The Unlikely Place I Found the Most Amazing Home Decor Inspiration (It Fit My Style!)

published Jul 8, 2024
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Hispanic woman opening front door
Credit: Inti St Clair/Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Ever since I started working in home design, I’ve found myself looking everywhere for decor inspiration. Like everyone, TikTok and Instagram are my go-tos, and occasionally the IKEA aisles give me some great ideas, but I’m always on the lookout for decor inspo — and recently, I found it in the most unexpected place. 

Maybe it’s only unexpected to me, but I started my house hunt this year, and while I didn’t always walk away wanting to put down an offer, I left more than once with some amazing inspiration. While open houses often have great setups (they are done by professional stagers, after all), they tend to be done to appeal to everyone, and they didn’t quite mesh with my style. Because I’m in the market for a duplex, however, I often found inspiration in homes that were already rented out — and even a few that, while not rented, had updates that really appealed to me. 

One house, for instance, had been repainted from its neutral cream color to a gorgeous red that definitely made it stand out from its surroundings. While I lost out on my offer on that one, I’m definitely leaning more towards painting my eventual home a brighter color. Another duplex had a beautiful lamp in the dining area, installed by the tenant. 

Credit: Amrita Thakkar

This beautiful pinecone light was an immediate must for me, and I’ll definitely be installing it in my future home. Here’s another tip: If you want to look up a piece of decor, snap a photo and use Google Lens. That’s how I found out you can get this lamp at Lowe’s for $81! 

Of course, you don’t have to be house hunting to find decor inspo from other people’s homes. Before starting this journey, I used to browse Zillow and even Facebook Marketplace rentals for ideas. You never know where you might find a hidden gem — you just have to look!