Design Inspiration on Location

One of my best friends is closing on a new house and reached out to me for some help pulling it all together – so of course I said yes!

Instead of flipping through magazines for inspiration images, we went on location to the Lake Nona Wave Hotel. I mean who doesn’t love a good design related field trip?! If you haven’t been to The Wave, I highly recommend putting it on your to-do list. It is a feast for the senses!

In this video, we meander around their main spaces. Along the way, I share tips and tricks on ways she can incorporate the elements she likes into her own home. She had some great design questions that you might find yourself asking as well!

After, we head to West Elm for a little shopping to achieve the vibe. I don’t do a lot of retail shopping for clients, but West Elm is always one of my go-tos when I do. They have great style at reasonable prices so I always end up finding something that works.

Design Tips and Takeaways

Hopefully you found some great nuggets of advice that you can use in your own home design projects. In case you missed any of them, I listed a recap below.

Tip #1 – Mix It Up

The first thing we came across in the hotel lobby was their niche wall where they blended art and accessories. By using a mix of different elements – such as canvas art, printed art, ceramics, wood, metal, and glass – they were able to achieve an eclectic vibe. This idea can easily be tailored to fit your own tastes!

Plus, it is a fantastic way to add some architectural interest to a blank wall and it can be swapped out seasonally or as your mood changes.

I was actually wanting to do a wall like this for a miniature coffee shop I am creating so seeing this in person was super helpful.

Tip #2 – Incorporate Ottomans

Small ottomans are a great way to add personality and also function as extra seating or side tables. They can quickly be moved around as needed.

We came across some really fun ones with fringe that I fell in love with. I typically put a pair of ottomans in every Family Room I design. Now I’m itching to use these in my next one, be it for a human house or dollhouse.

Tip #3 – Play with Heights

A coffee table is usually around 18″ high which is the same as seat height. Think about mixing it up and adding two at various heights – say one at 18″ and one at 24″. This allows you to have more flexibility with how the space is used. A taller table is a great space to plop down a laptop and change up your work routine or play games on. While a shorter table is ideal for kiddos.

Tip #4 – Materials Matter

More and more I find myself bringing outdoor rugs indoors. They are much more durable and the industry has come a long way in making these to appeal to both areas. Nowadays, it can be hard to tell an outdoor rug from an indoor rug just by touch alone.

Plus, they provide peace-of-mind for families with kids or pets. Look for something with a tight weave or made from nylon. This allows it to be easily cleaned if there are any accidents.

A fluffy rug looks and feels great, but it isn’t practical for high-traffic areas (aka spaces that get a lot of people using it). They are more difficult to maintain by far. These types of rugs are better suited for low-traffic areas, like bedrooms.

If you’re struggling to figure out what size rug you actually need, check out my post on how to determine the perfect size.

Tip #5 – Sock It To Me

Tile isn’t just for backsplashes. It is also wonderful on the underside of an island where the barstools sit. If you don’t have cabinetry on this side and don’t want to be constantly touching up paint, stick with materials that can take some abuse like tile or wood.

Tip #6 – Let There Be Light – And Dark!

Gone are the days where we would pick one wood tone or one metal finish and run it through the whole house. It’s much more interesting to add a few different wood tones and species as well as metal finishes in the same space. The hotel did this very successfully in the back stairwell by adding a contrasting wood baseboard. You can also incorporate this through furniture with different wood legs or cabinetry.

Let me know if you found this video helpful and which ideas you will be incorporating into your own home!

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