How to Borrow design ideas with pictures


A normal step for any person on the eve of repairs — see beautiful interiors in magazines or online. Will tell you how to do a search of inspiration “effective”.

The interior design Studio “Arch.The subject”

Where to look for inspiration
Don’t waste your time — go to “trusted” places. For example, if you enter a query like “childish design” and go to the image search in Google, you will see a lot of things. But the result is unlikely to be any inspiring. Unlike, say, from printed interior magazines, where the editors have meticulously chosen the survey for publication. So the first free way sites and social media publications, and not the image search in a search engine.

Christina Squarin interior designer

The multi-million groups in social networks (which do not apply to magazine or design Studio) I would also not trust — it is rarely viewed as visual “universities”. They run the show huskies and the desire of the moderator to obtain the maximum coverage from the post.

It is better to search for more channels close to you with interior perception of people in “Instagram” or “Pinterest”. Subscribe and stay tuned. It takes time and in your feed (most likely) will be dominated by Western solutions.

The examples of Russian and interiors projects from around the world, of course, need to come to Houzz. A shot here, you can filter for a particular room (only the kitchen or only children), to divide by the size of the project budget. And to choose the country: for example, only to watch little kids from France. The base photo is updated every second, but you don’t need to subscribe to updates in order not to miss. Enough to know a hack with the results of photos on the page.

Life hack On Houzz — more than 18 million frames of the projects of architects from all over the world. Go to the photos page, select the desired country (in the example in the screenshot Russia) and note the sort of “freshness” of the project.

Especially useful for finding relevant projects two. “New favorites” is a chronological sorting for projects that designers have recently uploaded to Houzz. And “popular all time” — those shots that kept the majority of users. If you are a designer, and to follow trends — not your job, such sorting will allow to find the most new (fresh) ideas and start browsing the best projects voted by their continuing Houzz users around the world.

Laura Collins Design

Where to put pictures
You can take screenshots and store on disk. You can make a Board in “Pinterest”. You can make free albums ideas on Houzz and save pictures from online or from anywhere from the net — for this you just have to install the Chrome browser extension. Your method can be anything that is convenient for you. Importantly, the storage space for photos was the only: only store in a folder or stored just clippings on the wall. And the second condition: for each of the stored ideas you want to leave comments. This is important.

Bookmark: How to store “visual archives” — compare 4 programs

Inga Taranov

How to conduct a preliminary filtering
Not always beautiful interior with pictures will be the same in your apartment. How to understand that the idea with photos is right for you and not get in the end “someone else’s” apartment? Ask yourself these questions

1. What I like in this photo? It is important to highlight the “backbone ideas”; sometimes after that, you grow cold to the picture as a whole, that’s fine.

2. My room is technically matches the fact that in the photo? Maybe you have ceilings much higher or Windows not to the floor. Even if the not Sunny side of the house, you need to look close to your reality options.


3. And not render it? That was shot by photographer, someone guaranteed to be implemented into real interior (in other words, it’s a design decision “feasible”). Drawn in the program 3D-modeling of interiors is not always possible to do it like this (or not always legally). Behind the scenes are nuances: for example, air vents, fasteners and other stuff — from time-saving Visualizer renders about them “forget”. But the appearance of these parts in the real interior can ruin the perfect picture.

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  • Good question: Why portfolios are so many 3D visualizations
  • Question: Why photorealistic 3D rendering — evil


How to ensure that you a photo, not a render
Check three things — fabric, plants and shade.

  • The texture of the surfaces — if it looks too “plastic”, matte and smooth, most likely, it is a picture, not a photo.
  • Fabric, plants and other “soft” and living form. To imitate them is a lot harder than furniture or fixtures. Noticed copying, repeating patterns or simply “plastmassist” and unnatural? Before you render.
  • The shadows — often in three-dimensional models look unnatural. And even non-existent. This is especially noticeable on the relief textures of the walls.

If any picture is a render, the real appearance of the finished interior may differ significantly from the visualization. Take on arms only “constructive” and planning decisions, adjusted for scale (more on that later).


How to look at pictures
Interior photography is quite deep, and repeated the idea is not always looks as effectively as on the picture.

“Clean” decor. To create professional pictures of interior photographer and designer bring an object array of accessories. Vases, figurines, paintings, textiles create the charm, but distract from the main: form, space, finishes, ceiling, floor, walls, furniture. Try to mentally remove all the accessories is to understand how the same room will look empty surfaces and bare walls, without any spectacular carpet that distracts the attention. For example, if the gray sofa put two bright red cushions and to maintain the colour of any other element, even a mediocre design will look vivid and interesting. Don’t be fooled!

Alexander Nikulin

Photo: be inspired not only interior solutions but also steginga — skill interior styling for Wow effect. Such tricks also can be taken note of, for example, to learn an unusual way to fill a blanket on the sofa and combine it with different texture pillows

Diana Sawicki Interior Design Inc.

What to look for when viewing images
First of all, on the key features of the interior:

  • the color and texture of surface finishes;
  • the color and shape of furniture, its harmonious balance;
  • the design of the window;
  • a harmonious combination of patterns, colors, textures.

Inga Taranov

How to analyze saved pictures
Open the saved picture and mentally removing the “tinsel”. Do you still like the interior in the photo? Then look for commonalities. Perhaps it’s the mood of the interior, its colors, tile in the kitchen or dark parquet on the floor.

Tip: Correct to “take” to your project continuously repeated from the interior to the interior elements, not specific detail — the discovery of a specific design project.

Compare space
It is clear that any design should be adapted to the geometry of your room. But the more the room looks like (technically) to the space of the image, the higher the chance that the idea of design will suit you. What to pay attention?

1. The dimensions of the room. To understand them you will help of visual beacons — objects of interior standard dimensions. For example, the height of the chair from floor to top of seat — 50 cm And the width of a double bed about 160 cm Typical symptoms of a large room — clearly visible free the surface of the floor and furniture that looks “small”. Than the “smaller” the furniture looks in the photo, the bigger the room. If the flooring is almost not visible, and all of the furniture in the interior a compact — most likely, the room is small.

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KitchenLab Interiors

2. The height of the ceilings. The design looks beautiful and spectacular in rooms with high ceilings. That is why on most pictures (especially if it renders) the height of the room high. To check the approximate height possible, finding some visual beacon and measuring the visible angle. It is important to make allowances for the future (the objects in the foreground appear larger than on the rear).


3. The proportions of the room. Important not only the size of the room, but “aspect ratio”. Similarly, guided by visual beacons, try to determine the approximate shape of the room. As a minimum you need to understand what it is closer to a square or oblong rectangle.

4. The geometry of the walls.
Popular design course on photos — clever use of niches, walls, partitions and other wall sculptures. Often these solutions are the backbone of the idea, and if your walls do not allow to implement them, the whole idea will collapse. For example, trendy in our days of food in the niche for studios look impressive, but it is suitable only for rooms of the appropriate form, where it is possible to build such a niche.

Katerina Lashmanova

5. Natural light. Sometimes the interior in the picture looks impressive due to the large Windows that simply pours the light of day. Therefore, if the Windows visible in the frame, you need to visually assess the number and area of the translucent part and match with your room. If the box in the picture not included, we must assume that shooting is a special Studio lights, and in practice, the interior will look for a few exhibition units darker.

Tip: Want to know for sure? Open the picture in photoshop and consistently apply the auto contrast, auto color and gamma correction, and then reduce the range of 0.3 EV. Will look approximately so the interior is in normal daylight without Studio tricks.

Room Service Interior

Do not borrow 100% / ul
If your room and space in the photo seem to be comparable, you can move on to the next stage, to change the concept to suit your needs. It is important to determine which elements are the basis for decisions on each picture.


The use of certain forms. It can be flat and smooth surface or, on the contrary, textured decors. However, any concept can be traced to the desire for a specific style of furniture and decor that it is important to keep.

Ksenia Bobrikova. Xenia Design Studio

Color mapping: a nuance or contrast. If the photo clearly shows that the author of the project created a certain play of color, and you nice game, worth to save it. For example, when using the built in tool on Houzz — Colour Picker that lays any photo for the main color and even advises the shade of paint from the range really sold.

The Colour Picker function: Determine what shade in the photo

The Rusted Nail

The use of certain textures. Glass, brick, wood, textiles and so on create the mood of the room. Learn what kinds of textures used by the author of the interior in the photo and try to repeat them.

Defining the main elements of the project, you get freedom of action: the inherent author observing the balance of colors, shapes and textures that can apply a completely different furniture, decoration and decor, but get the same mood and the same impression you saw in the picture.

And don’t forget about the little things! It is the presence of decoration, the style meets the concept, make the interior “playing” with the hounds.

Have you ever had to borrow the interior from a picture? Tell us how you did it and what came of it


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