We know our Members love Instagram, and we get that it’s a great source of inspiration for both designers and clients.

But with a non-stop stream of stunning designs in our social feeds every day, how do we make sure our inspiration doesn’t become imitation?

How can we be inspired by a style without downright ripping it off? And when our Client shares a Pinterest picture and wants ‘exactly that’, how do we encourage them to add their own flavour to their new bathroom or kitchen?

We’ve taken some inspiration from one of our favourite authors and have come up with three tips to help keep you on your own path:

1. Look through your own lens

‘You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.’
Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

If you’re continually drawn to the style of one or a small number of designers, start looking for the parallels in their folio/s. Are there elements that they seem to repeat? Patterns? Colours? Lines? What do they see from a design perspective that you may be missing in your work? How can you learn to see through your own lens of awesomeness?

2. Give an idea an all-new spin

‘Every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas.’
Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

If you (or your Client) are taking inspiration from another designer’s work, you’ll want to make sure you put your own creative spin on the concept. What was the element that caught your eye? A colour? A tile? A combination of finishes? How can you take that element and give it a remix? If your finished design has a hint of the original inspiration, but it’s been reworked enough to have its own sense of style, you’ve done right.

3. Credit where credit’s due

‘Don’t try to be hip or cool. Being open and honest about what you like is the best way to connect with people who like those things, too.’
Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

If you love another designer’s work and draw inspiration from their style (without imitating it to a tee), let them know. You may even earn yourself a new fan with some ‘credit where credit is due’! We have some inspiring examples of modest, humble and incredibly talented designers in our community. If you’re not already a part of it, join in!