• Sarah Mervis

Design Inspiration

Before any walls come down or furniture is purchased, a designer first creates a vision.

Originality, innovation, and creativity are essential, but any individual who creates something from nothing will tell you that their vision began with this: inspiration.

Inspiration and admiration are one in the same- if you're looking to be inspired, find what you admire. I grew up outside of Portland, Oregon, endlessly spoiled by the Pacific Northwest outdoor life. Continuously I found myself admiring the trees, waterfalls, foggy seasons, and all the various shades of green. My admiration for nature runs deep in my core, and I use that inspiration in all of my designs. Give me wood elements, jute rugs, rattan furniture, stone tiles... all the natural materials! This admiration is the source of my inspiration and once you find what inspires you, creativity is quick to follow.

We recently completed our home's outdoor space and of course all I want to do now is throw backyard parties. The pieces I chose were a continuation of the natural materials and elements located throughout our house. Bringing the outdoors in is a crucial element to designing interiors, but we can't forget to bring the indoors out. Creating a living space outside is instrumental to the function of your home. Whether you have a 3 X 5 concrete veranda or acres of grassy fields, seamless transitions from inside to outside create a cohesive flow as we combine nature and home together.

In my previous project post, I communicated the benefit of incorporating greenery into our spaces. It shouldn't be a surprise to hear that same benefit also applies to the outdoors. Desert or beach, mountain or farm- your home's outdoor space needs to become your mental escape! Immersing ourselves in nature is the quickest combat for stress and anxiety, so don't assume you can leave your outdoor space "as is". Take it to the next level and create an oasis that keeps you (and your backyard party friends) coming back for more!

The significance between nature and stress relief is similar to society's concept of a work-life-balance lifestyle. Too often we assume there is a mold we're supposed to fit into, and believe it or not our home life is no different. Who says we have to design our spaces to be segmented boxes with a few windows? The term open concept is a recent addition to our vocabulary, mainly due to Frank Lloyd Wright and his famous designs. His advocacy for open floor plans brought new inspiration to architects, designers, and homebuyers alike. They found themselves admiring roofed structures that were more outdoors than indoors, with floor to ceiling windows spanning across every wall. Fresh air and greenery sprawling between the outside and inside, coinciding with nature rather than disrupting it. If we strive for work-life-balanced living, then we should strive for nature-home-balanced living as well.

While not everyone would enjoy living in a home inspired by open concept design, I do believe we as individuals need to break down some of our segmented spaces and embrace a collaboration with nature. There is truly something serene about coming home to a space that inspires you on a daily basis. I challenge you to find your inspiration and make your visions a reality!

Stay tuned for more updates on some upcoming client design projects I am eager to share with you!