Wisdom//

10 Ways to Break Out of a Creativity Rut

Drawing a blank happens to even the best designers and makers. Here's how to get your creative juices flowing again.

Republic of Fritz Hansen UK, original photo on Houzz

Flummoxed by color choices? Just can’t seem to pull that room together? When you are seeking decorating inspiration but coming up short, it’s time to shake things up. Get unstuck in a flash by trying any of these 10 creative rut-busting activities, and share your own tips and stories in the Comments section. Let’s get started.

1. Attend a local design event. From holiday home tours to interior design showcases, festivals, walking tours, lectures and more, there is sure to be something worth checking out this season. Pick one that looks interesting and invite a design-loving friend to go along.

Rikki Snyder, original photo on Houzz

2. Go to a flea market, antiques fair or fun vintage shop. Nowhere has more interior inspiration than a good flea market. The wild mishmash of colorful china and textiles, worn wood furniture and ephemera is sure to spark a new idea or two — and you may even come home with a new treasure.

3. Intentionally follow your curiosity. Take a little field trip to your favorite bookstore, but instead of zeroing in on your favorite section right away, let yourself wander. Be open to anything that catches your attention or draws you in, and investigate it further. The magazine racks are a great place to start, since you can scoop up a few magazines on new-to-you topics for just a few bucks. Widening your focus can have surprising results — maybe you will find the perfect kitchen color scheme in a knitting magazine, or bedroom inspiration in a book of travel photography.

ZeroEnergy Design, original photo on Houzz

4. Be inspired by music. It may not translate directly into a room scheme, but great music can call to mind a mood, style, feeling or even the colors of a space. Your favorite music (whatever the genre) can also give you an incredible boost when your spirits are flagging — all the more reason to cue up the tunes.

5. Take a photography walk. Go to a neighborhood you don’t usually visit, camera in tow, and snap photos of anything that visually inspires you, whether it’s a beautiful landscape, striking architecture or even creative graffiti.

KitchenLab | Rebekah Zaveloff Interiors, original photo on Houzz

6. Drink up inspiration at a local café. Designers work hard to make cafés and restaurants deliciously appealing, and the best are filled to the brim with great ideas to bring home. If it’s a small thing you like, making a mental note is fine; but if you really love a space, take a picture or two.

7. Get outside. Time spent in nature is not just restorative; it can also provide inspiration for color palettes and garden design. Country road, dense forest, botanical garden — try different venues to see what appeals to you most.

Akio Nukaga, original photo on Houzz

8. Visit an art gallery, a museum or a craft exhibition. A skillfully curated art exhibition always leaves me feeling creatively full and inspired. Explore something that sounds intriguing or perhaps something you haven’t paid much attention to before. Sculpture, painting, photography, ceramics, woodworking, art glass … the possibilities are endless.

9. Look at craft supplies — even if you are not a crafter. Just because you’re not working on a project doesn’t mean you should miss out on all of those luscious colors, patterns and textures in the aisles of your local arts and crafts store. No awesome crafts stores near you? Hop online and explore the world of crafty blogs instead.

Rikki Snyder, original photo on Houzz

10. Use a market bouquet to play with color. Instead of plunking the whole thing in a single vase, use the next market bouquet you buy as an opportunity to experiment with color combinations. Group the flowers in different ways, snip some short, try out unusual containers and see what appeals to you. If you hit on an arrangement you really like, take a few photos to commemorate the moment — and possibly inspire a future paint color or throw pillow.

Going further: Stay organized in a way that inspires you. Whether you prefer hunting for inspiration online, on paper or both, what you do with the material you collect after the fact really matters. For some, a vintage trunk crammed with all sorts of assorted treasures is the ultimate thrill, while others may see beauty in a row of slim presentation binders, neatly labeled and categorized. Online, take the time to curate and organize your bookmarks and Houzz ideabooks in a way that makes sense to you.

Original article written by Laura Gaskill on Houzz.

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