Open Learning Diploma student Anna talks creating her Personal Reflective Journal and where she goes to look for inspiration for projects ...

Where To Find Interiors Inspiration


By Anna Williams, Open Learning Diploma Student

My interior design course at KLC is certainly encouraging me to go outside of my comfort zone, take risks, explore new looks and think outside the box.

My first assignment has been to create a PRJ which has been so enjoyable and rather therapeutic. I like to think of it as a sort of scrapbook (although it has a more meaningful purpose) of inspiration, thoughts, things you like, materials and finishes, sketches and ideas you may have for a particular room which develop into a cohesive scheme.  Entries of inspiration into the scrapbook can be from a wide range of sources; from photos, samples and sketches to doodles and even poems. But I have started off with just cutting images out from interiors and fashion magazines.

The idea is that the book becomes a reflection of your taste and a great tool to track ideas and thoughts as they happen. I thought I would just highlight some of the places I have drawn inspiration from to enter into my journal.

Burberry SS14


The lines between fashion and interiors are becoming increasingly blurred.  For me it's all about picking out colour, texture and detail and how these all come together. I always use Burberry as a reference point, season to season, and eagerly watch the replay of the show online - my goal is to one day bag a ticket to the real thing. I remember going into pastel meltdown after the SS14 show and this is an image I found for my PRJ from Farrow and Ball.

Credit: Farrow & Ball via Pressloft

Image from Jamie Oliver's 'Comfort' cookbook


A weird one but I always scour through cookery books for styling inspiration.  It's often not the food itself, but the background, the props and the lifestyle imagery that the recipes are shot within which is so inspiring.  I particularly love Jamie Oliver cookbooks as the styling is often cool, quirky and spontaneous.   I love this image above of the caravan and the bright sunny buttercup yellows.  I took inspiration from this and found these pretty patterns from Vanessa Arbuthnott with gorgeous styling too to add into my PRJ.

Images via

Image via Pinterest


I had an idea a while ago to start writing a blog entirely based on decor inspiration from film sets.  It's such a fun way to get ideas and snippets of looks, colours, and prints that might just work outside of that fantasy world. I love the recent epidemic of art deco prints, in particular the scallop print featured below similar to the fan backed chair in this screenshot from The Great Gatsby. A look that I once would have been a bit too nervous to embrace but the PRJ is really helping me develop my imagination.

Image - Pinterest via

Image via Pinterest


I and every other interiors obsessed person on the planet will pay particular attention to the newest and coolest restaurants or hotels out there. The budgets for these high end commercial spaces are ridiculous and the designers have the luxury of really going to town with schemes that would normally be too outrageous for domestic living. I always keep a close eye on flooring and wall coverings, for example this stunning tiled floor at Sketch London above. I jotted this place down in the PRJ a while ago and then found this rug from Wayfair - which by the way has the biggest collection of chevron rugs known to man.

Image via Wayfair

Image via Tate Modern


I love visiting art exhibitions; the madder the better and I love everything bonkers and alternative for decor inspiration.  Think outside the box and get some ideas on unique decorative objects or artworks to add a cultural bang to your home.  I really love Tate Etc. Magazine for abstract images and articles which I use a lot in my PRJ.  Pop over to the Tate shop and buy a cool art print like this one by Josef Albers whilst you’re at it.

Image via Tate Modern

Image via Pinterest


One of my favourites and probably the most obvious source of inspiration – it’s always a good excuse to go and visit a stunning National Trust property and have a slice of coffee cake (and to get my dose of culture). Look for the use of space, symmetry, perspective and proportion; which the Georgians did particularly well.

With the luxury of grand spaces the interiors are dramatic, highly decorative and lavish with totally unrealistic drapery for example.  I have been known to pop to my local reclamation yard and pick up an old door...or buy a couple of lamps and a nice console table as an afterthought (or mad impulse purchase).

Image from Pinterest

I also recently bought one of these gorgeous handmade cotton rag-bound books and got really carried away with cutting and sticking stuff into it.  I am of course supposed to annotate the entries as well, which is also useful if you want to write down notes of suppliers or websites. I find the texture of these handmade paper books really adds to the story too. This one is available to buy from Baileys.

Image via Baileys

Where else do you look for inspiration? Leave us a comment below.


You can also read more from Anna on her blog.

Check her out at or on Instagram @camilla_pearl!


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