Behind the Blog: Desire to Inspire

Behind the Blog: Desire to Inspire

Sonia Zjawinski
Jul 28, 2009
Desire to Inspire is one of our fave interior design blogs. Kim Johnson and Jo Walker consistently find the most inspiring spaces, along with sharing some incredibly creative ways to spruce up their own spaces. We talked to Kim about where she blogs from when she's not working as a web developer for the Canadian government. As you can see, the 11-by-10 foot home office in her Ottawa pad is pretty amazing and colorful place -- she's got a pink Dell with matching pink speakers and mouse!

What's always found on your workspace? My laptop, markers, memory cards and cat fur.

Favorite thing about your workspace? White everywhere. I am so glad I painted the floor/ceiling/walls white. Makes it so bright and airy, particularly when the sun shines in. I can easily spend hours in there.

What do you hate about your workspace? That it is not well insulated. It was an addition put on the house at some point, and done very poorly. It is pretty cold in the winter. I tend to take my laptop to the dining table in the winter.

What inspires you to blog? Is it reflected in your workspace? Beautifully designed interiors inspire me to blog, so I can share all the great photos of fab spaces I find. I guess it's reflected in my workspace in that I knew I had to create a space that I would love to spend time in, and not want to redecorate a thousand times over.

What are your favorite resources? Local vintage shops, and Etsy. Occasionally eBay. Parcels from, Jo, my blog partner. She sends me great thrift store finds from Australia. ed. note: We are so jealous.

Where did you get some of the stuff in your home office? Several items are from Ikea (drawer unit, show rack and hooks by the door, desk top and legs, hacked baby change table as cat shelf). The armoire I found at a flea market and repurposed it. The desk lamp and yellow Eames chair are from a local mid-century shop, Found Design, and the green Eames armchair on wheels is from an antique market. Most of the fabric and odds and ends are from eBay and Etsy.

You've got a lot of cats (so do we!). How do you keep them from getting all over your stuff? I keep my laptop, a pink Dell, closed when I'm not using it so the fur can't get all over it. I have a scanner/printer on a shelf in my revamped armoire that I usually stack fabrics on so the cats don't have room to climb all over it. Other than that they have free reign of the space....although it drives me bonkers when they sleep on my desk chair. It's upholstered and the fabric is a wool-ish weave that cat fur always gets stuck all over and embeds itself into it.

Did you make or redo any of the furniture in your home office? The desk, inspiration/message board, armoire and cat shelf were all repurposed or built by me (with some help).

You use a lot of color in your space. How important is color when you work? I just find colour [sic] very inspiring. It gets my creative juices flowing. And since the office is at the back of the house and not really open to the rest of the main floor, I figured I could go nuts with accent colours [sic].

What's the story with the vintage cameras? There's not much of a story. One day I found some while out thrifting and decided to collect them. I have no clue how or if they work. They just look cool.

Is your desk covered in vintage fabric? My desk is an Ikea table top and legs. The top was plain white so I covered it in some vintage 60s fabric I found on eBay from a local seller and got a glass top cut to fit on top. I'm getting tired of the fabric and might switch it up soon when I have time. ed. note: Send it to us!

How long did it take you to get your home office just so? Quite a while I think. I just kept adding to it over time. Nothing in my house stays as is for very long. I tire of things very easily.

Any advice for creating the perfect workspace at home? Just go with a scheme that makes you relaxed and happy. I love white and bold colours [sic], but for some people it's too much. Fill you workspace with things that inspire your creativity. And make sure your chair is comfy.

Since you blog about beautiful interiors, do you ever find yourself constantly changing your own space due to being inspired on a daily basis? Yes, and no. Since I was a kid I was always rearranging furniture in my bedroom. I still do that, but I find because of the thousands and thousands of photos of interiors I am exposed to, I learn faster what I like and what I don't like. I used to be very impulsive with my decorating, and thankfully the blog has smartened me up. Now I can tire of things quickly when I see it so many times in photos, before I get the chance to bring it home.

(Images: Kim Johnson)

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