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Perspectives: Being Inspired in Tough Times

Finding inspiration in times of uncertainty can be hard – or it can be a gift. How designers and investors can stay inspired during the pandemic.

As we all learn to wash our hands more and walk around with masks on our faces, it’s apparent that life will never be the same again. While many are rightfully concerned with what is going to happen in their lives and their homes, one thing that we should all learn to do is see the beauty in the moment. They say that life is not a destination, but a journey and this time, although uncertain and difficult, can be a gift. It’s okay to let ourselves be sad, but we need to focus on the gifts and the amazing opportunity to slow down, clarify, and focus. Let’s explore how designers and real estate investors can stay inspired during the pandemic.

Inspired by Each Other in the New Normal

Finding inspiration in times of struggle and uncertainty can be hard – or it can be a gift. I realize I am doing what I usually do — reading design magazines to see what’s trending and visiting (albeit virtually!) model homes to see what builders are doing. The internet has become an even bigger resource than ever as many are stuck at home still trying to be productive.

I have found that while at home more, I am more aware of how I use my home and how my friends and colleagues are using their homes. I was in a Zoom meeting and at the end, someone asked me if my background was a green screen. I said, “No, I am at home sitting on my deck.” We are now getting a closer look “into” people’s lives and what their home life looks like. She commented that she loved the wisteria and moving trees in the background. I like to garden when I have the time – something she learned about me. We are genuinely learning more and more about each other as we see our colleagues at their kitchen tables, in their home offices, hearing or watching the kids jump all over them or the dogs barking. I think more than ever we are interconnected and sharing our whole selves.

Many of us are reevaluating what is important in our lives and that will translate into how we evaluate design and functional aesthetics. Is it family-centered, is it practical, is it comfortable, does it say heart and home?

Inspired by Color and Nature

I now have online subscriptions to magazines that I don’t physically subscribe to. I pop on Instagram to see what interior designers are doing, not just locally but nationally and internationally. I am a Sherwin-Williams customer and I get their weekly/monthly color updates with what is fresh and trending. I love poking around their website to see what design and color inspiration they currently have.

The other avenue for me to get inspiration has been through several of the virtual tours that agents are now using to get exposure for their listings. And I love the virtual tours that many museums are doing such as the Louvre in France. I also now have more time to be outdoors and am really taking in everything nature has to offer. I find that I am exploring color more and looking for ways to bring the outdoors in.

Inspired to Prepare for the Future

Due to the current pandemic, it will be interesting to learn and explore how to prevent or diminish the effect of the next pandemic through design. Interior and exterior spaces will need to be thought out and ready to be prepared for the next pandemic. Maybe that is through isolating a specific room with its own HVAC system to prevent the spread of a virus, or quarantine someone. From this disaster will emerge new technologies and techniques that otherwise might not happen.

One thing is certain in this unsettling time: inspiration is where you find it and how you view it. I am choosing to view this time as a gift to do better.