Sunday, February 21, 2010

How to get inspired by expert Nashville designer, Amanda Burdge

Here lately, my life has felt like a bit of a circus, and for good reason. You see I'm a designer, a creative, with a big "D" on my chest. Inventive and innovative, add in a little crazy, and you have yourself a bonafide DESIGNER. See label for full list of ingredients:

Modified cleverness, unbleached canny, gifted, enriched imagination, experimental, pasteurized originality, expressive, microbial resourcefulness, radical, advanced hydrogenated vision and a whole lot of crazy. Yellow #5, Red # 3 and Blue # 7

Warning! If allergies are of concern, may also contain: unconventional, off the wall, offbeat, and unorthodox genius. With a side of short attention span.

Distributed by: Old-fashioned ingenuity and passion, Super Market INC .

Serve with a side of Curiosity, attention and fascination. Mix well, drain but do not rinse.

Voila the perfect designer

As a designer I gain inspiration from the wildest things. Some intentional, some accidental. Probably more accidental than anything. With a premeditated vision I head in one direction and by the end of the day Im headed down I-40 when I should have been on I-10. But that is ok. I have found that the best ideas have come when chaos erupted and serendipity set in. Why else would we do it? It's moments like these that keep us on our toes, and keep the excitement alive. We thrive on it. We get bored easily so when the unexpected occurs it is our moment to sink or swim, (hope you brought your floaties!)

Curiosity, fascination, innovation=genius

I often get the question. How did you come up with this? What was your inspiration? Dare I say a jelly donut, a bag of Dorito's and a beer? Well probably not that crazy...( gotta look more interesting than that, but keep in mind it is in our ingredients!) But inspiration can strike at any moment! If you feel that you are not a creative person you need to broaden your horizons. We are all creative in our own way. For instance, if you tend to be more left brain you will see things more analytical, logical and straight. To us this is symmetrical. If you are right brain we tend to see this as design MAGIC! But no favoritism here. (if you're right brain looking for a designer-call me! haha)

So how do you find inspiration in ordinary things to make them extraordinary?

1) Determine what it is you are wanting to accomplish. A room redo or a house redo?
2) Flip through magazines that cater to the room or rooms you are wanting to work on. Try to collect at least 3-5 tear sheets.
3) Look through your tear sheets. Is there a pattern? Possibly a repeating color, wood stain, chair style, etc.
4) What do you want your new room to be? How will you use it?
5) Once you have an overall direction inspiration can come from anything. A coffee cup, an antique, perhaps a jelly donut?

As children we are encouraged to be free and creative. As adults we are morphed into a label that we feel we must stick to. You may not carry all the ingredients to be a true designer, but open yourself to curiosity, maybe a little crazy, and you will be amazed at the results it will yield! Here are some ways I get inspired:

This is an excellent source for inspiration. It is fun, colorful and with several color schemes to work with
you won't feel constricted to pick just one. It fancy's the child within us and brings out a sense of humor. Who could't use more of that?

Colorful and imaginative these decorative glass eggs spark amusement, hilarity and lightheartedness. Great for inspiration these enjoyable sculptures could whisper all sorts of ideas in my head.

For those who are a bit more serious this lamp has a beautiful pallet of earth tones, with an unexpected rim of thistle. With beautiful beiges, and browns this could develop an entire backdrop for a bedroom, library, family room, or even a dining room.

What would life be without a little arts and crafts? One of my truest passions, I am always drawn to the quirky eccentrics of clever art. I love things that make me smile and make a space truly unique. And what better to help you on your journey than a cunning piece that starts you off on the right trunk, I mean foot!


  1. Love the "ingredients", Amanda! I was going to say sense of humor, but saw you mention it down a bit. It is funny how inspiration can strike ~ and out of nowhere sometimes, it seems. I love to incorporate crafty projects into my home decor. I've been feeling I'm doing a lot of "crafty" type things, but when I go back and look at them {in my blog posts} many of them I'm using as accessories in my home. Bottom line is that I'm getting some unique home accessories without breaking the bank. Plus, it doesn't hurt, that being a little slow right now, it allows me to have a creative outlet.

  2. Great post. I think you've done a great job of putting into words the way we designers see think. It's very well articulated.

    Thanks for finding my blog.

  3. very interesting tutorial on inspiration fluidity. i'm not this theoretical, but i must say my inspirations sometimes come from very odd moments... though the result is always beautfiful.

  4. Wonderful post, loved the ingredient list! It's true inspiration can come from anything.......even that jelly donut..hmmmmmm now I'm hungry ;-)

    Thanks for stopping by my link love post today, enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  5. I'm a jelly donut kind of goat...

  6. Ok, this has to be one of the most useful posts I've read in a long time. Great explanation. I get color inspiration from my garden. Nature makes the most outstanding color coordination, doesn't it. Though the jelly doughnut sounds so much better. It made me smile! Glad I follow your blog. Very inspirational.

  7. Hey I like quirky objects too! That elephant is so great and this was a great post, funny just like you!

  8. i love that lamp...and the snow men..awwwww

  9. You captured the essence of how our funny, creative minds work and are always spinning! Sometimes I'm visually exhausted, but happy, by the end of the day at all the funny places my eyes and brain take me......