Decorate Like A Design Boss with Kimberly Grigg | Decorate Like A Design Boss with Kimberly Grigg | Over Here, Over There! Inspiration is Everywhere!!

I often get asked where I start my design process, and the answer is usually surprising to those who ask. The process does not start with a paint chip or favorite color. No, there’s a step that comes way before I even begin thinking about paint and it is finding inspiration.

There are some obvious places I go to for inspiration, but there are lots of not-so-obvious places that you might not have thought of. Once you hear them, the way you notice your surroundings will completely change. So, before you ask if I offer paint consultations, listen to this episode!

In this episode, I give you the seven different places I find inspiration and why I think you should check them out too. Learn how to become more open to getting inspired and how to translate your inspiration into gorgeous designs. 

To celebrate the launch of this show, I will be giving away 3 of my adorable monkey bowls. This cool accessory ends up in almost all my designs, from cottage to edgy. It seems to fit every personality type and promises to make you smile. All you have to do is subscribe, rate, and review the show in Apple Podcasts and I’ll be picking the winners in an upcoming episode.

Click here to learn more about the contest and how to enter.


What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • My top seven places to gather inspiration
  • What a style file is.
  • The biggest style inspiration for me.
  • How to train yourself to become more aware.


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Full Episode Transcript:

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You are listening to episode 14 of the Decorate Like a Design Boss podcast. And on today’s episode we’ll be looking for inspiration in all the right places. We’ll cover some obvious places to find inspiration as well as some places you might never have thought of. Let’s get going as I help you explore over here, over there, inspiration everywhere.

Welcome to Decorate Like a Design Boss, a podcast for design lovers who want to create beautiful spaces in their very own homes. My name is Kimberly Grigg and I’m a professional interior designer who teaches design lovers like yourselves how to decorate. And when I say decorate, I mean decorate like a design boss. If you’re ready to create a space that your family loves and your neighbors can’t stop raving about well, buckle up honey because it’s time to design.

Well, hello my special design loving friends, I can hardly believe we are already up to episode 14 on our little podcast. Which is especially designed for people like you who love interior design and want to gain more knowledge and confidence about being their own interior designer in their own spaces. As a season professional designer, I love sharing my knowledge about this probably as much, if not more, than actually designing spaces. It’s really exciting to break the process down, and based on your feedback well, it seems to be working.

And speaking of feedback, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your reviews, ratings, and subscriptions, which is now in podcast language called follows. I so appreciate your engagement. And I hope today you will please hit the share button and send this podcast episode to a friend or loved one who might also appreciate and share our love of interior design. And without further ado, let’s get this episode started.

I am often asked what starts the process of design for me. People really seem to want to know where you should begin, the whole process of designing a room. And I get it, it can be overwhelming just to get started. It’s not always where you think, and this can’t even begin to successfully happen if you don’t first start with your own design DNA. You can discover yours and your personal design style on episodes one, two and three of this podcast. But when we’ve completed this, it is important to have an easy and an attainable starting point.

So many times, people will call me and say, “Can I just pay you for a paint consultation?” To which I will reply, “So you already have all of your furniture, your rugs, your draperies, all of these elements, right?” And they will say, “No. I just need a paint color that will work no matter what I decide to do.” Well, I say at this point it just doesn’t work like this, at least not for me. And I encourage you to not let this be your inspiration. Instead, I encourage anyone to start the design process with inspiration.

They will reply, “Well Kimberly, that’s good for you because you do this every day. But where do you get that inspiration?” Now this is a good starting place. These are my top places to gather inspiration. Some are rather obvious, and some are a bit more obscure. First, nature. Take a walk, what seems beautiful to you? As an artist, which I also am, we really have to be able to look and see. When someone is designing a space, it is important to be really aware of things that make you feel good and are things that feel beautiful, or from things that stir any kind of emotion.

If you take a walk, any walk through a neighborhood, down a wooded path, on the beach, through the mountains, etc. I encourage you to start taking note of what you find particularly moving. Is it the architecture of the homes in a neighborhood? Is it the landscaping? Is it the sound of the water? Is it the beautiful blooming flowers? Perhaps you love the sound of the birds. Perhaps you love the shape of the trees.

If you are keeping a style file, which I highly encourage, it’s a journal which contains all of your information about your style and your décor plans, and if you want to know more about how to do this and what this actually means well, then you do need to go back to episode three and it’s all explained there and in detail. Taking an inspiration walk can be quite meditative, and if you really tap into seeing and noticing all elements that stir any kind of emotion then you are well on your way to finding a great starting point for your own décor.

It’s important to know that inspiration is everywhere and it’s definitely different for everyone. One person might love and see green foliage and know that they want green represented in their homes. And another might look at the green foliage and see the textured bark on trees. It’s all good and it’s all what personally resonates with you as an individual.

Another place that you can be inspired is in your own closet. Walk into your closet, are there shapes and/or colors that speak to you? Obviously, there are, or you wouldn’t have purchased the garments that are in there in the first place. Discover or reimagine, or rediscover your personal favorites, what notes can you take from those garments? Use your wardrobe as a hint and as inspiration for decorating your home.

Go to a museum, art can be also inspiring, and I have created entire rooms just from using the mood, the style, and the color scheme in a beautiful piece of art. Of course, if you don’t want to go to a museum, well, you can purchase a piece of art that can be your jumping off point for the beginning of your décor scheme.

China patterns, China patterns can also be inspiring. I have had many a client who had a China pattern that they either inherited or that they chose at their bridal registry. If they indicate at all that they have a particular affection for the China pattern, I’ll use it as inspiration in some way. Whether it’s the flavor and style of the space, or whether it’s the color represented there, or all of the above. The main thing is that China can serve as unexpected inspiration.

Travel is probably the biggest inspiration for me. One of my most memorable trips was attending a conference in Palm Springs. I noticed in the lobby of the hotel that I was staying in that there was a tour that you could purchase to see and visit hotel lobbies throughout the area. I asked a few of my other design friends attending the same conference if they’d like to join me. And we had the best day ever touring those lobbies. I filled an entire style file or notebook with things that inspired me. It was truly memorable.

So, the next time you go into a hotel lobby, or a hotel room, or a restaurant, or any public space that moves you in some way, take note because you are being inspired.

Pinterest, yes, but of course our friend Pinterest is a big source of inspiration as is Houzz, Instagram and other social media platforms who use photography to offer up various versions of inspiration.

Rugs, this might be even surprising to you, but I have also been inspired to create an entire room based on a rug that a client might already own, or one that I find that feels like a treasure. I was recently at market, and I spotted a vintage rug in the most beautiful and odd shade of lime green. It was love at first sight for me, and I knew I wanted it to be a part of my own life on a daily basis.

This was not a purchase I was making for a client, but one I was going to make for myself. I had nowhere in particular that it was going to be placed. I just knew I loved it and I knew I would use it somehow. And I knew it would inspire me to actually fluff up and refresh my own living room. It ended up being the perfect rug for a little corner in my living room. And I just reshuffled a few things to make it all work out beautifully. I was so inspired by this rug that I knew I was willing to make a few adjustments just to incorporate it beautifully within my own space.

Often a client will have a rug that they love, and will build an entire style, color scheme and space from the look and feel of that rug. So, if you have such a rug, or if you run across one that really speaks to you, don’t hesitate to let yourself be inspired by it. And then you can set upon building an entire space around it.

So, what can we take away from today’s lesson? Well, I think awareness is the key here. Just by simply being aware and training yourself to be more aware of individual pieces, colors, objects, spaces, nature, any of this. Then we can begin to relate to things that actually move and inspire us. These should be carefully curated and then carefully incorporated into your décors. In doing so you will have multiple jumping off points and places to begin your own design process.

So, when asked do I start the design process with color? Well, the answer is absolutely not. I start the design process with inspiration. I bring some inspiration with me into every design job. And because of this it has helped me create spaces that are much more meaningful, and don’t just start with a paint chip.

I hope you’ve found value in today’s lesson. My goal for you is to become more aware. And for some homework this week, I encourage you to start your style file, if you haven’t already done so. And look for at least five things this week that you find inspiring and note them in your style file. This will certainly help you begin to identify more with who you are and what you love, no matter what stage of the design journey you are at.

Remember, there is still time to enter the contest to win my infamous monkey goal. But not much longer. He is the absolute best accessory and I use him on almost every project no matter what the style. Three lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the podcast will be winning one of these babies. And we are getting close to deadline. So, head on over to and check out the contest rules.

And hey, while you’re there sign up for my newsletter which is a chockfull of information email that drops right into your inbox weekly. So, you know what I say, don’t wait, today is a great day to decorate. Hugs and kisses and bye for now.

Thanks for listening to Decorate Like a Design Boss, if you want more info on how to decorate your space like a pro visit See you next week.

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