Ever find yourself stuck in a creative rut, struggling to find the design inspiration to ignite your next creative project? You’re not alone. I’ve been there – many times. But what if the key to unlocking our creativity lies in the world around us, just waiting to be discovered?
Discovering Design Inspiration in Everyday Life
As entrepreneurs, we are constantly seeking inspiration that will fuel our creativity and enable us to produce our best work. Not to mention how easy it can be to fall into the trap of waiting for inspiration to strike. But the truth is that it’s all around us every day. For example, we can find design inspiration in the patterns of a rug or the colors of a sunset. The lines of a building, the textures of a dress, or even the people we meet on our travels.
Since a young age, I’ve always been captivated by the beauty and wonder that surrounds us. From my early days climbing the corporate ladder in the world of fashion to founding Briarcroft Lane Design Studio, my passion for design has been fueled by the endless inspiration and beauty found in everyday life.
That said, even I need a friendly reminder of all the places I can look to for inspiration. When we open ourselves up to the world around us, we can find design inspiration in virtually anything – interior design, travel, fashion, architecture, culture, and nature to name a few.
Introducing The Inspiration Edit – A Briarcroft Lane Blog Series
I’m thrilled to introduce a brand-new blog series The Inspiration Edit. In this series, we’ll explore the different ways in which you can find inspiration in your daily life. You can expect The Inspiration Edit to cover a wide range of sources of design inspiration: places I’ve traveled to, the latest trends, colors, and design aesthetics.
In this first blog post, I’ll guide you through the various ways in which design inspiration can be found through a few of my favorite sources: interior design, travel, fashion, architecture, culture, and nature. We’ll take a look at how different environments and settings can spark inspiration, and how something as simple as the colors of a sunset can ignite your creativity.
Make sure you stick around until the end of this blog post. To celebrate the first blog post of this series, I thought I would take you through the design inspiration behind the Briarcroft Lane brand including my personal Pinterest board of inspiration.
Where to Find Inspiration
Finding Design Inspiration in Interiors
Our surroundings have a profound impact on our mood, productivity, and creativity. The power of curating a space that reflects our personal style and values is undeniable. Interior design allows us to create environments that foster inspiration and encourages innovative thinking. Whether it’s browsing Pinterest, watching HGTV, reading Architectural Digest, or even making small changes in your own home like rearranging furniture, incorporating new textures, or a pop of color, all can serve as a catalyst for creativity.
Finding Design Inspiration in Travel
I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing quite like the excitement of exploring a new place whether that’s a weekend trip, a road trip, or an international adventure. Not to mention immersing ourselves in different cultures! Travel not only broadens our horizons but also opens our eyes to new design possibilities. From the vibrant textiles of a Moroccan market to the sleek lines of modern Scandinavian architecture and the open road of a countryside drive, each place we visit leaves a mark on our creative souls.
Finding Design Inspiration in Fashion
Formerly an Apparel Technical Designer, I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of fashion and design. Fashion allows us to express our individuality and make a statement. Just as a thoughtfully designed brand does for a business. By observing emerging trends and seeking inspiration from iconic designers and eras past, we can weave inspiration from fashion into our creative projects, creating a unique and memorable aesthetic.
Finding Inspiration in Architecture & Culture
Throughout history, humanity’s greatest achievements have often been immortalized in architectural masterpieces. From the intricate details of Gothic cathedrals to the bold lines of modern skyscrapers, architecture serves as evidence of our collective creative potential. We can draw inspiration by observing architecture and the cultural context it was created in.
Finding Inspiration in Nature
Sometimes, all it takes is a walk outside or a breathtaking sunset to remind us of the boundless beauty that exists all around us. Nature’s infinite array of colors, textures, and patterns can serve as the ultimate muse. By taking the time to truly observe, appreciate our surroundings, and be still in nature, we can find inspiration in the most simple places.
The Inspiration Behind Briarcroft Lane
As I begin this blog series, I invite you to join me in discovering the endless sources of inspiration that surround us. Together, we’ll explore new destinations, delve into the latest trends, and uncover the inspiration in everyday life. But before I wrap up the first Inspiration Edit, I promised to share a bit about the inspiration behind Briarcroft Lane. To do that, we have to rewind a bit and catch you up on how I got here.
Note: If you know me, you know I love words and can be long-winded, so I promise I won’t be offended if you skip to the end for the Pinterest board 😉
Before Briarcroft Lane
As I said earlier, my career began in fashion. I grew up reading the pages of glossy editorial magazines cover to cover dreaming of working in fashion one day. In addition to the fashion magazines I obsessed over, I adored interior design too. I would fake being sick in elementary school so I could stay home and watch OG HGTV shows, Trading Spaces, and What Not to Wear (sorry mom!).
I fell in love with all things design at a very young age and that love has grown exponentially since. Off I went to fashion school in Los Angeles at the age of 17 and worked in a variety of different roles in the fashion industry before trading my corporate fashion job for entrepreneurship at the start of the pandemic.
From Coast to Coast
When it came time to rebrand from Christiana Nicole & Co. to Briarcroft Lane Design Studio, I had just come off of a year of traveling the US and Europe. In 2021, I moved to Savannah, Georgia from Los Angeles, sight unseen without knowing a soul for a little adventure after a year of cabin fever from lockdown. I road-tripped across the country coast to coast twice and all over the East Coast. I fell in love with that part of the country and had never felt more myself.
During that time, I traveled to 20 different states, 50+ cities/towns, and 5 national parks. When my lease was up, I took an even bigger leap, packed my bags again, and went on a 90-day adventure to Europe.
Coast Continent to Another
10-year-old Christiana dreamed of working in fashion but she also dreamed of going to Paris. So much so that my room in high school was Paris-themed. I had watched all my friends go off to Europe to study abroad in college and by age 25, I still hadn’t left the continent of North America yet.
Important context: I had two international trips
planned canceled in the Spring of 2020 as the world shut down. The first was to India for a work trip (talk about design inspiration!) and the second was to Paris, Brussels, Luxembourg, and Amsterdam with my best friend. Safe to say, by the end of 2021 I was so ready to set foot on another continent.
I booked an Airbnb in Le Marais, only a block away from The Seine River, and flew over 5,600 miles across the world by myself to a country I’d never been to where I definitely didn’t speak the language. Europe was unreal. I figuratively pinched myself every single day. During my three months in Europe, I traveled to 5 countries and 27 cities/towns. The places I explored, the people I met, and the cultures I experienced, were like anything else I had seen or experienced. I came home from my three-month stint in Europe with inspiration coursing through every inch of my body – ready to hit the ground running full of ideas and the vision I had for Briarcroft Lane.
I went to Europe in search of myself, but what I found was an insatiable desire to see more of the world, experience more cultures, and try new things. To be in the present moment, meet new people, and learn how different their life was from mine. Sitting in a café, enjoying a drink with a stranger I would have never met if I stayed in my comfort zone back home in California. To make unforgettable memories that I felt changing the core fabric of who I am. I came back from that trip as a changed person, and itching to see more of the world.
Where I Find Design Inspiration
Briarcroft Lane was inspired by my love of beauty, design, fashion, movies, music, books, and travel. That is evident as you scroll through my Pinterest board of inspiration below.
It was inspired by the fashion magazines and the fashion designers I adored as a young girl. It was inspired by my formal training and career in fashion. My clients and their incredible businesses I am constantly in awe of.
The people, places, and things I read about in novels – especially the ones I still think about to this day. The romantic comedies and their heroines that I was raised on. The life I dreamed about as a young girl.
It was inspired by my family – the love and support we have for each other. Inspired by my friends, ones I’ve known for as long as I can remember, the ones I found when I needed them most, and the way we have become chosen family.
It was inspired by my upbringing on the west coast. The Malibu beach I grew up going to with my family and the camping trips to Yosemite and Joshua Tree. The Hollywood Hills my first apartment of my own sat below. The Santa Monica boardwalk I loved riding a bike down.
It was inspired by the beauty and comfort I found on the east coast. The cobblestone streets and Spanish moss hanging from the trees in the public squares of Savannah, Georgia. The church steeples of Charleston. The sandy beaches of the Outer Banks and the lighthouses speckled along the coast. The most incredible sunset I’ve ever seen on my 25th birthday in Naples off the coast of Florida, the livelihood of Miami, and the bright blue waters of Key West. Exploring the beltline in Atlanta, the open road, and all of its possibilities.
It was inspired by memories of cross-country road trips. Eating beignets on the jazz-filled streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans. The music-filled streets of Nashville and the townhomes with glowing gas lamps lining Lafayette Park in St. Louis. The ski town of Park City, Utah, and the formations of Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.
It was inspired by my time living in Paris. The strangers who showed me so much kindness when I was alone in a city I didn’t know. My favorite neighborhood café I’d sit alone reading a book, enjoying a post-dinner café crème. The corner boulangerie I would pick up my daily croissant from.
The French storybook towns that bordered Germany. The lively festival my sister and I stumbled upon in the streets of Lucerne, Switzerland by accident. The Monte Carlo sunset over the harbor at sunset. The seaside villages in the South of France. Sitting atop the hills of Cannes overlooking the French Riviera. The pebble beach of Nice at sunset. The quaint alleys of Rome filled with restaurants and gelato shops. The duomos of Florence and the Tuscan hills. The vineyards of San Gimignano and the canals of Venice. Windy roads and hillside villages of the Amalfi Coast.
The smell of the bookstores – old and new – that I couldn’t help but stop in each city I’ve traveled to. A song that transports me right back to a place and a memory. Or to the scene of a movie I’ve seen a hundred times.
It was inspired by the little moments and all of the big ones. Inspiration is truly everywhere if you just open yourself up to it and look for it. I hope that when you’re stuck, you remember this list and it helps you remember where to start looking.
Where do you find design inspiration? I would love it if you sent me a message and shared with me!
Welcome – I am so happy you’re here!
I’m Christiana Nicole, brand strategist, Showit website designer, and founder of Briarcroft Lane Design Studio. I specialize in branding, website design, and business strategy for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners like yourself. It’s an absolute pleasure to have you here!
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