A Guide to Making Your Relocation Dream a Reality

We all know the pull of a dream destination — a place in the world where you feel you could live your best life, whether that’s the beach, the mountains, the desert, or another country altogether. Now’s the time to consider your dream relocation.

As the pandemic upended our lives in so many ways, there are a few positive developments that have potentially changed our lifestyles decidedly for the better. A recent study by online moving resource platform MyMove revealed that almost 16 million people relocated during the pandemic, a 4 percent increase over the previous year, with smaller cities and suburbs in more temperate climates and scenic locales gaining an edge over big urban areas.

We now live in a time where relocating to the destination of our dreams is more in reach than ever before thanks to the advancement of virtual workplaces, remote learning and increased ease of interconnectedness (hello FaceTime chats and Zoom happy hours!).  

Why not consider relocating to an area that inspires, enhances your health and wellbeing and allows you to live the life you’ve always desired? 

Dream Relocation
Photo credit: Mansion Global Experience Luxury

Get a Plan in Place for Moving to Your Ideal Space

The idea of picking up and moving to Hawaii or Montana or St. Barts or France may seem daunting, it’s true. Getting a rock-solid plan in place will help make the seemingly impossible suddenly seem doable. Start with having a heart-to-heart with your families and closest friends to get their input and ideas on staying connected — chances are, they’ll be excited to have an appealing place to visit easily and often! 

Next, talk to your boss about working remotely. As mentioned, with the rise and popularity of virtual offices, your company may be surprisingly open to your plans (it’s always beneficial to keep current staff happy, after all). If they are less than enthusiastic, now’s the time to start a strategic job search, whether local to your destination or with another company that is amenable to a virtual workforce. Consider speaking with a recruiter who specializes in relocation.  

Next, if you have school-age children, research remote learning opportunities. This is the golden era of flexible, online schooling that allows for a more personalized and expansive lifestyle for you and your kids.  

Dream Relocation

What’s Your Aspirational Address?

Now that you’ve squared away your familial obligations, your job considerations and your kids’ educational needs, it’s time to get into the nuts and bolts of making your dream relocation a reality: building a custom home fitting of your new idyllic surroundings. 

A completely new way of building custom homes via 3D Virtual Tours has arrived. This revolutionary process allows for an innovative and immersive approach where all parties can connect via 3D-rendering technology during every step of the project from anywhere in the world. Translation: Find your perfect plot, and you can create your ideal residence via your computer screen before ever even breaking ground. 

Inspired Luxury Homes has harnessed the power of this state-of-the-art homebuilding technology to give buyers more freedom and options to create their custom home literally wherever their heart leads them. Our unique process starts with ensuring building suitability of your property, securing mortgage solutions, and establishing and overseeing project management, and continues all the way through the design, build and furnishing of your home — all virtually and on time and in budget. We connect with the contractor, builders and their teams to order and ship all materials, finishes and furnishings, leaving you free to pack your bags and set up your change of address!

Now’s the time to dream big AND go home! Learn more about Inspired Luxury Homes’ inventive approach and collaborative vision for making your dream relocation a reality — no matter where in the world your aspirations take you.

Featured photo credit: William Pitt/Sotheby’s International

Imaginative Interior Design Ideas That Push the Limits

Your home’s design is a reflection of you yes, of your current living situation and lifestyle, but also of your hopes, dreams and aspirations. Sure, we often think about the functional aspects of our residences, but we believe it’s just as important to consider how to imbue our spaces with imaginative interior design and everyday opportunities to have fun, as well. 

At Inspired Interiors, we are driven by the emotional connection we have with our homes and how pushing the boundaries of what is expected in interior design creates more authentic, imaginative spaces that delight the senses and enrich our lives. 

Why shouldn’t your home be your own personal fantasyland? 

Imaginative Interior Design
Source: www.contemporist.com. Architecture firm: SAOTA. Photographer: Dan Forer

Thinking Outside the Box

Our founder Emily Mackie had a fantastical childhood, in which her father installed an 8-spigot soda fountain in the kitchen, held regular crab cake cooking contests and hosted live bands for holiday celebrations. He even transformed their dining room into a Macaw parrot sanctuary! 

This wonderful sense of whimsy and unbound possibilities in interior design informs and inspires Emily’s work today and sets her apart from more staid and stuffy interior design firms. Working with Emily might mean building a rooftop sprinkler park or a curlicue slide from an upstairs bedroom to the patio (both client projects) or a zip line and giant slip & slide on the driveway (she’s pitched these awesome ideas to her kids). She even considered purchasing a roller coaster she found for sale on a North Carolina road trip and setting it up in her backyard. Her kids didn’t sign off on that one, but this fanciful and inventive approach to a home’s design is the point: What kind of fun are you having in YOUR home?

Imaginative Interior Design

Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

When working with an interior designer to create your dream home, make sure you’re not leaving out the dream part. A skilled designer will inspire you to literally live out loud, making a unique statement with your space. 

Whether you’re building a custom home from the ground up or revamping your current residence, resist the urge to play it safe. Even if your ideas aren’t as “out there” as a backyard amusement park ride, you can still unleash your ingenuity through a freewheeling attitude around color, texture and creative use of space. 

Imaginative Interior Design

Things to consider when embarking down a visionary design journey: How can you defy expectations in your home’s interior design? Are you creating space for making memories and experiencing epic moments in life? If you think beyond the practical to include the provocative, you’ll build a home that speaks volumes about what you value most in life. 

Stay tuned for all of the exciting ways we’ll explore the topic of pushing the boundaries in interior design, and be sure to rate your responses on the “How Fun Is Your Space?” checklist below (and let us know your responses!). Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for unlimited interior design ideas that will serve as your guide into transforming your home into a place filled with one-of-a-kind opportunities to live life to its fullest.

Imaginative Interior Design

 

How 3D Virtual Tours Save Home Builders and Buyers Time and Money

Imagine, if you will, a world without naysayers. Where any project was possible because someone had a vision and the courage to carry it through. A world where everyone was free to envision different approaches from the way we’ve always done things. A world full of once-radical ideas like Uber, Airbnb and Bitcoin being embraced from the very beginning.

For a bold new generation of home builders and buyers, it’s time to dare to dream.

 

A Better Way to Build and Buy a Home


Emily Mackie of
Inspired Luxury Homes and sister company Inspired Interiors is just that visionary to bring this exciting prospect into reality. With her new luxury custom home building company, she is introducing cutting-edge technology into the centuries-old construction industry: Pre-Construction 3D Virtual Tours. 

By rethinking the process from the ground up, Emily is revolutionizing the homebuilding industry, making it a better all-around experience and saving everyone involved both time and money. That’s the power 3D technology has to bring the design-build process into the 21st century. 

Over the course of her more than two decades in the design industry, Emily heard a common complaint from clients: They weren’t able to comprehend and truly envision their future residence from flat floor plans and 2D elevations. Think about it: How can you really experience how a deep red wall or dark mahogany flooring will make you feel from a piece of paper? 

Self-guided 3D virtual tours empower homeowners to make educated decisions by realistically immersing them in the space. Let there be no illusions: This is no video created to sell an already built home. This is a virtual 24/7 open house designed to experience a future home. Potential home buyers can tour the space any time they desire, taking as long as they need. You can look in all directions, zoom in, save screenshots and consider every last detail.

Pessimists may pooh-pooh this inventive concept as a gimmick, but its potential is concrete. Here we’ll take a look at the many ways 3D home renderings benefit both home buyers and home builders.

 

Benefits for Home Buyers


The perks of 3D technology for prospective buyers is immediately evident. At
1760 Washington, Inspired Luxury Homes’ custom residence in Chicago’s North Shore suburb of Wilmette, a yard sign graces the land. But this isn’t any old “For Sale” sign; this one boasts an interactive QR code that gives the interested party access to the 3D virtual tour of the property, effectively kicking off the building process on the spot. Buyers can even tour the home with Emily via Loom technology; what an opportunity to see the property through the eyes of the founder/developer/designer! 

From there, building a custom home by experiencing it via 3D creates possibilities that basic black-and-white drawings never could. You’ll move through each room of the house as you would in real life, seeing how your furnishings will fit and your family will function in the space. You’ll see how placements interact, colors intersect and design choices coexist, removing the remorse and regret that often come with making an uninformed choice. Your decision-making process just got that much easier and your build time that much more efficient.

Because you’re doing so much of the work before a shovel ever hits the dirt, you can expect a streamlined build process that runs smoothly and on time. And you’ll know that your expectations will be met and your dreams for your custom home will come to fruition — with less time taken, money spent and stress levels tested.

 

Benefits for Home Builders


The pressure on a custom home builder is immeasurable. Getting every detail right for the home buyer while overseeing the intricacies of the design and build of the structure is intense.  

Enter 3D technology. These immersive virtual tours allow the home builder and buyer to address many of the complexities of building a home before even breaking ground. For the builder, this means that every person on her team — from the plumbers to the electricians to the tile installers — have instant and easy access to the floor plans, right from their smartphone. No more running from floor to floor to truck back to the build site to know which faucet or light fixture goes where. Everyone on the construction team is singing from the same songbook at all times, eliminating costly mistakes and keeping the build on time. 

Another major bonus for the home builder is the fact that they are not carrying the cost of the construction loan for 12 months or more before the home is built and bought. Much of this work is done up front, including the sale, so the build is a much more efficient undertaking. The 3D tour also helps when requesting and acquiring permits from the city planning department — all the officials need to do is walk through the tour themselves to know exactly what to expect and — most importantly — when

Once the home is completed, that 3D virtual tour then lives as a testimonial for future buyers to explore without the burden of having to set up in-person meetings. The cost and inconvenience of maintaining static show homes or asking home owners to allow tours is considerable. These virtual models save both the builder and the buyer time and expense and offer them a compelling way to create their own custom residence through an on-demand online library of past projects.

 

The Future Is Yours


Today’s consumers are more knowledgeable and demand more transparency from the companies they do business with than ever before. While 3D virtual technology is not new, this specific application is, solving a huge void in the custom home building marketplace that persisted until today. The old way of building homes was founded on fear and limitations. Inspired Luxury Homes is harnessing technology to create an environment of trust and opportunity.

This revolutionary approach to custom luxury home building via 3D virtual tours puts the control squarely in the owners’ hands, which is why the company just landed its second design-build project (more on that soon!). 

Connect with us to find out how you can be a part of the next generation of home building and buying.

The Future of the Office

As the world shifts and we re-examine how we all live and work together, the fate of the office as we know it is for us to shape. This marks an important moment in time that hasn’t presented itself since people moved from farming to factories to office buildings. The future of the workplace has arrived. 

There’s not one area of life that hasn’t been transformed forever by the current state of the planet. We now need to take so many factors into consideration to stay safe and thriving: physical distancing, cleanliness and hygiene are all new realities that employers must face while re-imagining and re-opening their businesses. 

In addition to physical safety measures, we also need to examine how we perform our jobs now — how to balance the necessity of more virtual work while creating ample opportunities for creativity and collaboration? How do employees physically distance themselves while staying engaged, intentional and productive?

One small company in Chicago greeted the “new normal” with a renewed sense of vitality and freedom. By emphasizing the life/work balance we all strive to achieve first and foremost in their plans for a new office design, the owners of this progressive firm were way ahead of the curve. 

New Office Design

Putting People First

After renting office space in downtown Chicago for years, this successful real estate branding company cemented its bright future by buying a building in a residential neighborhood of the city. This ambitious plan included the owners living above the workspace, cutting down on the cost and hassle of commuting and opening up a range of possibilities. 

They then set about creating a place so special that their employees would look forward to coming to work every day. The Inspired Interiors team took this idea and ran with it — designing a floor plan that promotes flexibility and ease of movement, anchoring their ideas with a variety of spaces that employees could utilize throughout a typical day. 

New Office Design

Designing a New Future

This appealing approach to adaptability is felt immediately in this new kind of office space. The company entrance opens into coffeeshop-style surroundings complete with cafe tables and busy baristas. No need to stop for a cup on your way to work, now you can grab your morning latte once you arrive at the office and hang around for a while for a friendly, unhurried start to the day.

Employees are no longer tied to a cubicle — they are free to work from dedicated workstations in the spacious renovated garage area of the building, in a private conference room for team meetings or from a soundproof booth to take a client call. To get creative juices flowing and encourage camaraderie, there is a basement rec room area replete with bean bag chairs, a pinball machine and a ping-pong table. A welcoming kitchen allows for family-style meals around a banquette seating area to come together to celebrate wins or just to commune with colleagues.

New Office Design

By putting the quality of life of their employees paramount in their plans, these enterprising business owners have built an office that feels more like a home. And their employees are all the more motivated for their forward-thinking plans and for their generosity of spirit.

Design Challenge: An Abundance of Bathrooms

One home, 10 bathrooms: Try to imagine the herculean task of designing 10 separate bathrooms — from petite powder rooms to a magnificent master suite — in one home. Now envision using just one product line from top to bottom in each of these distinctive plans. This assignment could potentially present a major design challenge, but not for the enterprising Inspired Interiors team.

Showcasing the comprehensive product collection from renowned Spanish tile, kitchen and bath company Porcelanosa, the Inspired Interiors designers went to work creating 10 singular bathroom aesthetics to fulfill a variety of needs and desires for their clients and their family.

Bathroom Design

Beyond the Bath

The bathrooms in this home definitely have big roles to fill. Consider a master bath with a soaking tub for two that presents an opportunity for enjoying quality couple’s time. A sitting area in the bathroom perfect for scrolling through social media while getting ready for school is a coveted spot for teen daughters. And a spacious walk-in tub allows grandma to feel comfortable and self-sufficient during her visits. 

These needs were all satisfied through a thoughtful understanding of the clients’ intentions for their spaces, a careful attention to detail and a thorough grasp of the product possibilities that Porcelanosa provided.

Walk-In Bathtub

Creative Waters Run Deep 

The clients’ request to focus solely on the Porcelanosa product line in the designs of their 10 bathrooms initially seemed limiting. How to best produce rooms that feel fresh and different with only one option?

However, in a pleasant plot twist, this approach proved to be just the opposite of restrictive offering the designers a range of quality items (from tile to tubs to countertops and everything in between) that all worked together and created a cohesive aesthetic and appeal. After a series of meetings exploring the elegant Porcelanosa showroom in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, the Inspired Interiors team was able to tap into the entire product line to spark their creativity.

Highlighting such eye-catching design touches as illuminated mirrors and intricate tile patterns that designate different areas of the bath, the Porcelanosa product line is on full dazzling display in this stunning residence. And because the company designs, manufactures and distributes all of its items, they ship together and install easily, making them cost-effective and user-friendly, proving that beautiful bathrooms don’t have to be prohibitively expensive or super complicated to achieve.

Bathroom Vanity

The Inspired Interiors team loves to take your design challenges and turn them into your dream spaces. We’re here to collaborate, create and use design to transform the way you live, love, work and function.

How Interior Design Guides You to #LIVEINSPIRED

 


 

 

What does it mean to #LIVEINSPIRED? For Inspired Interiors Founder Emily Mackie, it’s a very specific intention and sensation that you feel when you enter a space. “To live inspired means that your space has been designed to prompt your feelings and actions through the five senses,” she explains. 

Especially these days as we’re all spending more time in our homes (as well as rethinking how offices should be designed to improve employee health and safety), it is now more vital than ever to create spaces that transform the way we live, love, work and function.

Spaces That Speak to You

From welcoming guests in an inviting foyer and designing open hallways that allow for free movement to creating comfortable areas to gather with family and friends, intentional interior design establishes spaces that radiate their function for you. 

When designing a room, it’s essential to evaluate what activities will take place and what emotions you’ll want to feel there (think: an appealing entryway, a relaxing family room, an amorous bedroom, a productive office). How can you bring forth and foster those feelings in your living and workspaces? 

The Pleasure Principles

By carefully considering elements such as light, texture, form, pattern and proper placement of furniture and artwork, the interior design of your home and office creates memorable moments throughout and reminders of how life can perform both effortlessly and beautifully. After all, a place where we spend as much time as a home or office should make people feel peaceful, purposeful and at ease.  

The Inspired Interiors team is well versed in all of the ways to #LiveInspired. Connect with us to reimagine and revitalize your home and office spaces to ensure their ultimate usefulness and maximum enjoyment.

 

 


 

5 Top Tips for Preparing Your Patio

Every spring we turn our attention outdoors and prep our patios to fully enjoy the warm weather ahead. This year, in particular, we’re craving our private outdoor spaces more than ever — a haven to host an impromptu Zoom meeting (with an extra-appealing backdrop), unwind with family or just chill out with an alfresco Netflix session. 

This year, let’s focus on ways to make our outdoor spaces fulfill many functions, from practical to more emotional. Here are the top 5 patio trends the Inspired Interiors team is loving to freshen up our essential outdoor spaces this season. 

It’s all about accessories. Future-proof your patio by purchasing well-crafted furnishings in neutral colors and durable materials. Then, have fun with bright, bold accessories that add pops of color without a lot of commitment. Think: throw pillows, rugs, planters and outdoor-friendly serving ware that make a big style statement (until you’re ready to swap them out).

 

Outdoor Dining Table

 

We are living in a material world. Add texture and visual interest to your outdoor space design with the addition of decorative rocks, gravel beds and heavy-duty rugs that neatly designate your patio as a permanent party place distinct from the rest of your yard.

 

Outdoor Patio Set

 

Take it from the top. Suspending items from above — think plants, candles, objets d’art — draws the eye up and creates a serene, seductive sanctuary ripe for intimate conversations and reflective moments. Throw in a touch of ‘70s-era, Carly Simon-inspired macrame for those easy, breezy California vibes (no matter your zip code).

Make room for refreshments. Never mind your square footage, you’ll want your patio to be a place of respite and relaxation. Even if you can’t accommodate a full dining table, you’ll want a perch surrounded by comfy seating for enjoying light bites and beverages.

 

Outdoor Seating

 

Don’t forget the mood lighting. When the sun goes down, you’ll want to set the scene with flickering candles, perfectly placed pendant lamps or landscape lighting that casts a lovely glow. 

Inspired Interiors is just a phone call, email or DM away. Connect with us to discover all of the ways we can collaborate virtually to create the outdoor oasis you’ve been dreaming about.

Our Interiors Have Taken On New Meaning

A note from Inspired Interiors Founder Emily Mackie on exciting changes and updates for the future of Inspired

While news of the current state of the world has been flooding your inboxes, the Inspired Interiors team has stayed ahead of the curve! At the end of February, we closed the doors to our brick-and-mortar location in Chicago’s River North neighborhood and took our entire operation remote and virtual, hallmarking a new era for our almost 17-year-old company. 

This was a huge and thrilling year-long undertaking that just happened to coincide with decisions many companies of all sizes are now facing. As luck would have it we had incredible foresight.  By thinking outside of the box or the office, as it were we have been able to harness opportunities that we otherwise couldn’t have reached. We are flourishing in ways we could have never imagined! Our risks were rewarded during a chaotic time for this country.

inspired interiors team

The results have been nothing short of astounding for our team. For me personally, I have captured an additional 10 hours a week that I used to spend commuting from my home on the North Shore into downtown Chicago. This gift of time has been game changing, optimizing our workflow and allowing for unprecedented growth and expansion for the business.  Not to mention my daily relationship with my children has been incredible!

By becoming a completely remote and virtual company, I have been able to add designers to our team who are working in other parts of the country. We now have designers located in North Carolina, New York and Mexico, as well as a native Brazilian who now resides near me on the North Shore. These remote designers are additions to our existing team that has been working on our virtual platform throughout the last year.

home office ideas

For our clients, this means we are able to assist you from anywhere using the power of collaborative technology. One example, we can set up a GoToMeeting to view your home virtually and advise you on taking photos of your space. Using these photos, we can digitally enhance them, recommending products and reconfigurations that transform your interiors! Our virtual design platform will remotely redesign your rooms and even provide expert product recommendations. 

While we’re all currently spending more quality time at home, you are likely to identify new interior design needs, such as a workable home office or an expanded kids’ play area, so that we can all live, love, work and function more meaningfully. To further fuel your creative spark, we’ll be filling our social media feeds with inspirational images and would love it if you posted your design aspirations, as well. Our team is here for you — we encourage you to engage with us to rethink your own home’s future.

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. 

Top Tips for Curating an Art Collection

The pieces of art we collect over a lifetime illustrate who we are and what we value perhaps more than anything else we own. Sure, furniture can speak to our preference for traditional or contemporary design, but the paintings, sculpture, photography and objets d’art we choose to share in our homes offer glimpses into our soul.

In our ongoing Dare to Live series, we invite you to reveal yourself through your interior design. Here we’ll discuss how to curate and display those pieces of art that mean so much to you to give them the careful consideration and care they deserve.

Three-dimensional artwork blurs the lines between the piece and its viewer, inviting the eye and the mind to come closer. From free-standing sculpture to pieces that require hanging and mounting, 3-D art demands a precise attention to detail. Aspects to consider: optimal environment for viewing, availability of natural light and proper placement to appreciate the tangible qualities of the art from all angles.

The first question we ask when engaging with a client is to view their existing art collection. That allows us to make strategic decisions that create a cohesive design that lets the pieces really shine. We don’t subscribe to the tired notion that bold artwork should always be offset by stark white walls and nondescript furniture. Sometimes, a vibrant background is the best way to bring forward and showcase the hues of a vivid painting. Apparently, the Louvre agrees; the museum is known for pairing complementary interior wall colors with its priceless works of art.

You know what they say: Location is everything. We work with clients to assess the available vertical real estate in their homes to perfectly pair with their art collections. Make an opening statement about you and your lifestyle in a foyer. Hang something sultry and romantic in a bedroom. Provide guests with something contemplative in a powder room. It’s that thoughtful planning that makes a home interesting and worth living in.

Nothing throws off the presentation of artwork more than improper use of scale. Considering the size of a piece in conjunction with where it will be displayed is paramount to its overall effect. Large-format works look striking above a staircase to continue the upward motion. Gallery-style arrangements of detailed pieces tell an ongoing story in a living room where the viewer can take their time to ponder. Intimate settings call for small, intriguing pieces that could get lost elsewhere.

Finally, your artwork should evoke a feeling or emotion in each area of your home. To make a lasting impression on all who enter, choose subject matter that stimulates the senses and illuminates your intentions.

Artwork is such an integral part of not only a person’s home but of their beliefs, their dreams and their desires. The Inspired Interiors team is here to help you showcase your collection so that it’s truly a masterpiece of meaning and artistic vision.