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.

Time Spent Creating Memories in Your Space

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

~ Benjamin Franklin

This famous Benjamin Franklin quote appears on a sign outside of the Twelve Oaks plantation in Gone With the Wind, attesting to its universally held truth that there is never enough time to go around. As busy humans living in an increasingly hectic world, we are constantly aware of the effects of time — and how it always seems to go so fast. 

Another popular adage has to do with regret — we’ve all heard of someone facing the end of the road lamenting that they wished they had spent more time doing something they loved. For acclaimed British economist John Maynard Keynes, it reportedly was drinking more Champagne (man after our hearts). But wherever your passions lie, you have the power to manifest them here and now — before it’s too late. And your home is the perfect place to start in creating memories in your space.

Outdoor Design

Make Your Place a Playground

Whether you have an abundance of square footage (and funds) or are more limited in your approach, you should feel free to carve out spaces in your home that facilitate joy, beauty, creativity, togetherness and, yes, fun. These interior design projects need not be huge undertakings (although if you have the means to turn your backyard into the fantasyland setting as above, by all means, go for it). Speaking of the above space, we love how the homeowners let their imaginations run wild — from maximizing the grassy lawn area for impromptu pool parties to creating a more serene setting on the patio for intimate family dinners to installing that completely genius rooftop deck. We’re beyond impressed with the joie de vivre this home absolutely oozes. 

 

Small Space, Big Dreams

As mentioned, you don’t need a ton of room to manifest happiness in your home. By thinking about how you can optimize the ways you spend your time through the creative interior design of underutilized spaces — think a breakfast nook, a large closet, your garage — you not only reinvent your square footage, you revitalize your mindset.

Small Space Design

 

For families with kids, a separate space for encouraging entertainment, learning and creativity is a true gift. A dedicated place for children to play, read or watch favorite TV shows and movies creates special everyday moments and memories. If you have the option to add vintage velvet theater seats (as seen above), even better. Who knows? You may even inspire a future interior designer (as celebrated in this charming Architectural Digest feature!). 

Taking a look at your space with fresh eyes can help open up new possibilities. Take a typical window seat. It may seem like a waste of space upon first inspection, but add a curvy, comfy sofa and suddenly you have a welcoming spot for family gatherings, lazy lounging sessions and cherished conversations. 

Intimate Home Design

 

Stay tuned for all of the exciting ways we’ll explore this topic and more that invite you to live inspired. In the meantime, rate your responses on the “How Fun Is Your Space?” checklist below (and let us know your responses!), and 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 opportunities to live life to its fullest.

 

Fun Interior Design

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.