Designing a New Home – How do I Start? … STEP 1: Inspiration!

               Interior Design – How do I start?

Below we will introduce our first step in “How Do I start” series.

This first step, “how to get inspired” your will help you better understand the complexity of the initial step, and hopefully inspire you to begin.

When starting a condo renovation or a new home construction, many see interior design and decorating as a complex art form. To better educate our clients on this subject, we are creating a series of articles that can be used as a reference when designing a home, and to explain the “how to” when it comes to design.

Whether you’re remodeling your existing home in Naples, Florida, or are building a new house in Fort Myers or Bonita Springs, you are probably seeking a bit of interior design guidance. You might choose to address some of the design steps on your own, or utilize a designer for some of the challenging parts; or maybe hire one as a complete project coordinator. Keep in mind that many interiors designers are available to you on a consultation basis, even if it’s just to review your floor plans.

As interior designers, we have this innate ability to visualize your space not only in 3-D, and a specific style, but also to interpret design ideas in terms of color, structure and ambiance, while bringing these concepts to life. Some clients do not think three-dimensionally, therefore they rely on the designer to articulate and translate their visions, desires, and requirements. Explore More on The Role of an Interior Designer

So How do You Start a design process?

First, and most important, look for inspiration:

  • Flip through décor magazines (Veranda, Florida Design, Architectural Digest)
  • Or go to on-line sources (Pintrest, Houzz)
  • Or Select a piece of art you love
  • Look closely to an area rug you admireInspiration Area Rug
  • Grab a favorite lead fabric
  • Select a preferred color scheme
  • Inspiration Rug Inspiration
  • Take a picture of your treasured piece of furniture
  • Or combine a few favorable items

Get inspired and draw any element from these items that inspire you – color/pattern/mood/style or any vibes, in order to start the process in your mind, the process of creating…

Maybe even start with a visual board…Fabric Inspiration

What you should not start with is an exact paint color. There are exceptions, of course, if you absolutely love a paint color, you can take a chance and begin with it in mind. However, start coordinating items to work with this color first, to make sure that the overall formula still works for you.

A certain color can be kept in mind in the beginning, and once the fabrics, rugs and other items are selected, then the exact tone or shade can be adjusted to blend with your selections.

I find that clients have a tendency to not see how a color amplifies on a wall. As designers we tend to change the intensity of the tone or shade… *** Read More on Selecting your Paint Colors

Second, create an idea board…

Begin by pulling images from a magazine, internet noting what you like, such as the paint color or that style chair, or the ambiance or the overall color scheme.

Once you have gathered images or fabrics, begin your inspiration board which will help you to establish a desired color scheme, determine your style and create an overall ambiance.

Gather all of your fabrics, rug and finishesInspiration -Fabrics Determine your Colorscheme II

I often get inspiration from my client’s initial ideas, or visuals, or preferred style, translating these to reflect their needs and desires, while formulating it into a preferred vision.

Some of our designs begin with selections of fabrics, finishes, area rugs or backgrounds in order to establish the color scheme, style and the overall ambiance.Rug and Art Inspiration Fort Myers Beach

The variables are endless, as inspiration is the key.

You may get be inspired by a red accents with a touch of silver if you ever wished to achieve a “Hollywood Glamour” look.

                                                Inspiration Furniture Piece - Console Table

If certain existing conditions and elements of the interior have to remain, such as existing furniture or flooring, you can pull inspiration from, and weave these elements into the overall design with a desired vision for the final outcome.

However, if you do not have any inspirational or existing pieces you wish to include, you can begin with creating your visual idea board by searching the internet. Pintrest is a very good source as you can build files by category or room.

You can search my “pre-selected” Pintrest boards for inspiration! LINK to PINTREST

Inspiration Pintrest Screenshot

Another option for Inspiration would be to draw the color-scheme from a favorite piece of art.

Art is a good source of interior design inspirationInspiration - Art

If you start with art, remember that when placing fine art in your home, it should not ‘match’ your sofa perfectly; it could just have the right “feeling” in order to create the proper ambiance with the space.

Art piece

Aldo Castillo’s gallery representative, Juan Diaz, also concurs with our ideas. Please visit their website at

ALDO gallery PIC Scan magazine

He cringes when a client comes in and requests art with specific colors to match their décor.


You can place modern art in a completely traditional room or an antique serigraph in a very modern home. Just make sure that you start with something you love, not something that you’re just ok with. Art has a powerful impact on one’s home.

Modern art in a traditional home

For example one our clients is an art dealer so we begin the project with their extensive art collection. The art was showcased throughout the home and inspiration was drawn from each piece.

In order to allow for the art to showcase as the focal point, we allocated ample wall space and proposed more minimal, more neutral furnishings than usual. To tour the art in design home: Insert BOB and AVAs pictures here for click here.…..


Inspiration - Sculpture -Longshore Lakes Naples Florida Living RoomExplore More…….The Importance of Art at Home


If you still feel lost… inquire about a basic consultation with a designer, who can help you to define your own unique style.

Even if you wish to design the room yourself, a designer can begin to guide you in the beginning, even if it’s just to give you parameters or ideas for establishing a color scheme or initial furniture space planning.

We know from experience, that most people do not think three-dimensionally, therefore they usually rely on the designer to articulate and translate their visions, desires, and requirements. Setting some parameters by a professional designer will prevent you from setbacks or “emotional buys” you might make during this process.

Many designers are available on a consultation basis whether for a minimum hourly consultation price or a day fee basis. *** Explore MORE on The Role of an Interior Designer