Michigan Design
Designer Tip
ideas and inspiration from the professionals


Design inspiration can be found everywhere, contends Terry Ellis of Room Service Interior Design, and it can be employed in design to create something personal and customized. Whether that inspiration is from a far-away vacation, or just down the street, Ellis suggests to “let your guard down and look around, something might just call your name.” Spaces inspired by a family vacation, or a park in your neighborhood will always be a meaningful reminder of a special time or place.

If something is particularly interesting, Ellis recommends taking a picture of it in that moment. “I often feel compelled to take photographs of objects or scenes that I find beautiful,” says Ellis. “Those images might stay in my mind for a period of time, and then I’ll want to translate them into something tangible that I can have in my home.”

Ellis travels extensively, and often finds that inspiration from those trips will filter back into her designs.

Room Service Interior Design bedroom
A small sailboat abandoned on a sandy beach surrounded by blue sky, water, and wild grasses have become the palette for a blue and sand master bedroom.
textured wallpaper
Textural cobblestones laid between crowded stone homes in Rovinj, Croatia have inspired the use of a bas-relief neutral wall covering.
Kravet Modern Colors fabric

Handcrafted shoes at the Plaza Dorrego Market in Buenos Aires translate to the use of the Modern Colors fabric collection by Kravet.

Inspiration doesn’t need to come from a trip to Croatia or Buenos Aires. Ellis has found objects just down the block that have been transformed into beautiful pieces to enjoy.

“I was visiting an antique shop, and ran across this image. I have a sister I adore, so the antique colored print of these girls really spoke to me. I purchased it immediately,” says Ellis. The photograph floated around Ellis’s home for some time until she came across it months later. “I had the idea that it would be great to have it painted on a larger canvas.” Ellis commissioned a large scale acrylic painting at TRA Art Group by local artist Nancy Dendy. The result is a fabulous one-of-a-kind work of art that Ellis will always treasure.

Vintage photo and painting

“If you let yourself stop in that moment when you see something beautiful, your mind will attach to it,” says Ellis. “Pay attention to your instincts and look around. Inspiration is everywhere.”

Terry Ellis To view information and more photos from Terry Ellis, click here



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