February 2018

12 Best Websites for Design Inspiration

As designers, we are always keeping our eye out for inspiration. Some days we get a great idea on a walk, sketching or simply making coffee. Other days we may get designer’s block (similar to writer’s block) and need something to help prompt some ideas. Images are great for that! There are so many great websites out there that provide us with inspiration. Many beyond Pinterest, but where should you look? Here are 12 of our favorite websites for design inspiration that will leave you scrolling, clicking and very inspired for hours.

  1. Designspiration 

If you have never used Designspiration before, you are missing out! It is similar to Pinterest but is focused only on design. It’s perfect for some interior design, graphic design, typography and architecture inspiration. Create an account and you can save them all just like Pinterest!


  1. Design Milk 

Design Milk is a fun site for all kinds of design related inspiration. From architecture and interiors to style, tech and travel, you will come across quite a variety of interesting images and articles. Their Instagram accounts also make it very easy to follow along!

  1. Houzz 

Houzz is a great site for discovering design ideas for your home as well as a great tool to find design professionals (like us!). You can even shop for a variety of design products from their curated collection. You will find us there. We have been fortunate enough to win “Best of Houzz” for the last few years.

  1. Gray Magazine 

For those looking for some local Pacific Northwest inspiration, Gray magazine features some of the best. You’ll always find interiors, architecture, fashion, art and design that will keep you dreaming. It might also inspire your next design filled trip to Seattle or Portland!

  1. Western Living Magazine

For a little more lifestyle inspiration, Western Living is the place to look. Among the great images of homes and design is food, wine and travel. A fantastic mix we must say!

  1. Interior Design Magazine 

If you want to be inspired by some of the best interiors worldwide – whether it be the home, office or hospitality – definitely start at Interior Design Magazine’s website.

  1. Azure Magazine 

Azure has some great features such as their product guide that can help you find anything from residential furniture to flooring and appliances. The Field Trip category also has some great shots of spaces around the world that you’ve never seen before!

  1. Dwell

Need some modern home inspiration for your residence? Dwell is dedicated to that and features some very unique homes that are sure to spark some ideas. With that midcentury vibe and some stunning prefab homes, this is sure to be found on many a coffee table.

  1. Dezeen 

For architecture and interior design enthusiasts in all aspects, Dezeen has a plethora of posts that you will delve into. From forward-thinking buildings to sculptural cakes [https://www.dezeen.com/2017/09/07/dinara-kasko-sculptural-cakes-carved-from-sheets-chocolate-food-design/?li_source=LI&li_medium=recommended_movies_block], you are sure to stumble upon something drool worthy.

  1. ArchDaily 

As the name suggests, Arch Daily is your go-to site for architecture. Explore buildings from around the world – small and large! Each project has its own page along with some great images, drawings, and details.

  1. Yellowtrace

Design inspiration and resources for creative and curious minds is the tagline here, and they do not disappoint. Started in 2010 by an Interior Designer they have become an influential and award-winning online design publication (one of my favorites).

  1. Behance

Whether it is architecture, interior design, graphics, photography or renderings be prepared to lose a few hours. Launched in 2005 Behance has become the leading online platform to showcase and discover creative work. The creative world updates their work in one place to broadcast it widely and efficiently. Some amazing talent in the world. A great source of inspiration.

What are your favorite websites for design inspiration? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designinspiration

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Four years and counting…….

Today marks the 4th anniversary of Area3 and we are going to have a celebration! Every year we say to each other if you could go back in time and do it all over, would you? Without hesitation, we all say a resounding yes! We must be nuts….. Funny thing about this crazy club (being an entrepreneur) is it is like no other challenge. Before you take the plunge you think how many years will it take you to figure it all out? One? Two? Three? Hmmm, Five years seems to be a milestone. I think we have realized we will never have it all figured out and that’s ok. That is part of the drive and the challenge. When you pour your heart, sweat, and tears into something you so passionately love the rewards are like no other. I often tell friends that owning your own business is like a crazy roller coaster ride. The highs are intoxicating, exhilarating and the lows, well they can leave a pit in your stomach. But, how do you appreciate hot, if you have never experienced cold? The thing about challenges and failures is that they are all just opportunities to learn and grow. It means we are not stagnant. Now that Area3 has learned to walk, maybe we will try jogging into our fifth year. We are very appreciative of all the support we have received from our friends, family, suppliers and especially clients. We are excited about all the great opportunities that are around the corner. But today is about making a toast and acknowledging our achievements to date and of course enjoying that big fat slice of cake (Kulpreet you better save a piece for me). Lisa, Brenda, Kulpreet, and Marion.

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Why Interior Design is Sexy

Interior Design is sexy – I’m sure that’s a phrase you don’t hear every day. Before we dive into why we think so, let’s preface this with an experience that we’ve all likely had. You’re sitting in a restaurant and trying to have a nice dinner. The food is great, but the ambiance is a little off and just enough for you to notice. Perhaps you and your dinner companion are having a conversation, almost to no avail as you are trying to shout over the reverberating voices of other dining guests and the music. The room is dark, but the light above your table is bright and casts a ghastly shadow on your companion’s face, and yours as well – which doesn’t sound very sexy at all. What makes Interior Design sexy then? Usually when you don’t notice it at all. It is the experiences you have inbuilt spaces that don’t make you wonder why something was done a certain way. When the invisible things such as acoustics, thermal comfort, and lighting work so well that you don’t even notice, allowing you to really notice the experience the designer was trying to create.

Sexy interior design is functional and fabulous – it works the way it was intended to and enhances the user’s everyday life. For example your kitchen! You spend hours in this space every day preparing your meals and spending time with your family. If it is planned well, using it would be a breeze! Your appliances are easily accessible and everything you need is at your fingertips. No need to crawl or climb to try and fetch items that are out of reach. In kitchen design, we use a formula called the working triangle to ensure that your stove, sink and fridge create a triangle with distances that make using your kitchen simple and easy. You don’t see this detail, but you definitely notice it when it’s not applied. For examples of the work triangle be sure to check out a few of our recent projects like Contessa or Park Station. For all those dreamers out there be sure to wander through Schiffini and Bulthaup for inspiration. Don’t blame us if you fall in love.

Like a perfect outfit, sexy interior design is all about the details. Or in this case the minimalist aesthetic. Sexy is uncluttered. Simple, streamlined, clean and serene.  Start with the basic components and layer on the right textures and finishes to create that sleek space. We believe a sexy space is an emotional response you have within a space. One that you don’t want to leave. Whether it’s a luxury spa, hotel lounge, dramatic restaurant or your own slice of heaven at home. Creating that perfect ensuite where you can escape. Bedrooms that dreams are made off or kitchen to create a masterpiece in. Strima General Contractors work on many upscale projects that echo this sentiment. Design is truly sexy for us. We enjoy knowing that we can create spaces that clients and users will enjoy now and for years to come.

Why do you think Interior Design is sexy? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designsexyinteriors

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