...because home doesn't happen overnight.

True to my word, I’m continuing to share my sources of inspiration.  Yesterday, I mentioned my most favorite-est blogs.  {Thanks for introducing me to a few of your faves as well.} Today I’d like to talk about a few designers who I find myself drawn to over and over again.  You might be surprised to learn that they’re not all solely interior designers.  From formally trained professionals to ‘they’ve just got it’ talents to self-made entrepreneurs…there’s more than one way to stake your claim in the design world.

the big room looking back

Amy Butler {artist & designer most credibly known for her fabrics and sewing patterns}:  Maybe it’s because she’s from the Midwest {she actually lives in Ohio too} but Amy’s sense of found style really speaks to me. She’s not afraid to cover an heirloom piece in a modern graphic print or to plop down finds from nature walks right onto her coffee table.  It’s easy to see that Amy’s fabrics, wallpapers, art and stationery are inspired by nature.  And how could nature go wrong?  Amy gets it all right with colorful floral prints, geometric prints and no-fail coordinating designs.  From handbags to wall art to hand towels and even apparel, Amy’s talents spread far and wide.  Her vision reaches nearly every facet of everyday living.

Erika McPherson Powell {interior designer}:  Ever heard of Urban Grace Interiors?  If so, then you already know that Erika is the design genius behind the biz.  If not, you should definitely check the portfolio. Erika is a trained, experienced professional with higher-end clients.  While I may not be able to afford any of her interiors, I can certainly learn from them.  Erika’s sense of balance, scale, symmetry and contrast are quite intriguing to me.  Her rooms are usually minimally styled, meaning there’s not a lot of stuff in them.  But the pieces that are there belong there.  The way she can edit a room is something I strive to embrace.  The use of calming colors, rich wood tones, architectural details and vintage pieces {especially lighting} give her a signature style.  Classic but modern.  Her designs are timeless and will never predate her.

Bonnee Sharp {textiles & interior designer}:  Bonnee is the master mind behind Studio BonTextiles and her quality textiles are graphic and delicate at the same time.  The patterns have a way of injecting pattern and interest into a room or piece of furniture like no others can.  And I can’t mention her name without also mentioning her interior design capabilities.  Her personal residence was featured in several publications for its quirky sense of charm juxtapositioned against contemporary fabrics, furniture and finishes.  Now, that’s my {dream} idea of a modern cottage!

Nate Berkus' Living Room

Nate Berkus {interior designer}:  The man’s got his own TV show now for crying out loud.  He’s amazing.  The way he can work a room by simply proposing I-never-thought-of-that furniture arrangements is pretty fantastic.  Not to mention his ability to successfully mesh black, navy, camel, velvet, glossy finishes and leather into one room.  While the interiors he designs may look like a million bucks, they aren’t always so.  Nate’s keen on thrifting, DIYing and repurposing.  He makes great efforts to design spaces with people, life and real meaning in mind.  And he’s not formally trained in design.  Just goes to show that when you’ve got it, you’ve got it.

Emily Henderson {stylist & designer}:  My newest favorite designer.  I love Emily’s success at mingling feminine alongside masculine.  Clean lines + fresh flowers + cowhide rug + patterned wallpaper = I love Emily.  The vignettes she creates are unmatched and nothing is ever too perfect. I’m inspired by her use of charcoal and navy accents.  And the layers.  Oh, the layers.  She’s good.  Real good.  I should probably start DVRing her new show, Secrets of a Stylist, to study how she arranges accessories.

So those are my steadfast designer crushes.  Each has their own style and vision not just like the next.  I find myself borrowing from their strengths and interpreting them in my own way.  Not so sure how I’m doing at that yet, but I do enjoy trying.  And whenever I’m losing sight of what I want my own home to feel/look like, I always return to their portfolios for inspiration and ideas.  They get me right back on track in no time.

images:  1-3) David Butler for Amy Butler Design 4-6) Urban Grace Interiors, Inc. 7 & 8 ) Terri Glanger for D Home 9) Studio Bon Textiles 10) Roger Davies for Elle Decor 11 & 12) William Waldron photography for O magazine 13-16) Emily Henderson for HGTV



what gorgeous pictures!

my celebrity designer crush is Candice Olson. Her rooms are always so elegant and functional, plus she never takes herself too seriously!


Wow, thanks for these. I am especially fond of the Bonnee Sharp and Nate Berkus pix. I’d heard of Nate, but not Bonnee. Now I’m going to have to go learn more about each.

I’m really enjoying your blog posts. Can’t wait to find out what you do with the downsizing and business-starting. You’re quite inspirational!


I am loving your inspiration series! I just posted my inspirations on my blog in one post and now wish I had thought to do it for the week! I am new to blogging so I guess I am still learning! Loved yesterday’s and today’s post. Can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve for tomorrow!

I’ve never heard of Emily Henderson. I’ll definitely be checking out more of her work. I love it! Um, yeah, Nate is a Decor God. I really like Thomas O’Brien’s work also. Nice round up.


love emily henderson also…i just posted about her on my blog today! her new show is THE BEST! :)

I also have a crush on Candice Olson. Every room is just gorgeous. But you have now turned me on to some other crushs. I will have to check some of these out that I have seen before. Thanks for sharing. Gorgeous pictures.


I love Erika’ style as well! I also read her twin sister’s blog – Fly through our window. She has a cute home, but her blog is more about family, crafts, cooking, etc. I do not have a sister so I am totally jealous of their twin relationship!


All of these photos are beautiful. I love picture of the outside of the house because we are planning to paint our house and I really liked the color combination.


LOVE LOVE love the open room with the big windows and light blue cushions. *5th pic down i think) Thanks for sharing!



Erin – I check in on Darby from time to time also. She and her kids are hilarious. I love Darby Doll.


Love Emily Henderson!! You might check out her blog too- she’s informative and HILARIOUS!


Jen – I love Emily’s blog too! She’s too funny.


I love all of your choices, but my absolute favorite by FAR is Sarah Richardson. LOVE her!!!!


Amy from Austin – Oh yes, I love Sarah too.

Great list! I love Erika, Emily, Nate, and Amy (or at least her fabric). I’ll have to check the others out!

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