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Monday, August 23


People often ask me where I find inspiration for my designs.

Sometimes it really can be as simple as walking down the street.

Most recently I found a few great design ideas while in Montreal and I honestly didn't have to leave the hotel room!

These two photos at first glance might seem like some fancy wall covering or something done in stone.
I was amazed to see that they had just taken drywall and cut it into large squares. I felt that the idea was pretty brilliant. Not only did it provide texture and interest to the wall, but it was just so much more interesting than just another painted wall. I might have to steal this idea.

The next idea was a little bit farther (but not really that far) to the lobby of the hotel. In these photos I was really drawn to how they created their own cocktail table. By taking a stone and architectural element and then building a cover for it out of plexi. Such an easy idea. This way you can enjoy looking at the object, but the piece becomes functional by being able to have a flat surface to put things down on. I love the juxtaposition between the rustic elements and then the plexi being translucent and modern.

You know what I really love and I was reminded of? A double window treatment. I forgot how much I love matchstick roman shades and then layering with another roman shade. The look is so clean and tailored. What I love about matchstick shades is that you can still see out and see the view. They do offer privacy and a great way to use texture. Then at night you can close the fabric roman shade over the matchstick.

Who says light switches have to go vertical? Why not mix things up and install one going horizontal?

Now this last idea isn't anything new or really special at all. But is is something that I try to install in new bathroom construction. A nice little recessed cubby for putting shampoo bottles and soaps and things in the shower. I don't like clutter in the shower nor am I fan of a shower caddy.

Where do you find inspiration? When you travel? When you go to the beach? Out for dinner? Watching old movies? Would love to hear!


Calimyrna Moon said...

Your most recent blog is confirmation - as if we needed any! - of what an excellent eye you have. I adore the cubby for bath items that otherwise become nothing but clutter and mess in a tub or shower. And the matchstick shades and horizontal light switches - well, all I can say is thank you for introducing me to them.

Among many other places, I find inspiration in Vertigo (Stewart's 50's pad), the Hercule Poirot series with David Suchet (his rippled glass doors make me drool every time), To Catch a Thief (Grace Kelly's wardrobe and sports car), and Etsy, the handmade and vintage 'social commerce' website.

kayce hughes said...

Love plexi glass over cool stuff. And love the shower nook, we just did that at home.

Windlost said...

Interesting observations. That drywall is so interesting. Montreal is a very neat town - I hope you had fun! I went to university there (McGill)...six years including grad school. I always say I did all my growing up there...
Any more inspirations? Did you make it to St-Denis to Arthur Quentin? Oh and Old Montreal? I lived there two years (grad school) in an amazing brownstone. All the decor shops and beautiful restaurants were just arriving. Then it was all touristic crap and jazz bars but was slowly gentrifying...

Great post.

xo Terri

La Maison Fou said...

So true on the hotel ideas. Travel is a great way to see spaces in a different light, location and time zone.
Love the drywall wall.

S Interior Design said...

Thank you for sharing the design elements from your Montreal hotel. I tend to find quite a bit of design inspiration from nature. I like to take pictures of flowers, trees, outdoor art/sculptures.

shiree segerstrom said...

In the garden...invariably. Shiree'

Cristin @ Simplified Bee said...

love the layered Roman shades too!


Christine said...

Not sure if you read these, but did not see a space to send an email so here is my question. I LOVE the pictures I've seen of your own home (and everything else in your portfolio) and want to know what white paint you use. It looks warm and makes such a beautiful clean canvas for your beautiful furniture and accessories. Would so appreciate the info. Thanks for giving me such amazing inspiration.

Claudia Juestel said...

So agree with you Grant, inspiration is everywhere.

I have also gotten ideas from other designs before, and then twisted them around, or a movie, fashion, as small as a shoe or a tie, the color palette of a painting or nature, and definitely travel. On my trip to Austria, from which I just returned, I was totally inspired by the plaster frames around the exterior of windows, and I took a ton of picture. Also tasting the foods of my childhood, my friends' and family's cooking made me think of new recipes.

It is all about keeping our senses alive.



Grant K. Gibson said...


Thank you so much for your comments and kind words.
I do read each and every posted comment.
For a white that I really love- I like to mix two whites together- Benjamin Moore 50% linen white and 50% decorators white. The linen is slightly more yellow and the decorators more blue- so it all balances out.
I have been very happy with this combo for years!
Hope that this helps in your painting project.

Thanks for commenting!


pve design said...

inspiration from the locals, the food, the sites, the sounds, and living with a small bag of essentials frees me up - I always take my sketch pad.

Dovecote Decor said...

I just found you via Brillante. I am inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites lately. I just love that brotherhood and sort of communal desire to create something authentic and beautiful. I've been buried in their writings all weekend researching Sir Edwin Lutyens for a McAlpine house, we shot. I think I'm going to have to keep going down this rabbit hole.


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