No, this is not going to be an article on how to get away with shoplifting in your favourite home design store. Stealing items for your home is very wrong, however there is nothing wrong with stealing a few good ideas. Design ideas can be found everywhere you look. There are so many creative people out there who are using their amazing sense of design to showcase ideas which we can pilfer and use in our own homes. You just need to know where to look.
There are more magazines devoted to the home than nearly any other genre (except perhaps celebrity mags) and they are full to the brim with ideas you can easily translate into your own home. While it is certainly possible to recreate a look by simply buying the items they are advertising it is always better to mix and match and take inspiration. Cut out those pages which inspire you and make a collage or mood board of your favourite items. Take it with you when you hit the shops.
High street shops use designers and art graduates to provide ideas for their windows. Sometimes they take a theme such as the season and use that as a back drop or they will highlight the colours of the season. We can learn a lot from window displays. Look at how they mix and match colours and textures and how things are positioned. Nothing is in a straight line and they are not afraid to bring in items which may look out of place elsewhere. It is about taking a risk and catching your eye. You can do the same in your home.
We would all love our home to look just like the show homes we see when looking at new build developments. They seem to be pulled together somehow. They create an atmosphere of what it would be like to actually live in a house like this. Of course, even if you buy the show home it is never going to look quite the same. However if you see something you like in one of these show homes, whip out your camera and take some photos. You could even ask which company they used to create the look, so you can find out where they bought their wall paper.
Real estate websites
There is nothing quite like having a nosy around someone else's home and these days you don't even need to leave your own home to do so. Most online real estate websites have several photos for each property both inside and out. You can usually get a good look at how they have decorated and what they have done with their rooms. The ideal thing to do is to search out homes which are very similar to your own and see what good ideas other people have had. Perhaps they have knocked through the kitchen and living room or added a loft extension. It is also a great way to see the potential mistakes of doing this work on your home.
You can apply these rules everywhere you go. Carry your mobile and take photos, snip out photos in doctor's surgeries and always ask questions. You may not be able to afford your own interior designer but you can always become your own.