Just knowing where to begin can be the trickiest part of a design project. When you’re starting from scratch, every decision feels monumental, the myriad options are dizzying, the possibilities endless. But the secret to starting strong, any designer will tell you, is to first find your inspiration.
“Art is an incredibly rich source of inspiration because it can be literal or figurative, and it creates a connection to any time period,” says Tai Kojro-Badziak, designer and owner of roomTEN Design.
So, we asked Kojro-Badziak to illustrate this strategy by showing us how she would design three gorgeous fantasy interiors using a painting as inspiration. Here’s how she did it (and how you can, too!).
Painting 1: Landscape From Saint-Rémy by Vincent Van Gogh
From this painting, Kojro-Badziak was inspired by what she calls “the elemental quality of the scene: a storm coming, the wind blowing, the heat of summer on the wind.” The colors and content of the painting are reflected in the strangely soothing clash of warm and cool tones and furnishings that capture the spirit of the artwork. Ombré window shades evoke the shifting skies of an impending storm. Rain-cloud greys are echoed in the rough concrete walls. Both the bedside tables and the chandelier feature molten glass or metal that speak to the fluidity of Van Gogh’s brush strokes. “All of the materials are selected to reflect, refract and enhance the lighting, reflecting the very inspiration Van Gogh found in the [landscape]…” Kojro-Badziak says.
Painting 2: Love is the Answer by Mr. Brainwash
“This is such a powerful piece, and it screams of modernity,” Kojro-Badziak says. She chose to juxtapose that modernity with a spare, traditional space boasting oak chevron floors and ornate paneling. She then let the furnishings channel the painting, blending classic lines with vivid pops of color and contemporary materials and finishes — as seen in the orange acrylic coffee table. “Modernity and history meld seamlessly in a room inspired by radical thinking and age-old advice,” Kojro-Badziak says.
If even a source of inspiration eludes you, let the context of the room guide your search. For this space, Kojro-Badziak imagined the room as an investment trader’s library, leading her to think about the history of banking. “The Italian Renaissance is an incredible period in the history of finance,” she says. Once she found her inspiration, she was influenced by the painting’s luxuriously rich pigments and the power and movement the piece suggests. “…The [painting] is visually exciting, moody and lush,” she says. Sumptuous textiles and a glittering chandelier balance masculine lines, lacquered walls and vintage leathers. All the finishes come together to create a striking space rooted in history.
All moodboards are original creations by Tai Kojro-Badziak