Finding Inspiration: Take a Closer Look

Beach and Palm Tree
Inspiration can be found anywhere

A decorating project is always easier if you start with inspiration. Inspiration can be a page from a design magazine, a treasured item in your home or something as simple as a sea shell found on a beach. The interesting thing about inspiration is it often may be right in front of you. Unfortunately, if you don’t take the time to really “see” your surroundings, you may be missing some really beautiful things. How often do we get caught up in day to day activities that we overlook the tiny details that life offers us and miss out on truly “seeing” the beautiful things that are often right before our eyes.

As I first walked the shores on the northern tip of Grand Cayman Island a few weeks ago, I thought to myself how easy it would be to design a space inspired by white sand and shimmering water in shades of blue and green…but then I was prompted to look a little closer… 

Along the shoreline
Along the shoreline

To be perfectly honest, after an initial glimpse of blue skies, white sands and sparkling water, I would have been totally content to sit with my toes in the water, a good book, and a glass of iced tea. If I hadn’t been prompted to take a closer look by a seasoned beach explorer, I would have sadly missed a collection of treasures deposited by the sea.

Hunting for treasures of the sea
Hunting for treasures of the sea

A true treasure seeker I have learned, knows that in order to see beauty in it’s entirety, one must have a keen eye…a treasure seeker needs to really “see” everything around them including what’s often beneath their toes. 

Closer view
Closer view

Even from this view, it’s tough to really see what treasures can be found, but I discovered that if you look close enough, you may be lucky enough to find items such as these…

Treasures from the shore
Treasures from the shore

Upon closer examination, I found tiny perfect shells, colorful sea glass, and amazing coral rock…

Washed up bottles and fisherman's netting
Washed up bottles and fisherman’s netting.

The treasure seeker suggested that I combine my beautiful finds with a few handfuls of sand, several washed up bottles and pieces of old blue netting to create beautiful keepsakes such as the sea bottles below. They’re 100% made of items from the beach… Treasured memories in a bottle.

Treasured memories in a bottle
Treasured memories in a bottle

And then I got to thinking…and looking even closer…

Close up of a bottle

Close up of a treasure bottle

Could a decorating project be inspired by a simple tiny shell that I almost didn’t see? There were two shells that I loved above all the others that I found.  One of those shells can be seen in the close up photo of a  treasure bottle above. One afternoon, as I explored the shoreline, something caught my eye…
Shell from a distance
From a distance
and I bent down for a closer look…
Really quite extraordinary

Would you have taken the time to see these two shells?

Could these tiny little shells that are smaller than the nail on my baby finger actually provide inspiration for a decorating project? I think so.. In fact, I imagine that the color and pattern found in those two little sea shells could inspire a room just like this…

Could this interior by NYC designer Evelyn Benatar been inspired by a tiny sea shell?

Could this interior by NYC designer Evelyn Benatar been inspired by a tiny sea shell?

I really don’t have any idea as to what the actual inspiration was for the beautiful room above, but  I do know that inspiration can be found anywhere and the key to finding it is to learn to truly “see” your surroundings. Whether you’re inside your home or on a far away beach; if you take the time to explore the little things (like a treasure seeker),  you might just discover that something as simple as a tiny sea shell can inspire a color pallette that dreams are made of.


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