Have you ever asked yourself how interior designers come up with a design concept? Have you ever wondered where to get inspiration from and how to channel your ideas? These questions and more have been addressed during my recent interior design workshop ‘How to develop a design concept’.

If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you know that I’m very passionate about interior design; some may even say addicted… You will probably agree, that when you are really passionate about something, you feel the urge to share your passion with others. Personally, I feel that when you are passionate about something, there is no greater reward than doing just that – sharing your passion with others.

This is why I launched the interior design workshop ‘How to develop a design concept’. The first workshop was held in my kitchen in my apartment in Basel on World Interiors Day on May 31, 2014!  There were 6 lovely ladies, including a very creative and motivated teenager, who was considering a career in interior design. It was a very mixed group of women from the UK, New Zealand, Slovakia and Switzerland, who had different motivations for attending the workshop. Some were simply looking for inspiration and ideas for their home, others had just moved and were looking to develop a design concept for their new home. Essentially, all of them were looking for a way to get started with their design project.

During the first and theoretical part of the workshop, we explored the many elements that interior design entails. We had a look at decorating styles, materials, lighting, colours, colour schemes and colour psychology. The latter being one of my favourite topics. Did you know that red can increase your appetite?

We also spoke about the importance of functionality in interior design. You may have heard of the expression ‘Form follows function’ – a concept that was developed in the early 20th century during modernist architecture and industrial design. At the end of part one of our workshop we also examined the impact interior design has on our senses, not only our sight. It actually has a greater impact on our health and wellbeing than most people may think. After all, our home is our refuge, the place where we recharge our body and restore our mind. Space planning, colour, lighting and materials greatly influence how you feel in your own home.


Before heading into the second part of the workshop, we had ourselves a well deserved coffee break with some home made apple tart (yes, I also do some cooking and baking) 🙂 and inspiring conversation about everyone’s design dilemmas. It really made me realise that a lot of people feel the need to create their perfect little refuge, but are not sure how to approach it.

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After a short coffee break we learned about an easy 3-step tool, the mood board, which helps you when you are feeling stuck, as it will help you focus and channel your ideas. We looked at different ways of approaching a mood board and also talked about finding your own style.

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And finally, we got creative! It was lovely to see how the creative juices started flowing and the ladies, almost as if in a meditative state (creative work can be very relaxing) were leafing through magazines and snipping away.

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Everyone, was very happy with their concept board and we had some proud moments as well! 🙂 They all expressed the exercise helped them focus and find more clarity with regards to their design dilemma and that they were keen to implement their design concept.

B6_board Sally

Proud moment: Far Eastern inspired concept board for a living room

B6_board Cathra

Proud moment: Concept board for a guest toilet

B6_board Eleanor

Proud moment: Concept board for a Kid’s Play Barn

My youngest participant said: ‚I had a lot of fun working at the workshop and highly recommend it.‘ Another participant stated: ‚I had a really fascinating time and it helped your creative side be explored. Thank you.‘ whereas another one declared: ‚For me, this was just right – just what I needed.‘

Creative regards,

Simone xx

P.S. If you’d like to learn more about ‚How to identify the ideal colours & style for your home‚ then I invite you to download my free ebook here.

Posted by Simone Aïda Baur, a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-passionate international interior designer and ex-hotelier, who’s discovered her love for blogging. Learn more about her here and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.