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 Top 7 Amenities Luxury Home Buyers Want Today

Interior design might not be as fleeting as fashion, but the trends for today’s savvy home buyer definitely look different than a year ago. The home has literally become the center of our collective universe, transforming the ways we think about and function in our residences. 

High-end home buyers are demanding more of their spaces, and luxury custom homebuilders are delivering. Read on for the trending amenities discerning property seekers are currently commanding. 

Compliments to the (home) chef

Now more than ever, home buyers are looking for restaurant-level kitchen and dining amenities to satisfy their taste for pleasure. With at-home entertaining at an all-time high, such bells and whistles as premium built-in espresso machines, wine dispensers, Kegerators and souped-up Salamander grills and broilers re-create the feel (and the food and drink!) of going out without the hassle of leaving the house.  

Luxury Home Amenities

The kids are alright

This was always true, but especially now: Kids need their own space to thrive. Time for play, study, sleep — it all demands dedicated space. The Inspired Luxury Homes team took this lesson to heart when designing their new custom home, outfitting it with larger kids’ bedrooms that each accommodate a queen-sized bed and two nightstands and desks as well as an en suite bathroom, along with areas throughout the residence that can be carved out as playrooms for little ones and/or hangouts for teens. Not to mention plenty of storage for all ages and their various accoutrements

Luxury Home Amenities

Wow-worthy WFH spaces

Talk about a sign of the times — we all suddenly need a home office. By all, we mean everyone, which is why more than one dedicated area for at-home work is now de rigeur. And banishing someone to a forgotten corner of the basement while the other takes the “office” just won’t do. Luxury homes now need well-thought-out rooms that allow for desks, seating, storage and essential perks like coffee and snack bars. Think: Everything your old office has, but way more stylish.

Luxury Home Amenities


Remember going to gyms and spas? Luxury home buyers are calling for the flexibility, convenience and safety of working out and pampering at home. Sporting enthusiasts are building basketball courts and putting greens, but you don’t need to go big to stay home. Rooms reserved for Pelotons; spaces devoted to yoga, meditation and massage; and indoor hot tubs and infrared saunas bring the burn and the chill straight to you.

Out of sight

We love a mudroom — this humble home hero allows for much more organized surroundings overall. Installing functional storage with multiple coat racks, covered bins and drawers means everything — from boots and bags to face masks, hand sanitizers and gloves (you know, the staples of our “new normal”) — gets stored neatly out of the way of the rest of the house. 

The great outdoors

And just like that, our yards, patios, decks, balconies and other outdoor spaces are taking a starring role in our homes and in our lives. Home buyers and builders are working in tandem to intentionally design and develop outdoor spaces for maximum usability and enjoyment. Think: multi-faceted seating arrangements, outdoor “rooms” that blur the line between the indoors and out, and alfresco kitchen and dining configurations that go well beyond the basic backyard grill. 

Pet projects

Our pets are getting in on the action, as well; after all, don’t your Bengal and your Beagle deserve an upgrade, as well? We’ve seen dedicated playrooms, potty stations, bathing areas and built-in crates all adding to the allure of a thoughtfully appointed luxury home that buyers — and their furry companions — crave.

Luxury Home Amenities

With two decades of interior design and architecture experience, Inspired Interiors and Inspired Luxury Homes founder Emily Mackie and her team inherently understand what home buyers need to live their best lives in a carefully chosen, crafted and designed residence. Connect with us to discover how to revitalize your current residence or build a completely customized home from the ground up. We’re here to bring your dream home to life.

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).




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.