Random interior design related thoughts that don’t fall into any other category.

30 Best Websites For Interior Design Inspiration

30 Websites for Interior Design

It used to be a lot more difficult to get home design inspiration.  20 years ago, inspirations had to come from magazines, furniture shops, homeware stores, and catalogs. In this digital era though, all you have to do is turn on your computer and have access the internet.  Here are 30 of our go-to websites for inspiration.

 

Top 30 Interior Design Blogs

Blogs

1

  1. Houzz

If you are looking for plenty of ideas and inspirations for your home, Houzz is the best interior design website to visit. It offers images of the most coveted interior designs, that will make you want to transform your home into a similar one. They also provide local professionals that you can contact, online furniture store, and forum where you can find practical advice for your home.

Remodelista2. Remodelista

If you want a world-class inspiration for your interior design needs, you might want to check out Remodelista’s interior design website. It features numerous styling ideas for every spaces, along with its shops, and plenty of advises and decorating hacks too.

Sania Pell3. Sania Pell

The owner of this interior design website, Sania Pell, has a degree of textile design, and worked as a stylist and creative consultant for Elle Deco, The Conran Shop, and Marks & Spencer. This blog consists of invaluable tips and advice that offers more than what is available online. Moreover, the website also includes her portfolios, shop, and a compilation of her exquisite projects.

Design Squish4. Design Squish

This interior design website features photographs of eco-friendly interior art and design with a touch of retro style. Its minimalist and tranquil vibe will make you inspired to add something extraordinary in the aesthetics of your living space.

Bloesem Design5. Bloesem Design

Bloesem is a design studio founded by the Dutch graphic designer Irene Hoofs. This classy interior design website consists a mix of home-goals, handpicked home items, and curated image galleries.

Decor86. Decor8

Founded by a journalist, interior author and stylist Holly Becker, Decor8 is an interior design website that contains musings of the author such as inspiring interior ideas, DIY crafts, fresh finds on the interior market, and solutions for your home decorating needs.
Home Shopping Spy7. Home Shopping Spy

Owned by the editor of Ideal Home magazine, this interior design website provides shopping inspiration for anyone who needs stylish decorations to stuff their home. Home Shopping Spy also includes the latest trends in interior design, inspiration from the experts, and simple solutions to keep you a pleasant home.

Fine Little Day8. Fine Little Day

Fine Little Day is a Scandinavian interior blog that expresses their passion for handicrafts. Staying out of the modern approach for designing, this prefers rustic style, infused with vintage touches and cozy feeling.

Abigail Ahern9. Abigail Ahern

If you are looking for a blog containing the newest and sophisticated interiors, Abigail Ahern’s interior design website is surely worth a follow. Ahern is an interior style expert based from London, specializing in reinventing spaces and making your home look as exquisite as possible. Her blog chiefly contains before and after images, how-tos, and sourcebook.

Design*Sponge10. Design*Sponge

Design Sponge is a great source for those who want a touch of stylish contemporary living and Stateside homes. Moreover, there are also DIY, lifestyle, food and travel entries in the website.

Interior Stores

Atelier11. Atelier

Atelier’s interior design website provides inspirations suitable for homeowners who have the love for eclectic style immersed with global and cultural inspiration. Atelier includes their services, projects, and a wide selection of images for your home inspiration.

Rockett St George12. Rockett St George

Originated from UK, this interior design website is an emporium of Jane Rockett and Lucy St George’s cool crafts. It offers home accessories to wallpapers and furniture. It is a homeware website full of quirky and artistic interior finds. The website also features a look book, where you can grab some ideas for your own desire.Dwell Studio13. Dwell Studio

This is a web shop where the most coveted mid-century interior items are found. Their products are suitable for those who prefer high-end interiors. The site also have a section where users can organize their ideas, thoughts, and decorating advice to share with friends and family.

St Jude’s Fabric14. St Jude’s Fabric

The founder of the interior web shop, Angie Lewin offers premium fabrics and elegant printed items such as wallpaper and upholsteries. Also, this website features the artistic pieces of other young flourishing designers she is working with.

The Kellogg Collection15. The Kellogg Collection

This web shop features fresh looking interiors for those who enjoy the classic and homely feel. Aside from showcasing their shabby chic furniture,  The Kellogg Collection also offers lookbooks and tips for those who are in need of a simple yet elegant home inspiration.

Interior Bargain Hunters

Ikea16. Ikea Hackers

This is the best site to share creative ideas on how to modify and re purpose items found on Ikea. If you feel like you have an ability with tinkering and tweaking things into an innovative one, this site could be your main source of hacks and ideas for your home improvement.

Etsy17. Etsy

Etsy is a global online market having over 18 million customized products. It is a marketplace for artsy people to sell their crafts. You can find good items on Etsy, considering that these goodies are crafted with love and spilled with vintage touch and creativity.

Specialists Sites

Designer Pages Media18. Designer Pages Media

This website is suitable for interior designers that are looking for great products along with its manufacturers. It also provides a wide array of articles about interesting ideas for interior designing.

Little Big Bell19. Little Big Bell

Mentioning its achievement, Little Big Bell is a prestigious interiors, design, and lifestyle blog based in London which is founded by Geraldine Tan. Here, you can find professional tips, guides, and inspirations for a much stylish way of dealing with your interiors.

Lauren Liess Interiors20. Lauren Liess Interiors

Lauren Liess is an interior boutique and design studio based in Washington, DC. There are numerous articles in this blog where you can get ideas for a luxurious interior design inspiration. You can also check their portfolio for a dash of additional ingenuity.

Home Design Finds21. Home Design Finds

Home Design Finds is a web magazine that features the best architecture, furniture, interior design, lighting, and more that their team could find around the globe.

For Interior-Shopaholics

Pieces22. Pieces

This boutique based in Atlanta offers unique interior finds that are perfect for modern and elegant interior style. Their easy-to-shop site will allow you to have an easy access across all of their products.

H&M23. H&M Home

The fashion retailer also sells home interior products online. They offer a wide array of affordable pieces for all your interior decorating needs.

Rowen and Wren24. Rowen and Wren

Rowen & Wren is a web shop features textiles, ceramics, outdoor accents, and furniture which are all about refined and classic living. Scouring through this blog is worth of a daydream.

Zara Home25. Zara Home

Zara Home is another fashion shop that also sells trendy homeware online. They offer these chic yet affordable products included in their lookbooks.

Schoolhouse Electric26. Schoolhouse Electric

If you are a fan of colors and funky retro look, Schoolhouse Electric is a great source for affordable homeware, accents, and more. Check their inspirations tab for more tips and ideas. You can also find a compilation of insta-worthy photos there!

Vintage Touch

 

Skinflint Design27. Skinflint Design

If you’re so much into vintage lighting for your home, Skinflint Design is the perfect interior design website for you to visit. Moreover, you can check their blogs for guide and tips in lighting and buying homeware. Also, you can refer to their compilation of projects and consultancy services in case you are curious enough about their ideas and works.

One King’s Lane28. One King’s Lane

One King’s Lane is an interior web shop that will satisfy your antique addiction with the wide range of shabby chic and classic homeware options. What’s more is that they offer these finds for a great value.

Vintage Finds29. Vintage Finds

In this interior design website, you’ll find tons of tips, guides, and inspirations on how to restore and reinvent your home space. They also have a boutique that offers distinctive antique,  painted and distressed furniture, vintage pieces, and home furnishings all at an affordable price.

National Trust Treasure Hunt30. National Trust Treasure Hunt

This interior design website would be the one-stop blog for enthusiasts of history and restoration. National Trust Treasure hunt features the homes owned by the National Trust, along with its furnitures and the story behind them, and the process of restoring and preserving them. The richness of the culture and the old times is sure to hype the antique lovers.

Got any thoughts about our list of the best websites for your interior inspiration? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

[PART 3] Guide To Getting Permits In Chicago: Residential Remodeling

Remodeling Permit
In part two of this article series “Guide to Getting Permits in Chicago”, we talked about why you may need to pull a permit for a residential remodel.  In this article, you will learn more about the necessary paperwork you have to prepare, how each process of securing a permit works, the cost of building permit fee, and the penalties for failure to obtain one or having an expired permit.

Step by Step Process: How To Get a Building Permit

After identifying what type of permit you need, you’re ready to go through to ordeal of obtaining it. Here are some of the options:

Easy Permit Process Program

How it works:

  • Fill out the application form. You can then submit this together with additional documentation (requires PIN no.) in one of the City Hall offices.
  • Be sure that the owner of the house duly signed the Easy Permit application form.
  • Also provide a copy of contract signed by the owner and the contractor together with a signed letter of intent for general contractors and/or plumbing contractors, as it may be applicable.
  • In this process, no appointment is required and and usually you may get the permit the same day you applied
  • A detailed flowchart containing the instructions for every step of the process is found here.

Standard Plan Review

How it works:

  • The application is submitted through E-Plan.
  • Only the architects, structural engineers and expediters are allowed to apply for a Standard Plan Review.
  • A detailed flowchart of the instructions to take when applying for plan review is found here.

Homeowners Assistance Program

This program is for owner-occupants of single-family homes who will personally apply for a building permit that requires plan and drawings (not subject to Easy Permit Process Program).

The permit registration may be done by your contractor but a representative of the City may still want to speak to you about your project. Make sure to always follow up with them and ensure that they actually got it before starting any construction process. Oftentimes, it is best if you arrange for your designer or contractor to pull permits, as they better understand the city’s timeline for approval and the requirements for the permit process and which project really needs a permit.

Residential Remodeling Permit Requirements

Here are the list of general and specific requirements you (depending on the scope of your home improvement project) need to accomplish for a successful application of Residential Remodeling Permit:

Easy Permit Process Program

Here is the required information that may be applicable for your residential remodelling project:

  • EPP Application including
  • Cook County PIN #
  • Electrical Application
  • Signed contract between owner & contractor
  • Original Letters of Intent from contractors
  • Proof of building ownership
  • Certificate of Responsibility for owner occupied residential bldgs.
  • Certificate of primary residence for owner occupied residential buildings
  • Photographs of areas of work
  • Plat of survey
  • List of required contractors
  • Notarized letters from owner and contractors for contractor changes
Note: *Also see this list on the flowchart, link provided above.

Homeowner’s Assistance Program

As this kind of application may include plans and drawings, it has a long list of requirements

General Requirements:

  • Building Permit Application
  • Plans
  • Project address printed on each sheet
  • Excavation certificate (for projects that include new or reworked foundations)
  • Plat of Survey
  • Certification of Primary Residence (certifies that the
  • Notarized Certification of Responsibility (only when The homeowner intends to act as the general contractor/subcontractor)
  • Aldermanic Acknowledgement Letter
  • Photographs of proposed area of work

Zoning Items Required:

  • Driveway Application (only if the project include alteration or addition of new driveway)
  • Zoning Approval for projects with drawings and plans

Energy Conservation Code Items Required

  • Energy Conservation Code Worksheet

Landmarks Commission Items Required

  • Landmarks Review (If the house is a landmark or is located in a landmark district

Architectural Items Required

  • Site Plan
  • Architectural Floor Plans
  • Wall Sections (provide a full wall section showing the elevation of all floor levels and the foundation wall for alteration and additions)
  • Building Elevations
  • Code Notes
  • Light and Vent Schedule

Structural Items Required

  • Porches (for porch plan)

Plumbing Items Required

  • Plumbing Fixtures (Plumbing fixtures on floor plans)
  • Plumbing Riser Diagrams
  • Plumbing Fixture Schedule (Specific details of all new fixtures)

Ventilation Items Required

  • Complete HVAC Plans
  • Ventilation Equipment Schedule

Electrical Items Required

  • Electrical Permit Application
  • Electrical Plans

For further information about the requirements , you can refer to this checklist. Always remember that if all of this is overwhelming, you can hire a contractor or an expeditor to do this for you.

Calculate The Cost of A Permit

The cost of securing a building permit from the Chicago City government is dependent on the type of construction project, the type of building and occupancy of the house, and the scope of project.

As of December 11, 2016, the building permit fees were increased. For ease of checking how much the permit fee may cost, a cost of permit calculator is available in City of Chicago website.

Important note:

To avoid penalties, start your construction within six months after the issuance of permit. If the construction did not start within the period, you should apply for a reinstatement of permit to carry on the construction. Note that this application is subject to approval by a City Hall Building Department supervisor.

Here are the details on the applicable fees:

  • After 6 months up to 12 months, 25% of the original fee is charged to extend the permit.
  • After 12 months and less than 3 years, 50% of the original fee is charged to extend the permit.
  • After 3 years and less than 5 years, 75% of the original fee is charged to extend the permit.
  • After 5 years, 100% of the original fee is charged to extend the permit.

(source)

What Happens if You Fail to Get a Residential Remodeling Permit

Failing to get a residential remodeling permit might subject you to certain circumstances such as:

  • The City issuing a stop work order on your project;
  • If there is a loan to finance the project, lender may decide to end the contract
  • A prospective buyer, who has the right to ask about the obtained permits, backing out of a deal

While we made this guide to assist in the permit process, please realize that you should always review the updated requirements, as these can change frequently. You can check for updates from the Chicago City hall website.

My House Hunters Renovation Experience

Erica Lugbill | My House Hunters Renovation Experience

After years of working off camera for HGTV, I finally had the opportunity to be on camera, as the designer for an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters Renovation (season 7 episode 6). Read more

What Other Finishes Go With Chrome?

What Other Finishes Go With Chrome?

The metallic element Chromium, or Chrome, is a metal that is often used in interior design.  It can be used in a variety of ways, including cabinet hardware, tile patterns, and furniture and décor.

Erica Lugbill, lead interior designer of Lugbill Designs shares her thoughts on finishes that go with chrome in the below video:

 

What Other Finishes Go With Chrome? — powered by ehow

 

Here are examples of a Silver and Nickel Finishes:

Examples of a Silver and Nickel Finishes

Seal Gray Metallic Clearcoat

Dark Pewter Finish

A dark pewter finish can also be used with chrome

In nearly all cases, mixing gold and bronze with chrome won’t work.  It simply clashes too much.
Find this interesting? Check out more of Erica Lugbill’s work at Lugbilldesigns.com

The Signature Look of Classic Chicago Homes

The Signature Look of Classic Chicago Homes

Aside from its soaring sky-high buildings, another thing that Chicago is known for its architecture. Walking through the residential areas of Chicago, it’s hard to miss the distinct architectural styles of the city’s homes.

The architecture styles of Chicago are believed to have a connection with the Great Chicago Fire that happened in October 1871. Legend incorrectly holds that the fire started when a family cow accidentally kicked a lighted lantern. The origin story claims that the fire began by a barn located on the property of Patrick and Catherine O’Leary, at 137 DeKoven Street on the city’s southwest side. O’Leary denied the claim and the reason for the fire was never discovered. The tragedy has burnt down four square miles of the city, ending the lives of 300 people and making the one-third of the city’s population homeless.

Rebuilding the City After the Great Chicago Fire

After the devastating fire, rebuilding the city immediately began. The Government required the new buildings to contain fireproof construction materials such as brick, marble, stone, and limestone. Terra-cotta clay has also become a popular and effective fireproof material. The durability of terra-cotta clay has proven effective, as many historical Chicago skyscrapers containing this material are still standing today.

This part of Chicago’s history has contributed to the birth of today’s many notable architectural styles and schools in the city. It’s no wonder why there are styles of homes that people can identify as truly “Chicago”.

5 Timeless Styles of The Windy City Homes

Indeed, Chicago has risen from devastation and, to many, has become America’s top architectural city. How can you not notice the amazing structures that prove the city’s dominance in this field? The Willis Tower, Aqua Tower, and the Jeweler’s Building are just some of the Chicago’s architectural prides, but there are countless others that create the amazing skyline and spaces in between.

In this article, you’ll get a glimpse of the various styles used in Chicago homes and commercial buildings, along with the interesting story behind each structure.

The Signature Look of Classic Chicago Homes | The Worker Cottage

  • The Worker Cottage

This type of home is said to be the original Chicago home–as early as 1830s, the building of worker cottages has started. These structures were initially made of wood, but after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, their foundation materials were upgraded to bricks. Over the years, the basic form of workers cottage remained the same, but it varied in different ornamentation styles. They usually have one to one-and-a-half stories and street-facing triangular roofs.

Interesting Fact: The worker cottages are believed to be essential to Chicago’s urban growth in the 19th century.

The Signature Look of Classic Chicago Homes | The Courtyard Apartment

  • The Courtyard Apartment

With a green space on its center, the U-shaped courtyard apartments boast a front entrance stairwell and a large back staircase and a design that encourages ventilation. However, courtyard buildings taller than 3 stories has become a rare sight due to Chicago ordinance that implements fire-code restrictions and elevator requirements for those who want to build higher, making floor additions much more costly.

Interesting Fact: Typically built from 1910 to 1930, this type of house was first sold as luxury housing.

The Signature Look of Classic Chicago Homes | The Bungalow

  • The Bungalow

Bungalows started to be built around 1910 and 1940, and they were first designed for working-class owners. This type of house is usually distinguished by its one-and-a-half stories, brick facade, full basements, and verandas facing the street. It commonly has limestone accents, concrete entry stairs, and dormers. A living room and a dining room with a kitchen on one side and bedrooms on another comprise the typical interiors of a bungalow.

Interesting Fact: With its popularity in Chicago, bungalows were considered the new workers cottages of the 20th century.

The Signature Look of Classic Chicago Homes | The Frame Two-Flat

  • The Frame Two-Flat

Popular in 1900 to 1920, two-flat homes are commonly composed of wood, stone, and brick. This type of house is usually adorned in various architectural styles, layout, and ornamentation. Usually, the owner resides in the first floor of the two-flat, while the second floor is rented out.

Interesting Fact: Two flats served as a link for the working class between apartment life and the single family bungalow–making this house type known as the “workhouse of Chicago housing”.

The Signature Look of Classic Chicago Homes | The Greystone

  • The Greystone

Though greystone houses utilize different ornamentation, the most common architectural style used for this housing type is the simplified Classic Revival. Greystone houses can serve both as single-family homes and multi-family buildings. The single entrance that faces the streets and the apartments of a multi-flat greystone create an illusion of capacious and grand living.

Interesting Fact: The Greystone homes are said to be the Chicago’s version of New York brownstone with its limestone exteriors acquired from quarries around Indiana.

Today, one can walk around the streets of the city and see all 5 types of homes in short order, which goes to prove the diverse history the city holds. Old and new seamlessly blend together to create lively communities, rich with culture and history.

Good Colors for Painting a Common Hallway in an Apartment Building

Choosing colors can be a frustrating thing to do for many, as the color choice has influence in so many other aspects of the design of a space.  The wrong colors can make the space look overwhelming, suffocating or too sterile.

In this video, Erica Lugbill, discusses how to choose a color for painting a common hallway, such as in a condo or apartment building

Erica Lugbill is the owner of Lugbill Designs a high-end residential remodeling and interior design firm in Chicago, IL.

 

 

 

When painting a hallway of an apartment complex, it shouldn’t be suffocating and cave-ish.

The idea is to create a light, airy, and neutral space, never making the hallways feel closed in. An ideal hallway is flowing to each and every individual apartment, not too distracting or one that doesn’t clash with the paint colors inside the apartment.

This video demonstrates how the tan walls on the apartment complex were done right. A nice neutral color that go with everything, not too dark but still interesting and it’s not white–don’t want to paint it white or it will look to sterile.

There are other colors that will make your hallway flow and feel spacious. The color Erica chose for this hallway are only one of the options.  As she suggests, grey and warmer tan tones would also create the same effect on the hallway.

Keep in mind that when painting a hallway white is out of the question.  It is too sterile.  On the flip side, extremely dark colors will make the space feel smaller (and a bit eerie)

Enjoy these tips? Check out more videos and design tips of Erica’s on website – Lugbilldesigns.com

 

 

Fluid Art Takes Over Modern Interior Design

Fluid Art Takes Over Modern Interior Design

Looking for a colorful yet chic way to design your living space? Try the ultra-sleek Fluid Art!

Fluid Art is the latest accessory in modern-day interior design. It is created by simply pouring paint and dripping resin on timber panels. The swirls of colours and fascinating watery effect can certainly bring life to any type of room. More importantly, Fluid Art doesn’t show any crack or fade unlike other types of artworks.

Beata Molicka, a Gold Coast artist, is a big fan of Fluid Art. Her fluid art designs began as an experimental process which eventually allowed her to create her own mixtures and designs. She was inspired by the beauty of aerial photography and satellite photos of planets and translated her ideas into fluid pieces. Most of her pieces are created with blue ocean hues and 24-carat gold accents. Beata even mentioned that her pieces are also a reflection of the environment and somehow mirrors its beauty.

The market for Fluid Art used to be mostly rectangles and squares but the demand for large circles are rapidly increasing because of its modern look and impact on the design of a room. Similarly, most of the designs are relatively bigger as the art loses its impact as it become smaller.

Monsoon Homeware is actually featuring several fluid artworks in their store by Christopher Lamb. Owner, Robyn Spratt claims that the beauty of Christopher’s fluid artwork actually reflects the aesthetic of the store and definitely bring light to the store and attract its customers and locals.

You can learn more about Fluid Art and tips on how to create and design your own through this article:

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/realestate/a-mesmerising-colourful-and-strikingly-chic-form-of-interior-design-is-mirroring-our-sleek-lifestyles/news-story/9ff7243ebbdea63347395bc13cf818dc

Interior Design Ideas to Watch in 2016

2016 Top Interior Design Ideas

…get the scoop on design trends to watch in 2016

From time to time, every home needs a refresh.  The start of a new year is a great time to add some style, personality, and functionality into your home.  Here are some trends that will help you do just that in the coming year. Read more

Wish List: Floor Mirrors!

West Elm Parsons Bone Inlay Floor Mirror Let’s be real, if you’re a woman you absolutely need a floor length mirror! And why not get an amazing one that can be a focal point in your room? Here are some of my favorite floor length mirrors of the moment…

West Elm Parsons Bone Inlay Floor Mirror

This Gray Herringbone mirror from West Elm is a great way to add some fun to any room. It’s very eye catching and will definitely define your space!

West Elm Gray Herringbone Parsons Floor Mirror

West Elm Gray Herringbone Parsons Floor Mirror

This Z Gallerie mirror is ultra special: It is a cast of reclaimed oak beams originally used as railroad tracks in the Philippines!

Timber Leaner Mirror

Timber Leaner Mirror

If you’re as in love with mirrored objects as I am, then these mirrors will add that extra umph you’re looking for!

West Elm Parsons Floor Mirror

West Elm Parsons Floor Mirror

 

Z Gallerie Omni Leaner Mirror

Z Gallerie Omni Leaner Mirror

 

West Elm Chevron Tile Floor Mirror

West Elm Chevron Tile Floor Mirror

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