I am forever being asked how I come up with such creative ideas....first you must realize...being creative is what I do for a living. I work really hard at honing my talents by constantly checking up on what the rest of the Design community is up to. This consists of me spending alot of my "free time" researching the web, trade publications, magazines, and going to trade shows (as a buyer for my store Grandiflora Home and Garden).
I am inundated with design information daily...which I do really love...it's just that sometimes I can't keep it all straight. Here is what I do to edit my design info. overload.
If I'm on the internet I save my inspirations to seperate files in my inbox or in "shopping carts", or favorites lists. Once in awhile I go through and delete files that are no longer pertinant to me. If I really LOVE something I'll go so far as to print off a picture of the item/room.
If I'm looking at a magazine...I dog ear the page I like, and periodically sit down and go through my magazine/catalog/trade publication pile and cut out all the things that inspire me. I put them in a bin; at some point when I have enough to choose from I go through and paste them into an old fashioned scrap book. I often find these at junk stores for about $2.00. I've featured some pictures of what one of my scrap books look like. I generally arrange the pictures according to color/style/theme.
When I'm looking for inspiration in creating a new item, I'll sit down with one of these books and peruse the pages with a cup of Tea. By the time I'm done with the book I have a million ideas shooting through my brain, and can't wait to get started! I've never copied an item to the "T", I just use the colors/shapes/textures to get my creative juices flowing. I really enjoy looking at beautiful things...and having a book full of them to look at whenever I want to is sublime!
If you are about to conquer a new project in your space...I highly recommend you get going, and start clipping...you'll be amazed at how every thing you select will eventually start to tell a story. That story is your space...take the book off the shelf and read: Once upon a time there was this lovely space...