Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Women In Real Estate Development and Construction

Quick: Name a woman you know or have worked with in real estate development or construction. Not so easy is it? Sure, women have taken their rightful place at the table in the architecture and design industries and increasingly in engineering thanks to a growing focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) initiatives in schools, but females gaining a foothold in the male-dominated real estate development and construction fields has been hard to come by.

 

Building Blocks

 

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 13 percent of construction employees are female — a number that hasn’t budged much since the 1990s. These jobs are largely office and administrative roles, as compared to higher-profile positions that often go to men: finance, transportation, development and construction.

Recent facts and figures surrounding women in the construction industry show some positive movement: Data reveals that the number of women working in construction today is the highest its been in two decades, and 71 percent of respondents to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Women in Construction agree that opportunities for females is increasing in the field.

However, that still leaves a lot of room for growth, as women only account for 3.4 percent of all construction trades workers in the U.S. The pervasive and deeply ingrained discrimination women historically face in these fields is a major deterrent for women who have been interested in starting or continuing their careers in real estate development and construction.

 

Women in Real Estate Development and Construction

 

Developing the Field

 

Women’s History Month is the ideal time to break down barriers to build a more fair, inclusive world. And the real estate development and construction field is ripe for a re-examination of how it has traditionally operated and how it can open up more opportunities for females.

Take into account that for women who have broken through in the construction industry, the gender gap is promisingly narrower than in other fields. (The pay gap in construction averages 3.7 percent, while the nationwide gap in all other industries hovers around 19 percent.) In other words, the real estate development and construction industry can be a viable place for women to seek gainful, equitable employment when given the right opportunities.

More signs of change: Several professional organizations and brands have implemented initiatives that encourage and support women in development and construction, an indication that evolution is beneficial to the industry as a whole.

 

A Personal Path to More Representation

 

Founder of Inspired Interiors and the recently launched custom homebuilding company Inspired Luxury Homes Emily Mackie has experienced firsthand the pitfalls of being a woman in the real estate development and construction field.

While she established Inspired Interiors to be a proudly female-led interior design firm with progressive values and a generous work-life balance, entering new territory with Inspired Luxury Homes was an eye-opening experience.

“Beginning the build of our first spec home has been an uphill battle,” Emily shares. “Banks were hesitant to finance our new project because they wanted to see a track record of numerous homes built in my history, despite showing them my entire portfolio, which consists of countless new construction and gut rehab projects over the course of 18 years. They insisted on evidence of me actually building homes from the ground up under my company name. They actually told me they can’t loan me money unless I have numerous on record.”

“However, it was important to me from the beginning to have a female-focused team leading this project. I’m actually still in search of a female general contractor, but they really don’t exist out there.”

Trailblazers don’t have the benefit of a template for the path before them — they make their own. And entrepreneurs create something that hasn’t been done before. With Inspired Luxury Homes, Emily is blazing a trail for women-owned and -directed real estate development and construction projects but is unfortunately still navigating how to circumvent existing roadblocks. As she puts it: “Doors are still being shut instead of opened.”

 

The Future Is (Increasingly) Female

 

We’d love to hear of any real estate development projects you have come across that are being led by women, as well as females who are funding other women in the industry. Reach out to Emily and her Inspired Luxury Homes team (and follow our social media channels for a game-changing campaign!) to share your stories, because the best way to encourage the evolution of anything worthwhile is to actively foster its gradual growth and eventual success.

5 Reasons to Virtually Render Your Home Before You Start Construction

Take it from us: The future of homebuilding is here. We started Inspired Luxury Homes, Inspired Interiors’ newly launched sister brand, to bring the power of virtual reality renderings to homebuyers. We discovered so many ways that virtual renderings are superior to traditional still photos and floor plans while developing our first spec home, but we’ll start here by sharing the top five reasons.

 

1. You’ll get a 720-degree depiction of your new home.

 

Forget 360 degrees — our state-of-the-art virtual home renderings take you on a 720-degree spherical journey, from east to west as well as from north to south. Just imagine the opportunities presented by touring your new residence in virtual reality before you even break ground. Not only is the experience exponentially more satisfying, it’s also more informative, allowing you to fully explore what it will physically feel and look like in your new home.

 

Critical elements such as the actual distance between rooms, spatial relationships to consider and the overall flow of the space can be more viscerally felt in VR than a flat photo could ever provide.

 

2. You can better plan for design selections.

 

When you’re able to experience elements such as natural light distribution, available wall space and visual perspectives (what do you see when you first walk in the house? What’s in your line of sight as you move from room to room?), you’re better prepared to make important decisions regarding furnishings, artwork, vertical storage options, etc. Armed with this invaluable knowledge, you can consider how your current furniture and home decor pieces will fit in your new space, as well as what you’ll need to source and purchase.

 

You can also contemplate and envision how you’ll embody the space. Can you set up a home office that overlooks the backyard? Will you have a serene space for dinner parties without the competing noise from the family room? These are life-altering factors that can be analyzed in advance of breaking ground — what a gift!

 

3. Larger decisions are more easily (and definitively) made.

 

While virtually touring your new home, you get a more tangible feel for what design selections are desired from room to room rather than committing to expensive add-ons where they might not be needed. For example, bold patterns and textures might need to be rethought to more harmoniously fit the space. Why commit to crown moulding throughout the home when the ceilings are lower in the basement? You may not want mullions on every window pane.

 

With a virtual rendering, you have a much more straightforward and streamlined way to determine these types of decisions — because you can experience them before committing to them.

 

4. You’ll arrive at a more accurate analysis of cost and time.

 

Because virtual renderings offer you the unparalleled opportunity to arrive at these conclusions about your new home, you have a much better idea of what’s truly important to you and what you are willing to pay for. You’ll also get a more definitive list of materials needed beforehand, lessening the chance of buyer’s remorse and keeping your timeline on track.

 

5. You have a much better chance of meeting your move-in date.

 

We’ve all heard horror stories of new home owners building a custom residence, only to be displaced by delays. By partnering with a homebuilding company that specializes in virtual renderings, those informative 720-degree tours will bring your new home to life right before your eyes while managing schedules and mitigating unforeseen circumstances.

 

The result is a move-in ready residence that reflects you and your family’s lifestyle from the very beginning. Connect with the Inspired Luxury Homes team to bring your own vision to life. We’ve moved beyond asking you to bring us your living room — now you can bring us your land.

How to Buck Trends and Find Your Unique Design Style

Quick question: What’s your design style? Are you Mid-Century Modern, all clean lines and elegant minimalism? Perhaps you gravitate toward the industrial or, on the opposite side of the design spectrum, a rustic vibe. Maybe your tastes lean more traditional, transitional or even shabby chic. Or, maybe you’re like many people and don’t know quite how to find your unique design style. The convenience of opening the latest catalog from a mass retailer and saying, “I’ll take everything on pg. 42” is too great. That’s where we come in. 

 

Our Founder and Lead Designer Emily Mackie has come up with a, shall we say, secret recipe when it comes to determining your own unique design style. This is the formula she uses when working one-on-one with clients, so, understandably, she’s reluctant to give it out. But we persuaded her to share, so here it is: 

 

Your unique design style is a combination of your past, your present and your future.

 

Determining Your Design Destiny

 

Let’s try a powerful exercise putting together a style board. You may be familiar with assembling a vision board to manifest goals or pinning images to your Pinterest pages. These are images that, for one reason or another, resonate with you. 

 

We’ll take it step by step. The first step is to consider the surroundings that are summoned when you think of your past. For Emily, who grew up in Texas and Louisiana, images of nature, sun-soaked pastures, Southern plantations with Antebellum wraparound porches and massive oak trees dominate her memories. What are the defining features of your past? That’s your default, your comfort zone. It’s part of you and ingrained in you (often whether you like it or not). 

 

How to Find Your Unique Design Style

 

Present Lifestyle vs. Future Aspirations

 

For step two, things get real. As you might expect, your present is comprised of your current surroundings. Do you live on a sprawling ranch in Montana? A contemporary Miami condo? A three-story family home in the Chicago suburbs? Those are very different residences with very different existing conditions that narrow design possibilities. 

 

Your lifestyle also dictates your present parameters. An empty-nester couple who can entertain a more sophisticated aesthetic most likely has divergent design needs than a young family of four for whom a more casual approach rules the day. 

 

For step three, it’s time to dream. What do you envision your future to look like? What design trends do you love, what architects’ work do you stan, which Instagram accounts do you follow? These are your aspirations, and they’re just as important as your past influences and your current situation. Ignore your design desires at your own peril.

 

How the Past, Present and Future Come Together

 

Now, spread out all of those images you’ve compiled to come up with the final equation. When you give equal credence to the pull of your past, the reality of your present and the longing for your future, you’re sure to see patterns emerge and certain aesthetics prevail. Through careful editing and a commitment to stay true to yourself, you begin to forge your unique design style.

 

This is a beautiful, valuable thing! Take a photo of your board and keep it on your phone so your vision is always accessible for instant inspiration, even when that totally-wrong-for-you sofa is calling your name. 

 

Finding Your Unique Design Style

 

Defining Your Own Unique Design Style

It may be easier to default to the latest interior design trends when renovating your residence. However, creating emotional connections to our spaces starts by determining what makes us happy in our homes, a process that involves some soul searching. Connect with the Inspired Interiors team to get started on a design journey that will reflect your past, present and future, resulting in a truly authentic aesthetic to last through the ages.

Top 4 Myths About Design Network TV Shows (HGTV & DIY Network Secrets)

We’ve all spent a Saturday binge-watching popular HGTV and DIY Network home improvement shows like Fixer Upper, House Hunters and Rehab Addict. And now, self-proclaimed designers are even showing off projects in 3-minute TikTok videos, adding to the mystique of what it actually takes to complete a complex interior design project. Stop the madness!

 

We thought we’d pull back the curtain to reveal what goes on behind the scenes of these ubiquitous productions. From who actually does the work to the time and money it would take the average homeowner to complete these full-scale projects, we’re here to dispel the myths behind this interior design magic.

 

Myth #1: The host of the show is the lead designer of the project.

 

Reality: Early in her career, our Founder Emily Mackie was a ghost designer for such well-known HGTV and DIY Network shows as Meg’s Great Rooms with Meg Caswell and Kitchen Crashers with Alison Victoria. You’re most likely familiar with these household names (at least in households that are design savvy). 

 

What exactly is a ghost designer? Emily was the person to meet with the homeowner; identify their needs; draw up the designs, 3-Ds and elevations; negotiate with each vendor to secure all of the product; and manage all of the budgets and pricing. Emily was then responsible to present the project to the network. 

 

The face of the TV show is often just that while the real work is done by a team of talented, dedicated and hard-working designers, contractors and builders. It truly takes a village (and a vision!) to create a cohesive, beautiful home design.

 

Myth #2: The planning involved for an interior design project can be wrapped up in a neat 60-minute time slot.

 

Reality: There are countless steps that need to be taken before a design project gets off the ground. Think: executing space planning, considering existing condition drawings, mapping out materials, creating elevations, soliciting expert opinions, coordinating with contractors, getting a fair amount of bids … and the list goes on. There are reasons why people hire professionals.

 

In other words: This type of work doesn’t happen overnight, let alone in the span of an hour-long TV show. When Emily did this type of work, three months of planning, coordinating and buying products took place — and that was before the filming schedule kicked off.

 

Social media sites like TikTok can disillusion homeowners even further — what looks to be a simple living room refurnishing project most likely took days of measurements, making plans and sourcing materials.

 

Design Network TV Shows

 

Myth #3: The pricing reflected in the show is what the average homeowner can expect.

 

Reality: As one might guess, TV networks are offered significant discounts by vendors that want the high-profile exposure from their products being featured on their shows and marketed to audiences who are interested in home improvement projects. Big-name furniture, appliances and other home design companies get powerful product placements, but the actual dollar amounts are muddied.

 

Not only is the product pricing featured on these shows not accurate, it’s not attainable by the average homeowner. Because individuals don’t possess the buying power of these networks, they’ll purchase the products featured at full price. 

 

Myth #4: The completed project fits the homeowner’s long-term lifestyle and needs.

 

Reality: Even though Emily would meet with clients beforehand to determine their direction for each project, the show’s producers often had their own ideas about what would look good on the screen. These masters of illusion would persuade the homeowner to sign off on what the network thought was best, not taking into account that the family would need or desire out of their home in the years to come.

 

With a fast-paced production schedule, the construction and design of the project would move at a breakneck pace, often with paint still wet and items propped up and duct taped when the cameras started rolling. What was a set design for the crew is an actual residence for the homeowner, often leaving them high and dry.

 

Design Network TV Shows

 

Fact Not Fiction

While indulging in home design shows is great for inspiration, working hand-in-hand with a qualified interior design team in real life brings your long-term dreams to fruition without any pretense. To create a comprehensive home design that reflects your personality and fits your lifestyle takes a careful, collaborative approach with an interior designer — not someone who just plays one on TV.

Why Commissioning Female Artists Is So Important

 


Demystifying the world of art is one of the most important services an interior designer can provide for their clients. For a homeowner, it can be difficult to know where to begin the journey of outfitting your home with artwork that fits your space and, more importantly, fills you with joy. 

A compelling way to go above and beyond selecting art for a client’s home is to commission pieces directly from artists who the designer knows and admires.

Inspired Interiors Founder and Designer Emily Mackie was granted a unique opportunity to collaborate closely with several female artists during the 2019 SOFA CHICAGO exhibition. In a dynamic display entitled “Still Counting,” Emily brought together personal, powerful works by 21 influential female artists in honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. The relationships forged during this meaningful project made a lasting impression on Emily, and she decided to explore these partnerships further for a particularly rewarding interior design assignment. 

A Celebration of Art and Empowerment

Emily strongly believes in the long-lasting impact of women working together, supporting each other and celebrating life together. As she puts it: “It’s vital to our existence that women support each other by sending each other business, sharing advice and swapping war stories that our mothers or grandmothers might not be able to based on their own experiences.” 

In other words: We owe it to each other, and to ourselves.

For this recent home design project, Emily called upon four of the artists from the SOFA exhibition who she knew would make a great fit for the client’s ebullient aesthetic; her love of color, music and family; and the various spaces of her home she wanted to furnish with pieces she cherished. 

Nancy Pirri is a ceramicist who sculpted familial figures that nestle in a nook in staircase area, providing a welcome moment of reflection.

 

Nancy Pirri

 

Bojitt created two vigorous, vibrant paintings for the home, one a soulful piece adorning a spirited place to listen to music, and the other offering a colorful backdrop in a home office (which has become the client’s favorite place to take her Zoom calls, a rather timely consideration).

 

Bojitt

 

Sheila Arora presented pieces now displayed in the living room that evoke a serene sense of calm and relaxation. Emily loves Sheila’s work for its high level of intellect and small scale that invites the viewer to get lost in its depths.

 

Sheila Arora

 

Shelly Perry crafted bold metal blooms that enliven a gazebo space with vivid green and blue hues. Emily aptly refers to Perry as the “flower child” of the group thanks to her go-with-the-flow, let’s-make-it-work joie de vivre.

 

Shelly Perry

These talented and creative artists followed explicit instructions and careful parameters but were also granted a healthy dose of freedom. The process turned out to be the ideal way to collaborate and resulted in significant pieces that were perfect for their placements and for the emotions they evoke.  

Relationships That Resonate 

During these projects, Emily and her team learned a lot about commissioning artwork and collaborating with artists. Your interior designer will keep several things top of mind if you’re considering this type of partnership to fill your home with meaningful and highly personalized artwork: 

  • What is the artist’s price range?
  • What is the turnaround time for their work?
  • What conditions does the artist like to work under (i.e. pieces for indoor rooms as opposed to outdoor spaces)?
  • Does the artist prefer to work in certain formats or with specific materials?
  • What are the rights to the work (i.e. not to publicize, crediting the work in a specific way, not to reproduce)?

By taking these types of guidelines into account, your designer, the artists you work with and you are sure to form a beautiful bond.

The Power of Art to Bring Us Together

Emily and the Inspired Interiors team welcome future collaborations and commissions with artists for an array of residential and commercial interior design projects. Connect with us if you’re an artist looking to collaborate or a homeowner hoping to fill your surroundings with artwork that moves you.

The Top 5 Spaces Every Woman Should Have In Their Home

Where in your home can you focus on “me time?” As wives, moms and working professionals, women typically take on the caretaker role of the household, and too often their own needs go unmet. If you can’t name one space in your home that’s dedicated to your own self care, it’s time to remedy that situation. 

Some rooms are designed for functionality (think: the kitchen, your home office). Living rooms and dining rooms are meant for socialization and family time. But what areas of your home are dedicated to the pursuit of your own pleasure? These sacred spaces don’t need to take up much room or be expensive to design. What they do need is an intentionality that inspires you to actually use them regularly for your own enjoyment. 

Here we present the top 5 spaces every female homeowner should cultivate in their surroundings to carve out moments of comfort and contentment. 

 

Bathroom Design

1. A beautiful bathtub. Your bathtub can be so much more than a place to clean up. Think of it as more of a wellness destination, surrounding it with an enticing display of fragrant essential oils, luminous candles and luxurious bath and body products that you can’t wait to put to use. (Weekly spa night, anyone?)

 

Bedroom Design

2. A cozy reading nook. A favorite design trick of our founder Emily Mackie is to place a chaise lounge in the bedroom (she even has one of her own!). This elegant piece of furniture serves as a place to wind down separate from your bed (where you’re more likely to drift off). Brew a cup of calming tea, read a few pages from the latest best seller and create a nightly ritual that invites relaxation and rest.

 

At Home Yoga Space

3. A serene yoga/meditation space. Light a few candles, burn some incense, stretch your body and mind and let the day fall away. You don’t need much space to practice yoga and meditation at home — even a corner of the basement would do. It’s the setting you create through your senses that is truly transcendent.

 

Garden Design

4. An idyllic outdoor oasis. Whether you have a petite patio or a sprawling backyard, make the most of your outdoor space by adding areas where you can hang out alfresco. Have a cafe table be the new spot for your morning coffee. Enjoy a glass of wine near a fire pit or soaking in a hot tub. Being outdoors in the fresh air is always a natural mood elevator.

 

Tea Service Set

 

5. An elegant beverage display. What’s your drink of choice? You may be a coffee aficionado, a tea connoisseur or an oenophile. These elixirs deserve to be shown off with an opulent tea service set, a state-of-the-art espresso maker or exquisite crystal decanters. Invite a friend over for coffee talk, tea time or happy hour and start a new tradition.

Inspired Interiors is a women-led interior design firm focused on capturing moments of life through design. Connect with us and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to share your ideas, insights and inspirations for creating moments of self care in your own surroundings.

How to Meaningfully Incorporate Philanthropy into Your Business

Corporate social responsibility is a term that’s top of mind for many business leaders in today’s transforming marketplace, but there’s real meaning beyond the buzzwords. More and more companies are looking to use their influence and dollars to improve society in some way, but if those efforts, no matter how well-intentioned, are superficial, informed consumers quickly see through the facade. 

“Philanthropy has always been important to me because I believe there is an underlying reason for everything you give comes back to you 10 fold, and the more you put yourself out there by giving to others, the more is likely to return to you,” says Inspired Interiors founder Emily Mackie. “That’s why I’ve always incorporated it into my business.” 

Philanthropy and Business

Last year, Emily wrote about her commitment to causes that promote women’s empowerment, as embodied by an inspiring showing of works by 21 female artists during the prestigious SOFA CHICAGO exhibition. These pieces (some of which are shown here) all depicted milestones in the ongoing fight for women’s equality, creating an indelible moment as part of the movement. This is just one example of Emily’s passion for philanthropic causes and giving back, which for her, are inherently personal.

Philanthropy and Business 

“It’s important to make sure that the philanthropy you choose aligns with the core elements of your work,” she explains. “For me, that’s always had to do with art, design and supporting women. It’s always been about trying to find ways to tie in philanthropy that surrounds those elements. I think when you tie all of those things together and there’s a synchronicity to it, it’s more heartfelt, it resonates on a higher level and it makes sense for a business.”

Connecting Your Company’s Vision With Your Personal Values

For Emily, that also translates into a work environment that is, of course, centered on art and design, but is uniquely structured to support the work (and the increasingly complex work-life balance) of women. As a female leader and a mother, Emily understands what it takes to create a nurturing network that lifts us all up. This lends an authenticity to her business and philanthropic initiatives that makes the inextricable connection between the two that much stronger. 

“The mistake that people potentially make with businesses and philanthropy is that they choose something, anything, but maybe it does or doesn’t tie into what they do as a business,” she says. “But when the two align, business and philanthropy, you can get a lot of traction. And the end result is traction that what’s needed for the philanthropy and by utilizing the business as a tool and a resource to make traction for that philanthropy, you get winning results.”

Emily is always happy to connect to share insights, inspiration and ideas. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest and share your thoughts with us. We’d love to start a conversation about how incorporating your vision with your values is the blueprint for true satisfaction and success, both professionally and personally.

3 Signs That Tell You It’s Time to Update Your Home

How do we know when it’s time to make changes to our spaces? Maybe you’ve considered updating your home but weren’t sure if you should move forward. We’ve outlined three identifiable signs that signify it’s time to update your surroundings.

 

3 Signs That Tell You It's Time to Update Your Home

 

1. When you have rooms you’re no longer using

If there are rooms in your home that you’re scarcely entering, it’s time to rethink and reconfigure those spaces. Whether it’s because the layout isn’t functional or the furniture isn’t creating an environment that works for you to live in and enjoy, these dead spaces should be reclaimed and utilized to their full potential. 

Repurposing the square footage of unused rooms can significantly improve your life experience within your home. Learn more about how interior design can elevate your daily routines.

3 Signs That Tell You It’s Time to Update Your Home

 

2. Rooms are emotionally flatlining

When you walk into a room and you don’t have an emotional reaction, or worse, you experience negative vibes, it’s time to update your home. These are spaces you don’t want to go into, you don’t want to bring guests into, and overall, leave you feeling dissatisfied.

Bedrooms should provide feelings of intimacy and relaxation, while your bathroom should give you a sense of comfort, calm and serenity. Interior design can create emotional connections to our spaces, which you can read more about here. Find ways to transform your spaces so they provide the emotional connection you crave. 

 

3 Signs That Tell You It’s Time to Update Your Home

 

3. All your best moments take place outside your home

Do you find yourself wanting to get out of the house more often than you should? Is the best part of your day when you leave your home so you feel that you can experience and enjoy life? Updating your home can change this pattern by creating functional and pleasant spaces for you to make memories within.

Instead of going out for coffee and breakfast, create a gorgeous coffee station and breakfast bar in your own kitchen that adds a luxurious feel to your mornings. Add productive space to your home by converting a lifeless room into a yoga and meditation studio. With countless workout apps available, you can bring the yoga studio experience into your home with the right space to practice. Discover more ideas on spaces to create memories within your home. 

Ready to update your home and make it a place where you make your best memories? Get in touch to discuss your next project.

Creating Emotional Connections to Our Spaces

What emotions are stirred in you when you spend time in certain spaces of your home? Comfort? Intimacy? Happiness? Ideally, your surroundings evoke warm, welcoming feelings, but if your current space is more utilitarian than joy-provoking, you can create interiors that bring forth an emotional connection to our spaces that makes life more meaningful and enjoyable.

We believe that the best way to design a room is to envision how a person will live their lives within those walls. Do they want to be playful with their kids? Romantic with their partner? Hospitable with their family and friends? By making emotions our guiding light, we create surroundings that help manifest those special moments. 

Bathroom Lighting

See the Light

Proper lighting is paramount to the overall vibe of a space; think about how you feel in a light-filled room vs. a more shadowy setting. Considering how much natural light a room gets can help set the right mood; bright, sun-dappled spaces bring about a sense of awakening, which can also be re-created through the ideal incandescent bulbs. Dim down the lights (via a lower wattage) and turn up the heat in rooms where romance and intimacy are desired. (And don’t forget the candles!) 

Outdoor Patio Design

All the Feels

Texture is another powerful emotional connector — it can even dictate how long you stay in a specific space. Super tactile fabrics and surfaces would feel all wrong in, say, a medical office, but are right at home in a snug living room, luxurious bedroom or cozy outdoor retreat where coming together for rest and relaxation rules the day. 

Kitchen Design
Cooktop by Wolf/Sub-Zero

Life’s Simple Pleasures

The anticipation of that first shot of espresso in the morning. The draw of a warming cup of tea on a cool fall afternoon. The release of a glass of wine in the evening. These rituals, while simple, add up to sensory delights that we look forward to each day. That’s why we have such emotional connections to our kitchens — it’s one of the places in our homes that brings us pure, unabashed pleasure. We believe in kitting out our kitchens with appliances that make these practices even more delicious, such as beautifully designed servingware, a top-of-the-line coffee maker or a separate fridge reserved for our favorite vintages. These culinary bells and whistles are always worth the investment.

Wine cooler at the Miele Experience Center Chicago

Establishing surroundings that evoke an emotional response is easier than you think with the guidance of the Inspired Interiors team. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest and share your home photos with us. We’d love to collaborate on an interior design that dares you to feel deeply and live boldly.

How Interior Design Can Elevate Your Daily Routines

We all have our daily routines, those moments in time that mark our days and carry us through our schedules. Those routines may have been transformed in the past few months, with all of us spending more time in our homes. But keeping routines is important; they allow us to feel comforted by the structure and connected to our spaces. 

By rethinking these routines and the rooms where we move through them — from how you make your morning coffee to how we exercise our bodies and minds — can take your day in surprising directions. By transcending the doable to the aspirational, we can forge a life filled with more beauty and meaning. 

Bathroom Design

Bathing Beauties

The bathroom serves many functions, of course, but why can’t it serve a higher purpose as a place to relax, recharge and, yes, even to dream? Take a page from those crafty, creative interior designers of the Victorian era; homes of that time period often placed the bathtub in its own space, in a boudoir or the bedroom, removing some of the basic functionality and infusing a sense of specialness. (Tab through this House Beautiful gallery for more swoon-worthy bathroom inspo!)

Even if you don’t have the luxury of extra space, separating the bathtub from the rest of the bathroom creates an intentional area for thoughtful self care. Pro tip: Build your own bubble bath bar filled with luxurious items that transcend utility. Some ideas for inspiration: beautiful soaps, fragrant oils, lush candles, even rose petals. Make it as exploratory and exciting as you wish!

Coffee Bar

The Heart of the Home

How much time do you spend in your kitchen? If you’re anything like us, the answer is a lot, now more than ever. Designing this ever-so-popular place is paramount to the overall feel of a home, a place that serves as its center and properly hosts you, your family and your guests. 

Do you like to gather together every morning for breakfast and a quick check-in before everyone starts their day? A breakfast bar with an array of cereals, toppings and grab-and-go items is a clever nod to a hotel buffet. Are you a coffee aficionado or a wine enthusiast who can’t imagine a day without a delicious cup or a lovely glass? An excellent espresso maker or a separate wine fridge make life that much sweeter.

Outdoor Movie Theater

The Pleasure Principle

We’re firm believers in the fact that entertainment and enjoyment should be built into every day. By creating spaces that allow joy to unfold, you can find the time for soaking in life’s pleasures. An outdoor oasis featuring a movie screen, comfy seating and a sprinkling of candles is hard to resist. A cozy reading nook beckons even during the busiest days, encouraging you to press pause and take a moment for yourself.

Reading Nook

Strong and Centered

Home gyms are hot, hot, hot right now; even post-pandemic, making our workouts more accessible is a total no-brainer. Reserve a room in your home for your physical and mental wellbeing — from a stocked weight room to a serene yoga/meditation space — you’ll have the freedom to flex your muscles and settle your mind, all without leaving your home.

Home Gym

Yoga Studio

Life’s Passageways

The entryways to and from a home are oftentimes overlooked as purely utilitarian, but their potential should not be ignored. Those doorways we pass through set the tone for the entire ensuing space. Do you want to create a sense of calm? Do you desire a more active life? The design of your foyer can help guide you in new directions or even establish new routines — from finding moments to meditate to embarking on daily walks. Such is the power of design.

Carving out spaces within your home that take your daily routines to a new level is a passion for the Inspired Interiors team. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest and share your home photos with us. We’d love to start a conversation about how we can help design your surroundings that capture life’s most meaningful moments.