San Diego remodeling inspiration

7 Places to Get Remodeling and Decorating Inspiration (That Aren’t Pinterest)

One of the hardest things you’ll experience before a remodel? Pre-remodeling anxiety.

Every decision, from your new bathroom floor plan to the simple hardware on your kitchen cabinets, can feel like a life-or-death decision.

One of the best ways to alleviate pre-remodeling stress is by gathering plenty of inspiration. As you narrow down the details of what you want, you’ll easily be able to relay that to your design and remodeling expert or contractor. Voila! Less stress.

As much as we love them, you won’t find Pinterest, Houzz, or design magazines and blogs on this list. You’re probably on those enough! We’re diving deep for inspiration. Ready to ditch pre-remodeling anxiety and have fun on the way? Start here.

1. Get Out in Nature

Is there any better place to start than in the most architecturally diverse place on earth—earth itself? You don’t have to spend a week in the woods (unless you want to) to gain inspiration from the textures, shapes, and overall aesthetic of the great outdoors. Even if you don’t consider yourself an “outdoorsy” type, just take a walk in the park or a garden, and take it all in. Pay attention to the way these spaces are structured. This is especially helpful when it’s a landscaped area, as you can glean inspiration for fresh layouts from a pro.

2. Travel Thoughtfully

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, there’s so much to gain from paying attention to the local culture. Even domestic trips to Texas or Colorado take on a fresh new hue when you’re in note taking mode for your remodel. Soak up every detail, from the hotel your curtains used to the feeling you don’t want to lose while sitting on the beach in Bali. The relaxing feeling you got from the beach could be replicated in the form of a cabana in your backyard, or a new bathroom layout. You don’t have to leave vacation on vacation. Take it home and incorporate it into your everyday reality.

3. Steal Ideas from Friends’ Homes

There’s nothing wrong with stealing…but only when it’s for a home remodeling idea! The next time your friend invites you to a dinner party at her place, pay close attention. Are there things you really love about her place?

If you adore the kitchen, is it the size of the kitchen that appeals to you? The beautiful sophisticated color palette?

Pinpoint those things, and write a note in your phone to remind yourself later. Helpful side note: if your friend recently remodeled their home, ask them questions about things they love, and things they don’t—you may be able to avoid some remodeling pitfalls.

4. Visit a Showroom or Open House

You may not be looking to buy a new house, but we’ll let you in on a secret: in every open house, there are a few people just seeking inspiration for their own home. Just check all of the messaging boards online!

You’ll have plenty of time to check out architectural ideas while getting an informative tour. The more open houses you see, the better informed you’ll be. Get on Trulia and start hunting for one close to you.

Showrooms also help with this—you’ll get to see all of the materials you’re considering in a low key format. You can touch them, take pictures, and at the Design Studio West showroom, even schedule a time to meet with a design and remodeling expert.

5. Get in Touch With Your Emotions

At the end of the day, your home remodel won’t be a success that can be attributed to blueprints and countertops—or any one thing.

Pay attention to the way you feel in different environments, and the emotions that are evoked by colors or even styles of windows. At the end of it all, you may find you perfectly matched pillows to the drapes, but does the color scheme feel like someone else’s? Does that red fireplace make you feel stressed out? Does the color of your floor and walls make you feel claustrophobic? Always go with your gut.

6. Go to Town

The next time you’re out and about, and you walk past a particularly beautiful commercial buildings, take a photo. It could result in inspiration for the exterior of your home. For interior inspiration, pick out details in museums, stores, restaurants and even movie theaters to garner ideas on lighting, decor, and the general atmosphere for your home.

7. Check Your Closet

It’s common sense—the things you love to wear every day are clues to things that might work in your home environment.

Of course, if you tend to wear a lot of black, it doesn’t mean that you should paint your walls black. But you should be looking at two things: accent colors and styles. If you notice a general color scheme weaving its way through your closet, take note. Pure white vs. off white won’t be as hard to decide between when you already know your preference. The second thing you’ll notice about your style is whether it’s clean and streamlined or eclectic. All of these things inform your layout and design.


By the time you get through all of these different sources of inspiration, you’ll be much better informed to move forward on your home remodel! And once you’re ready—and you live in Southern California—there’s no better place to start than at Design Studio West in La Jolla, CA. Our award-winning experts will help you redesign your home into a haven that will fit you and your family perfectly. Get in touch with us today for your first consultation!