Artist Design : Finding Design in Unexpected Places

Artist Design : Finding Design in Unexpected Places

artist design finding design in unexpected places

Want to have the look…

of many of the rooms you see on TV shows, but have a small budget? There are many ways to cut costs, by using many of the things you already have in your home right now… or you can purchase either at thrift stores or on sale at your local discount store, to use as the inspiration for a new look & design.



Look With ‘New Eyes’…

Curtains, towels, and other fabric colors & patterns, that you already have or have seen somewhere; are a great starting point to begin a re-design of a room that isn’t working for you.  You can design an entire room around the style & colors contained in different fabrics; such as these or others such as pillows, rugs, comforters… even in a fabric or paper napkin! Design is everywhere, and with a little research & creativity; you can find it at stores, online, or in magazines. If you really look carefully, you can find an array of design elements in unexpected places. Using the colors in one of these elements as your inspiration will help you to choose the major parts of your re-design, such as wall & trim paint, & will provide a new, fresh background for other elements you’ll be adding later.

Painting is an inexpensive way to make a big impact on the look of a room. Walls & trim are not the only elements that benefit from a change of color, especially if the surface is not aesthetically pleasing;such as dark-stained or damaged finishes which have water stains, scratches, or worn-out areas, In fact, painting these surfaces; using the same or similar colors from a particular color-family, can help to blend & give a cohesive look to the room.

You can bring other elements into the room, as long as you follow the concept of making sure that the colors match the palette that is contained in whatever pattern you used for your room’s inspiration. If you have an artistic background or some understanding of color theory, then you could add additional colors & textures that ‘compliment’ the ones that are evident in the existing design to add more interest.

The right rug can really finish a room, as well as offer comfort under foot. Rugs come in many different styles, colors, and textures; and as with fabrics, educating yourself about the different types that are available; can save you a lot of time and money; as well as insure that you are satisfied with your choice.

Rugs come in numerous style options to fit into many different types of decor. They can be matched with one particular style, such as combining an oriental rug with traditional colonial or mission-style furniture, an abstract or graphically patterned rug with contemporary furniture pieces, or they can be mixed with several different furniture styles in an eclectic mix. As with fabrics, the colors should be of the same ‘family’; and the patterns share some elements of form with other objects in the room. Rugs can be wall-to-wall, area, or for hallways and high-traffic areas…a runner.

Rugs are also available in materials suitable for outdoor use, in beautiful styles; and they are not the indoor-outdoor ‘astro-turf’ type of the past. Many people are using them to enhance their outdoor spaces, which are becoming a popular place to decorate as you would your indoor living room or family room.

Some of the different styles of rug include: Traditional classics, such as Oriental, Braided, and Hooked; as well as Contemporary designs, available in Jute, Berber, Chenille, and even Shag; (a popular choice that was commmonly used in the 1960’s & 70’s). Rugs can be fabricated of hand-tufted wool, cotton, or synthetic fibers. The type of material the rug is made of will dictate whether it is in the expensive vs. the more affordable range. This applies to the quality; as well; which will also depend on which material you choose. Pure wool, and whether it is done by hand, fit into the higher-priced category; where as synthetics are less costly. You can usually find a large array of affordable choices online, at discounted prices at one of the auction-based websites such as Ebay, or at sites like which offer products from a multitude of merchants. As with fabrics, the colors in a rug can be the inspiration for other elements of color and patterns in the room.


Don’t Be Afraid To Use Different Patterns…

Using two or more patterns in the same room is something many people are wary of doing. The key is to use different-sized patterns which contain the same colors… or in some cases as long as the colors compliment each other; using the same pattern in different colors can work too!


A Word About Textures…

Textures & surfaces can play a major role in the look of a re-design, and to the extent that they can add interest they can also detract from the overall result; if not addressed. The best chance of using textures & surfaces successfully, is to have several of the same elements of a certain texture or surface in the room. Some examples of these are: metal, leather, glass, woven, or wood components; such as ones making up seat cushions & backs, found on furniture legs or arms, lamp bases or shades, as well as other accent pieces. As mentioned earlier, painted surfaces can be found on or can be applied to furniture, picture frames, & even floor or wall tiles with interesting patterns & colors  , to bring the colors from the palette you’ve chosen together; which are contained in your inspiration fabric.



Be creative!  Some of the best ideas become evident to you when you’re not expecting them.