Sometimes inspiration can be found in a picture of someone on the street, something about the combination of their chunky oatmeal sweater, sleek white jeans and comfortable leather driving shoes striking you as conveying the same casual but luxurious mood you'd like your room to have. For one of the best collections of images of people, places and things, I turn to Mark D. Sikes and his site for my daily inspiration. Whether you're figuring out what to do with your first apartment or redecorating your second home, the best first step is to create a mood board, either in real life or on a site like Pinterest, of your favorite images. It should include many photos of rooms, certainly, and pieces of furniture or cute accessories you dream of owning, but don't stop there.
Mark, an interior designer and former visual merchandiser for Pottery Barn and Banana Republic, among others, shares his passion for classic American style on his blog, Chic People, Stylish Places, Glamorous Things. It's an impeccably curated collection of images, from white jeans (with tips on how to wear them) one day, to a roundup of rooms painted robin's egg blue the next, to a half dozen photos illustrating the easy breezy style of model Lauren Hutton, alongside Mark's insightful, droll and enthusiastic commentary. It's easy to get lost in the site's daily serving of eye candy. With each shot more inspirational than the next, classic images alongside tabloid snaps, casual shots juxtaposed with carefully composed images, it's also a thorough education on "how to see like a designer" and a must stop for anyone who enjoys good design in all of its many incredible guises.
(Image: The glamorous lounge off the kitchen of Mark's house in Los Angeles from House Beautiful, via Mark D. Sikes)