seemingly routine interactions can spark innovative ideas for your creative endeavours.

Unexpected sources of inspiration


Serving others can be a great source of motivation. Making a difference in the world and assisting others may be very fulfilling. It may also help you adopt a new perspective. Pay attention to the people and conditions around you whether you work at a community centre, food bank, or animal shelter. Use these interactions as inspiration for your work.

Discover More About Your Favourite Designers

Look at your favourite interior designers in London and how they achieved success. What motivates and inspires them? What can you learn from them based on their experiences? Take note of the design elements they use, the colours they use, and the layout of their designs. What makes their work unique and appealing? Finally, don’t be afraid to get in touch with your favourite designers. Many designers like sharing their knowledge and experience with others. You might be surprised as to how much inspiration you can gain from a simple conversation.


Pay attention to the designs, surfaces, and hues present in the environment, like the way sunlight reflects on objects, the balance in foliage, or the irregularity of stones. Take inspiration from creatures, plants, insects, hills, and ravines, especially when you examine them up close and pay attention to the designs, surfaces, and hues present in the environment, like the way sunlight reflects on objects, the balance in foliage, or the irregularity of stones.

Explore The Ocean

The ocean is teeming with wonderful species, vibrant colours, and one-of-a-kind shapes. To gain design ideas, watch marine life movies or go to aquariums.

Shadow and Light

Observing how light and shadow interact in various settings can provide inspiration for creating dynamic and striking visual effects within your designs.

Unearthing inspiration

Tune Into Your Senses

Tuning into your senses can be a wonderful method to inspire yourself. Paying attention to what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch opens a world of new experiences and ideas. Take a walk in the woods or a park and pay attention to the sounds of birds singing, leaves rustling, and wind blowing. Play some music. Music transports us through time and place. It can provoke feelings and emotions that we were previously unaware of. Pay attention to the melodies and words and investigate the images they evoke in your mind. Notice the textures in your surroundings. Run your fingers over the bark of a tree. Feel how soft a kitten’s fur is. Pay attention to the flavour of your food. Allow these observations to motivate and encourage you.

Innovative Inspiration

Change Your Perspective

Looking at things from a different perspective can be a great way to find inspiration. It can help you to see things in a new light and give you a fresh outlook on the world or even on yourself. This new perspective could be a more positive, optimistic, or empowering one which can help you to come up with new ideas and creative solutions. If you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, this approach could be especially helpful. By changing the way, you look at a design or a space, for example, you might discover a new creative direction to explore. This allows you to come up with innovative ideas and solutions that you may have never thought of before.

Make Connections

Practice drawing parallels between things that may appear dissimilar to identify any underlying patterns, shared themes, or possible uses. Making connections can also help you to see things from a new perspective and to cultivate inspiration.

Experiment with Different Mediums

It’s important to be open to trying out different forms of expression. For instance, if you’re a painter, you could experiment with composing music. Similarly, if you’re an actor, why not try your hand at writing poetry? Exploring various mediums can allow you to view things from a fresh angle and inspire novel concepts and motifs for your artistic endeavours.


In conclusion, finding inspiration in unexpected places can be key to unleashing your full creative potential. You may come across original concepts and ideas from several sources, such as a change of environment, the patterns and textures around you, or the exploration of other creative mediums. The key is to keep an open mind and let your imagination run free. For expert guidance in translating these inspirations into stunning interior designs, trust Oraanj Interior Design to bring your vision to life with unparalleled creativity and aesthetic mastery.

Author: Anna May (Interior Designer)

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