Once we finally had the architectural plans for our home, we knew they called for modern, southwest stucco and concrete floors. With that, we had a solid point-of-departure for the interior design!
I started by making an incredibly elaborate Pinterest profile just for the house. I created an individual board for every single room in our home, plus additional boards for overarching style elements like colors and texture, and a wish list for items that would help achieve my vision. This is a starting point I would recommend to everyone! You can check out my boards here.
From there, I just started pinning everything I loved. I spent some significant time down the “more like this” rabbit hole. After my boards started filling up, I started to see certain elements coming up over and over again – open shelving, white subway tile, natural, textural elements, and earth tones.
I wanted the house to be unique to me and my family, without looking like a copy of any one specific style. And as an artist, I have a deep appreciation for a lot of different design styles. I started by drawing inspiration from various “established” styles, and borrowing specific elements from each, and then using Pinterest to ensure that they all worked together.
I found that looking at a broad range of images helped me to consider what elements I was actually attracted to, without feeling like I needed to pigeonhole myself into a specific aesthetic. That made it easier for me to choose fixtures and finishes based on the overall feel I wanted to achieve, and helped me refine and edit out some trendy things that I had a more fleeting attraction to.
Having a vision board to refer back to throughout the project was especially helpful, because it was reeeeeally easy to get off on a tangent and forget the original vision when making design decisions months later.
design inspiration round-up
I wanted to share with you all a few of the sources that really stuck out to me during this process, as I kept pinning them on multiple boards:
Hotel San Cristobal is a new build with white stucco exterior and unmistakable southwest flair. Eventually, I realized that hand-painted ceramic tile, built-in seating, and full-on saguaros weren’t really in the budget, but the overall design helped solidify my confidence from the get-go that a new build could look really, really good.
We Are Pampa sells rugs/art/pillows/an entire brand of rich, earthy, minimalism. Think cacti in terra cotta pots and just really beautiful, earthy, handmade things… in other words #GOALZ. They feature house tours from time-to-time and are always so beautiful and aspirational.
I chose the blush colored concrete because of an image of her living room that just looked like the flooring was made out of New Mexican Earth. But I knew that the sort of stark, clean minimalism of that space was unrealistic with our preexisting furniture/slew of unruly children, so my design inspiration broadened to include some bright but cozier spaces with Scandinavian influence.
Bicker Design Studio is a husband and wife team that creates bright, minimal spaces with natural textural elements, and I must’ve pinned images from every project they’ve done over the last five years before realizing they all came from the same designers. Their work is the kind of stuff that you see and you’re like, ahhhhh, effortless simplicity, but then realize that “effortless” means all kinds of custom stuff in really high-end finishes and $$$$$$$$.
I think when we finally close on the house, move our furniture in, and I get it styled the way I’d like it, the overall design style will best fit within the “Desert Minimal” vein. Though if I was naming my style, I think I’d describe it as “Bright and Organic with Southwestern and Scandi Influence.”
Time will tell if that comes through in the end. I’m definitely not a professional interior designer, and there will probably be design choices I’ll regret in a few years. But I know that by focusing on elements that stay true to my aesthetic while also working for my family, (and are within our budget) I will create a space that we love living in.