Still Counting: Inspired Interiors Marks a Movement at SOFA CHICAGO

I am endlessly inspired by the power and passion of women working together. It’s why, as an entrepreneur and a mother of three, I founded Inspired Interiors as a place where work-life balance takes precedence and women feel supported to succeed. 

Over my career, I have helped coordinate and have contributed my work to several exhibitions focused on women’s empowerment, an endeavor I find most rewarding in my work. This week, I will have the incredible opportunity to showcase an assemblage of works by 21 influential female artists, all representing indelible moments in the fight for women’s equality, at SOFA CHICAGO, the premier gallery-presented art fair dedicated to three-dimensional art and design. The exhibition has an opening-night preview on Thursday, Oct. 31 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 3 at Navy Pier.

Honoring the 100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote, “Still Counting” brings together personal, powerful works provoked by the number of years it has taken to receive equal rights in a list of categories essential to living in true gender equity (think everything from Supreme Court appointments and Presidential nominations to the right to economic identity). Each art piece is showcased in a vignette designed by Inspired Interiors and is paired with a bold red number representing the length of the fight. 

As part of the exhibition, I have gathered a group of thought leaders to participate in a compelling panel discussion from noon-1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3. I am honored to join these esteemed professionals to deliberate on our personal experiences and goals for our industries in this era of unprecedented change. The conversation will be moderated by Sally Lou Loveman, former audience producer for The Oprah Winfrey Show, and will feature Audarshia Townsend, a food and culture writer, editor and on-air personality; Shaylyn Cullen, founder and president of Cullen Construction Management; Anuja Gupta, a physician and real estate developer; and Michelle Rivas, a Latina healthcare writer and adjunct professor at DePaul University’s College of Communication.

Each of the thought-provoking pieces from the “Still Counting” exhibition will be auctioned off via an online art auction site, open through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3, with 50 percent of proceeds benefiting a women’s rights organization. A live onsite painting during the event will blur the lines between artist and attendee, with silhouettes of guests continuously layered over another, illustrating how we’re all connected in this ongoing quest for equality. 

Fun Is Luxurious

Americans are spending more and more time at home, thanks to the rise of remote careers and the ability to order anything you could ever possibly want delivered straight to your door. And, if the American Time Use Study is to be believed, 96 percent of those people engage in some sort of leisure activity each and every day. Why not combine those two fun facts and make your home a hub for social diversions?

In our ongoing Dare to Live series, we invite you to create a home that sparks excitement, intrigue and adventure. In this installment, we’ll explore ways to celebrate your surroundings as a gathering place for entertainment and action.

Think of unused space in your home as an opportunity to play — quite literally, in this sense. Vintage arcade games enliven and elevate a basement into a favorite hangout of kids and adults alike — just get ready to be the most popular place in the neighborhood.

More of a Big Lebowski than a Pinball Wizard? Salvage yards often sell portions of bowling alleys of yore, which can be repurposed for the ultimate in pin-spiration.

A single Skee-Ball lane has the same freewheeling feel without taking up much space.

Your own personal skating rink or dance club are easier to achieve than you may think — a few layers of epoxy for the flooring, and you’ll be gliding and grooving in no time. DJ and skate rentals (unfortunately) not included.

Music moguls in the making can even install their own recording studio — DJ Khaled will need to make room for you at the Grammys.

If you’re more the outdoorsy type, bring nature to you by incorporating a sunroom or observatory where you can mingle with flora and fauna (without ever sacrificing your creature comforts).

Now that your home is an oasis of pleasure, you may need a way to exchange information with your family and friends that goes against the grain, as well. Transform an entryway or a mudroom into a communication hub with interactive message boards that impart a sense of playfulness in day-to-day connections.

The Inspired Interiors team believes that all of the areas of your home should serve a purpose … with plenty of room for fun. Connect with us to dream of ways to infuse joy into every day.

Anchoring Design Trends With Classic Pieces

Much like the world of fashion, home design trends fluctuate and evolve. Certain design elements may come in and out of vogue, giving us all ample opportunity to breathe new life into our spaces. What never goes out of style, however, are classic pieces with clean lines that transcend time and lend your rooms a grounded, accessible appeal.

Some of our favorite current trends in interior design flip the script on what’s become expected, letting us all flex our creative muscles when introducing new elements into our abode. In our ongoing Dare to Live series, we show you the latest ways to unleash your interior design inspiration and ingenuity.

Behold the ultra expansive bathroom! By upending the notion that tiling should differ throughout a room, your eye can continue unabated, creating the illusion of a spacious, serene space. Other design elements that add to a refreshing bathroom vignette? An abundance of natural light, the introduction of sleek backlit mirrors and a generous dose of bold geometric shapes.

Make mealtime magic with mirrors in the dining room! An ostentatious piece of artwork placed behind a dining room table? Tired. An intriguing, artistic reflective surface that catches the eye and creates conversation? Fresh! A chandelier suddenly becomes more sparkly, your glassware immediately more glittery and stolen glances of your dining companion promptly more steamy.

Oh, and get ready to see smoked mirrors everywhere. You read it here first!

Looking to make an audacious design statement in your home? Graffiti art is the answer. We’ve worked with several artists specializing in graffiti on custom pieces that inject energy, spark dialogue and create movement in any space. Keith Haring would be proud.

All hail the return of the mighty terrazzo! We adore this versatile material for many reasons: its extreme durability (seriously, this is a 100-year product if ever there was one), its sustainability (the content is often recycled) and its chameleon-like ability to bring pops of color that complement rather than clash.

Taking calculated risks with your interior design ensures your home invigorates the senses and always feels new and exciting yet still familiar to your family and friends. Reach out to the Inspired Interiors team to see how we can embolden your interior design choices while remaining true to your vision and lifestyle.