Everyday Design: Using Your Own Photos as Inspiring Artwork

One of the things I love most about designing is taking something that might be overlooked and turning it into a focal point or inspiration.  Like many of you, my budget for original art is fairly tight, but if you look hard enough, it really is all around us.


I shared this photo I took here and on Instagram on Monday. After snapping the shot, I simply edited the color while uploading to my computer using its automatic color fix tool. 

What's so great about this image is the vibrant colors and patterns, but also the architecture. Just by shooting at a different angle and cropping out the rest of the building, the lines and shapes become patterns of their own. 

If this were blown up larger, framed and matted or printed on a canvas it could be the jumping off point for an updated space.  Here I've shared some great, affordable accessories to pull together a room inspired by this photo.


The first piece I found was this shapely mirror from Wayfair for $99.99. It actually comes in two sizes and set the rest of the moodboard in motion.

Accessories inspired by personal photo

I had fun creating a balance of different textures, bold colors, patterns, and earthy neutrals to reflect the exotic feel of the photo and mirror, but in a livable way. The patterned pillows are from the Etsy shop Pop o' Color (middle, Betwixt in Peacock, bottom Alabaster Schumacher Chiang Mai Dragon) , the round one is from Urban Outfitters and they range between $30-$60. The rug and drum tables are from Overstock, the ottoman and lamp are from Wayfair and the small pendant (great for an adjacent entry or hallway) is from Shades of Light.

The best part of these elements is that they're so interchangeable. The side tables could easily be swapped out for something more traditional and the Chiang Mai pattern offers a host of colors to pair with it. They're also an easy way to update a space without  spending a ton of time and money.

What everyday items inspire you?