Inspiration Exploration

Dana Asper

Sometimes we just need to step outside of our daily routine and go on an adventure! I find the most inspiration for home design outside the four walls of a building.  With the air warming up, thunderstorms rolling in, and the promise of new life, with buds sprouting and starting to bloom, spring is such a refreshing time of year! 


I was that little girl in East Texas who could be found on Lake Palestine fishing or out in my grandmother's backyard building a fort, only to discover later that I had been clearing loads of poison oak with my bare hands. (Yikes.) It's safe to say my sense of adventure has led to this vagabond life on the road, from designing celebrity homes to bakery shops and beyond. 

California Closest recently asked women ages 25-55 when they are most likely to clean and reorganize their homes, and over half said spring. We often use this time of year as a motivation to clean house. Well, I want to take this one step further. If the outside air is so refreshing to our souls, then why not bring elements of that sensation inside our homes? 

When I offer readers design advice, I like to have actually done what I'm suggesting … so the tips are authentic. This time, I took a two-day venture into the California desert to do some exploring and fill my inspiration bucket!

Here's what I discovered … some real ways to bring the outdoors into your home.



Throw on your tennis shoes (or boots), grab your camera (or iPhone) and go for a hike!  Whether you venture to the lake or the woods, nature is the perfect place to find new art for your home. With photo apps like VSCO and Instagram, it is easy to tap into your inner photographer. 

No matter what view of the landscape surrounds you, beauty is where you are. Recently I ventured into Joshua Tree National Park, in the desert lands of California, and snapped tons of pictures. After being inspired by an artist on Etsy, who is also a producer in Los Angeles, that carries her camera everywhere she goes, I decided to print some of the photographs to use as art in my own home! Why buy art, when it surrounds you? All you have to do is capture it!

Whether you are a birdwatcher or fisherman, we all have an internal sense of adventure. Check out this company called "Small Adventure"… I absolutely love the illustrations of birds, moths and even fishing gear! 



At the Brooklyn Flea Market in NYC, I found these vintage blue enamelware cups for $4. I thought they were perfect for my road trip into the desert, and so much fun to use – I mean, who needs china? Enamelware is indestructible and even nostalgic. Why not use it as serving ware inside?  



Have you ever gone on a nature walk and found yourself picking up things off the ground like a kid? I do! Sticks, leaves, rocks, beach glass; does not matter, if it catches my attention; chances are, it will end up in my hand. One time, while, on the coast of Italy, I got so enthralled with hunting for sea glass, that I almost missed the sunset because my head was literally in the sand! With all these natural treasures I found, I am going to create a mobile, like this one, for my own home.   

Even just finding a piece of driftwood and setting it on your dresser can add a sense of nature to your home. Natural elements soften spaces and create a warmer environment. Some stores sell sticks of driftwood for $50 – I say go on an adventure and find one for free! Just make sure you let it dry out, outside, first. 



I'm convinced the best way to start our day is an early morning at the flower market!  Alternatively, if you do not have time for that, just wander over to the flower section at your local grocery store and pick something to brighten up your home. It will only take a few minutes but will last all week!

Air plants are the most popular indoor plants right now. You may have seen them hanging in glass terrariums, with no water and no soil. For those of us that are on the go, these low maintenance plants are the perfect way to bring nature indoors. You just soak them in water once every week or two for a couple of hours, and then hang them back up!



Using color to transform a space can be really simple and effective. Blues and greens, as inspired by nature, can truly create a calm setting in your home. I've pulled a few of my favorite colors in this family from Sherwin Williams to share with you!



Natural sunlight is extremely healthy! For window treatments that let the light shine in, try woven blinds. The natural material of rattan or grass cloth adds a nice texture to a space, while maintaining a sense of bringing the outdoors inside. For those days more shade is needed, you can get them with a separate functioning blackout liner. We can all use more sunshine in our lives, so try opening all the window treatments throughout the house during the day. Just be cautious about direct sunlight on furniture, as upholstery can certainly fade in the Texas sun. 

No matter what your level of comfort in the great outdoors may be, we can all appreciate some fresh air and the promise of new life we see in the spring season. Nature itself is one of the best medicines. I say find that sense of adventure you had as a kid, growing up, and use it to explore new ways to bring life into your home! 


Guest post by Kim Lewis originally published on BSCENEMag.