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Design Funk Cure: 26 Rooms/ Design Details That WILL Wake Up And Inspire Your Eyeballs

We talk a lot about how easy it is to get into a design funk. No designer or person is exempt. If there’s someone out there that never had this issue please show yourself and tell us your ways! So when this happens to me, I hit the internet hard. I try and find those spaces, new furniture pieces, design details that make my heart sing (and hope it will translate into physical design progress). But I am also constantly saving and pinning images on the internet so that I have a backlog to peek at for a boost. As I assume most of you are, I am a design super fan. I can’t get enough of it. Is it a sickness? That’s still out for debate. So I thought I would do a show & tell of what I’ve recently saved (that I haven’t already shown you) in hopes it will A. brighten your day, B. give you some inspo to translate into your homes or C. get you out of any potential design funk. Let’s dive in, shall we?

design by shapeless studio | photo by hagan hinshaw

I love Shapeless Studio’s work. This kitchen beautifully mixes modern style with the perfect dose of warmth. The seamless vertical paneled fronts help to marry the modernness of the stone and organic look and warmth of the dining table and chairs. I would never call this kitchen “farmhouse” but those lower cabinets slightly give off that vibe which is why all the elements blend so nicely together, IMHO.

design by shapeless studio | photo by hagan hinshaw

And then those modern uppers that go down to the counter (a very popular detail right now) are awesome. I might just be forgetting but I feel like that look is done more in traditional style kitchens and have a hutch look(?) So this is a nice option for modern design lovers. Lastly, the two-toned cabinets with colors are in that stone is a real “chef’s kiss” as Caitlin would say:)

design by margriet de hollander

This photo caught my eye for a couple of reasons. First, that HUGE skylight and how it makes this kitchen feel like it’s on a cloud. If I ever own a house, I (like Emily) will have many skylights. Then that candelabra just does something to my insides. As an owner of 3 candelabras in her 1 bedroom apartment, this shouldn’t be shocking to me. But those curves, the delicate metal, the short candlesticks…all perfect. But I think what actually brings this whole photo to life is that reclaimed wood island and baskets. Texture brings everything to life. When in doubt… add some texture.

design by diario design | photo by maarten willemstein | via diario design

When I first saw this photo I COULD NOT take my eyes off of those ball feet. It’s so simple it’s almost stupid (I say that in the fangirl way) but that’s why designers exist. They can make something “simple” that will change the entire space, give it character, and uniqueness. 10/10. But let’s look a little deeper. Did you notice the two-toned seat cushions? The sweet curtain on the window and between the booths? The neutral stripes on the walls? That incredible sconce??? I could stare at this photo forever.

design by stéphanie lizée of lizée-hugot | photo by benoit linero | via yellowtrace

I have two words. Bistro table. Also, I realllllly want one if anyone has a hookup:) But aside from those tables that made my eyes pop out of my head, take a look at that little wall nook on the right. The little spotlight is so chic and that art is perfect. Inspiration can come from small “non-focal point” moments too.

design by lucy sear-barlow of barlow and barlow | photo by jonathan bond

Inject this design sunshine into my veins! This color palette is what my heart wants to look at. The patterns aren’t necessarily my style but my god are they happy and the scale contrast is perfect. I also love the simple detail of putting in that pink border tile above the mustard subway tile. You don’t notice it until you do and it shows how easy it is to make a design uniquely yours. But what really makes this room come together for me is this mirror and mini sconces. The mirror is SO COOL and adds the perfect amount of organic texture (the stool is a great accent too). This mirror is a great reminder that unless you want a very modern, nonorganic bathroom (or kitchen) that you need natural pieces like these. It could about be a frame or wall hook or something along those lines.

home of ben mooney | editorial styling by annie portelli | photo by amelia stanwix | via the design files

I would move into this apartment immediately. I sat and looked at this photo for a while when it popped up on my feed. First, there’s that arch. I wish we could all add this kind of authentic soul into our homes. It’s perfect. But then there’s that incredible shelf, mirror, and bust that the owner found on Facebook Marketplace (!). It’s the effortless mixing of the old and new that does it for me. Also, the green stool completes the space and proves that taking a style risk will pay off… so have some fun!

home of ben mooney | editorial styling by annie portelli | photo by amelia stanwix | via the design files

I actually didn’t even see the other rooms until I was putting together this post. But then I saw this shot and thought, “He did it. He has an incredibly chic, modern home that you feel like you could and would want to actually live in!” That is not always the case. Even in a lot of the photos I’m showing you today, there are things I love about each one and am inspired by. However, actually thinking that all of these spaces are comfortable enough to live in (both aesthetically and functionally) is a different story.

I mean. This might be another space I could really live in. Even if it’s just in this nook. It’s playful, whimsical, and yet so chic AND functional. Y’all those “tubes” are WOOD. Heart, be still. Then the patchwork cushion is welcoming, colorful, and a little chaotic in the best way. I also love those mushrooms which *cough* are a trend we called out for 2022. I’m also so happy that they chose a boldly patterned rug. I’ve been on a real solid rug kick lately but again, this rug adds to the welcoming feeling of the room and while extremely well designed, doesn’t feel so serious.

design by petronio studio | photo by lance gerber | via shout out la

From a reading nook to a reading chair. This is the epitome of a “special” piece of furniture. I’m not sure how comfortable it is to actually sit in but it makes my eyes SO happy to look at. I love neutral spaces but they need to have pieces like this for them to really feel special and exciting to me. That kinda sounds obnoxious but you know what I mean.

design by lucy williams

I love these colors. I love the softness of this space. I love that the walls and accent table match. I love that red sconce. But most of all I LOVE the contrast piping on this sofa. It’s perfect.

home of paul roche | via tumblr

Not a new home but this fireplace and art on the mantle make me want to bring a lot more color into mine (and I’m planning on it). I’ve also fallen in love with the idea of mini murals and freehand drawings on walls. There’s something that’s so freeing and risky about it. That’s kinda how I want to feel in my home with a good dose of “cozy” also.

design by sarah reilly of studio rozu | photo by read mckendree | via dwell

I can’t imagine how fun it must be to lay in this bed (reading nook?). The variety in vertical paneling scales, mixing in with the solid non-paneled bed looks so intentional and cool. I also love love how modern and delicate those sconces are and that the black ties in with the window frame.

We still have more rooms to look at but let’s take a break and look at some pieces of furniture like this sofa above (and in a minute below). Emily has shown me the light when it comes to noticing and appreciating joinery. This sofa is taking a more modern approach but I just love the open back, the thick dowel that runs across the back. It’s simple, neutral, and yet you can’t look away… or at least I can’t.

image via morentz gallery

Vintage and perfect. That frame is ridiculously good and I am swooning over that striped fabric. As much as I love a patterned sofa, I have always been a little nervous about owning one. But this one is neutral enough, while still being fun, that I would HAPPILY own it. But also THAT FRAME!

design by ann edgerton and jessica manning

Another example of simple design details making a piece of furniture/room. This credenza would still be pretty without the cutouts at the bottom. But with them? With them, it makes a quiet statement and adds so much visual interest.

design by sarah reilly of studio rozu | photo by read mckendree | via dwell

I originally stopped and saved this photo because of that blue sconce. It’s incredible and unexpected in this wood-clad home. But then I noticed that extra low and wide nightstand (stunning) and how awesome that bamboo shade looked with the wood paneling. Both are the same tone but because of the totally different materials, textures, and patterns it adds that extra layer of “special”, making your eyes bounce around the space.

design by agathe convert | photo by bcdf studio

I am pretty obsessed with that enormous tapestry paired with that super modern table lamp on the floor (of which I am also obsessed with). Then peeking out of the right corner is that pink and mustard bedding which is just a fun and unexpected color palette choice for this room. I love that there’s isn’t a ton of “stuff” in this space and yet it’s still so fun and interesting to look at. This is definitely giving me ideas for my bedroom:)

Like what?! There are few wall-to-wall bookshelves I haven’t loved, but this stroke of design genius is almost too much for my eyeballs. The details are incredible and it’s just such a cool take on how to display books.

design by jessica helgerson interior design | photo by aaron leitz | via vogue living

This room isn’t new but I hadn’t seen this tight shot in a while. These inset cabinets are so pretty. I love that there are open nooks mixed in. I love the tiny brass hardware. I love the whitewashed wood about the sofa and how the drawers under are painted so it doesn’t look too uniform. And I always love a Serge Mouille wall sconce.

design by atelier steve | photo by bcdf studio

Talk about creative storage. I think it’s those moveable “cabinets” are super cool. I love all of the open storage options (think of all the styling possibilities!). That “pegboard” especially is really awesome. Also, notice the balance of curves and straight lines. The chair, corner shelves, and cabinet knobs all help to contrast the bacinets, pegboard, and floating desk. Everything is beautiful and neutral but exciting to look at.

design by shapeless studio architecture & interiors | photo by hagan hinshaw | via design milk

This is technically an eyewear shop but that rattan pocket door is SO GOOD. I would like one immediately. I also really love the tone of that dark wood.

design by louis denavaut | photo by christophe coenon | via yellowtrace

Look at this built-in! It may not make a ton of sense of a bedroom since I personally think you’d want bigger drawers for your clothes. But hey, maybe you have A TON of underwear, socks, and bathing suits. If that’s the case this would be the dream. Regardless I think it’s beautiful, looks so special and different.

design by fig interior design and jam architecture | photo by gieves anderson | via dwell

Staircases are a secret love of mine. There are so many different ways you can make them ridiculously cool. Example A: Paint it navy blue. It’s bold but it reallllly paid off here.

But newels and railings are where I really geek out. HOW GOOD ARE THESE?! I love love those wooden ball accents and that wraparound wooden railing makes me feel emotional. I know that custom stairs are not cheap but if you can please do because how happy would you be seeing one of these every day??

design by manuelle gautrand | photo by gaelle le boulicaut | via yellowtrace

I leave you with what is clearly one of my favorite color combos – pink and yellow. This staircase is a pure jolt to the senses in the best way and I hope it leads to a great rest of your day.

So now, do you have a favorite? Are there any rooms you have been drooling over lately? Has this sparked any creative juices? Let’s chat!

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credits: Home of Ben Mooney | Styled by Annie Portelli | Photo by Amelia Stanwix | via The Design Files

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3 months ago

The lamp next to the reading hammock is such a cool pairing. Thanks for the fresh eye candy this morning, Jess!

3 months ago
Reply to  Karen

My first thought was there goes the lamp the first time someone sits in the swing and it moves backwards. And you’re right it looks nice. 🙂

3 months ago
Reply to  anon

Ha! Yes! Anytime I see hanging chairs inside I picture what my sons would do on that thing. It isn’t read!

3 months ago
Reply to  anon

Exactly! Only my mind went further where there is someone standing on the swing like Tarzan, down goes the lamp causing that someone to get flustered, falling onto that spiky wood plant thingy on the other side. Yes, that whole room situation just stressed me out.

Erin Dae
3 months ago

Loved having a post of really specific, zoomed in details. I think in wider spaces our eyes often skip over the very things that are making the collective room so special. I was giggling about halfway through though because “sconce” kept appearing as “scone” – maybe it is just because I am hungry for breakfast! Thanks Jess for letting us have a peek into your pins. This was a fun way to start the day. I’m dying over the huge lamp in the chair swing photo – so gorgeous.

yesssssssssssssssssssss! this is EXACTLY how my eyeballs want to start off my mornings! eyeball candy heaven! Okay, so i have some thoughts. That last picture is so so exciting! i love pink + yellow so much too, in all of the different tones/shades, but that electric yellow is so energizing and happy. and pink stairs? yes, forever. AND, the little colorful sculptures on the white shelves under the stairs! i want them. AND, that rug! And that blown glass under the stairs too. that’s a stare for a long time kind of picture. the second to last picture: the newels/railings picture. ESPECIALLY that first one. big long sigh. sooooooooo ridic good. the navy staircase is awesome. and i love how they styled that vase with the cherry blossoms in the window! that blue vase in the eyewear shop cabinet is perfect. it adds the perfect pop of color to keep it fun. the white corner shelves in the picture above that are dreamy. to me, that is what makes the space. my eyes went straight to that white lamp in the agathe convert picture. against that tapestry. great juxtaposition. the studio rozu bedroom: that low nighstand! the two wood framed… Read more »

🥰 Rusty
3 months ago

I love link + yellow and pink + pale orange so much!
In fact, I recently bought a flouncy top that’s a pink + pale orangey mix.😊

🥰 Rusty
3 months ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty


Reply to  🥰 Rusty

Oh yeah! Pink + orange is another of my favorite combos tooo! Your shirt sounds pretty!

Paula Carr
3 months ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

When I was a teenager in the 60s, there were these outfits that matched polka dot and striped fabrics, and the colors were BRIGHT pink and orange. I couldn’t afford them then, but I’d buy them like a shot now!

3 months ago

All of it Jess!! Gimme all of it! Love your design eye!

🥰 Rusty
3 months ago

That’s a smorgasbord of electic eye excitement, Jess!!!
A good chunk of it isn’t ‘me’ or my thing, but it’s so fun to look at, even when it’s a hard “Nup!”

The one image that had me staring and re-scrolling was the sarah reilly of studio rozu one. It just got me!

Thanks for the eye feast.😊

3 months ago

I love these types of posts! Ben Mooney hit the perfect balance between modern and traditional design. And a bust on Facebook marketplace?! Amazing!

3 months ago

You knocked it out of the park on this post!! Will savor and study!

3 months ago

What I noticed is that most of these spaces give off a 1970s vibe.

I love the dark blue staircase, I wonder how it would work once there was more furniture in the space. It seems to work well because there’s so much negative space.

Paula Carr
3 months ago

That painted fireplace seems inspired by Duncan Grant’s at Charleston House. Love a lot of these, but the bathroon sink one bothers me a bit. The three colors (mustard tile, turquoise print sink skirt, and pink tile) seem to fight each other. Any two would be o.k., but all three together are not quite good.

3 months ago

i absolutely loved this post. I love a room that has color, quirky vintage treasures and good architectural details. Keep these types of posts coming!!

3 months ago

The BEST design post I’ve seen in a very long time. Thank you!

3 months ago

Would love to see some more inspiring rooms like these, but on a smaller budget 😉

3 months ago
Reply to  ASHLEY

Yes! Love all these but sometimes it’s just depressing because I know I will literally never afford any of it.

3 months ago

This is the best eye candy I’ve eaten in a while! Gorgeous and inspired!

3 months ago

Loved Every. Single. Photo. Great job putting together this post, I’m pinning every one! 💙

3 months ago

Thanks Jess, this was fun! You are so good at pointing things out. I would have missed most of the special details had you not drawn my attention to them. Thank you!

3 months ago

This is great piece of information! Thank you so much!

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