As an interior designer working across Solihull, Warwickshire and the West Midlands, I often get asked how and where I get my inspiration from when I create a new interior design for a client.

I have to be honest and say there is no scientific process at work here. A lot of what I create is driven by pure and utter gut instinct. Yet if I delve deeper and think about it, often it comes back to that very first and all-important meeting with my client. I love to chat and that chatter is what provides me with the nuggets, the cornerstones for my design. When I’m talking to my clients about their home improvement or house renovations, I’m looking for an insight into their lives, their personality, their likes and dislikes. Of course my brief must also pick up on why my client wants a new interior design for the space, whether it’s to create a bigger, more open plan area or a lighter environment or perhaps it’s  to create a space that works in a different way; maybe it needs to be a quieter room or a more sociable space or perhaps it needs to serve a completely different purpose.

Armed with my ‘insights’ and ‘nuggets’ I set to work and this is the bit I really enjoy – creating a mood board. A mood board to me, provides a feeling, a snapshot, a collection of ideas which convey a flavour of what I aim to create with my interior design. I start with a blank canvas, a bit like an artist I suppose. And onto that canvas I create a vision. A dream. A fantasy that will one day (hopefully) become reality. In my opinion, it doesn’t get more exciting than that. Having spent time with my clients I will always try and place one thing at the heart of the mood board. Sometimes I find a bold striking colour that will provide the focus and perfectly meet the brief, other times there’s a feature that’s already in the room which can be enhanced and brought to life by additional interior design. Or sometimes there is a theme that is just begging to be used in the design and can be carried across soft furnishings, art and the like.

It’s a fine line in creating a vision that meets my client’s needs and provides them with something they hadn’t expected but that doesn’t go over the top. It can be tempting to throw every idea into it, but the results would be chaotic, random and probably useless. Less really is more. Once I have the focus for the room, I set to work to put that centre stage and utilising other aspects of the room to showcase it. I am always mindful of the senses and very aware that although a mood board is a visual feast, in reality a good interior design needs to offer all the senses a treat. Visually the design needs to blend colours and tones together, create cosy darker corners, maximise light and ultimately create a wow factor. But when my clients are in their new space, I want them to benefit from the right textures across flooring and soft furnishings, to have enough furniture in the space to avoid a cathedral echo but not too much that it feels claustrophobic. I want them to be able to smell the fresh air from a seat near the window should they choose thanks to an optimised interior layout. Above all, I want them to feel a buzz when they first enter their newly refurbished home. Yes, the same buzz I feel when I complete a mood board and know it is going to be just perfect for my client.