Design Inspiration from Your Closet

Design inspiration is all around us, but's sometimes easily overlooked. Deb Nelson shows us just what we might have been missing....

Design Inspiration from Your Closet

Above: rug, art, sofa, side table, lights, books, coffee table, Elte; designed with inspiration from a men's suit, GotStyle

If you're stuck trying to explain your own design aesthetic, you might be shocked at what you find if you take a look inside your own closet. Are you drawn to large patterns and bold prints? Natural materials over synthetic fabrics? Do you prefer to dress more mono-chromatically? Do you tend to go for bright colors over soft subtle shades? Do you like a looser silhouette over items that are more tailored? What's in your closet speaks volumes about your own design aesthetic.

Here Deb has chosen a men's suit as the jumping off point for a stylish masculine room. This style, in terms of design, is marked by dark rich colors, clean tailored lines, and solid fabrics. This suit is tight and tailored, with beautiful detailed embellishments like platinum cuff links, a patterned tie, and simple pocket square.


Black is a bold choice, but it is the main focus in our suit, so Deb has opted to paint the wall in solid black. When choosing a colour as dominating as black, be sure that all your other furniture can stand up to it. For example, if you have a black wall, don't choose all white furnishings, as all you'll see is the wall and the rest of your design will fade away.


This sofa is tight and tailored, just as the suit. The classic three-seater sofa, with little to no embellishment is a truly indicative of a beautifully tailored suit. There's no room here for a skirt, or even patterned fabrics.

The rug has hits of blue, but is very subtle. The patterning is simple and abstract.You don't always want to be 100 percent literal with everything you do; we would not want to see a solid blue rug here, or even a pinstripe rug. Don't forget that the suit is meant to be inspiring, not copied directly.

Design Inspiration from Your Closet


Consider accessorizing your room as you would accessorize your suit. A tie is essential to any well put together suit, so we pulled on the tie as inspiration for the pillows. The pillows add interest and sparkle to this very dark space.

The brown belt and shoes have inspired this amazing coffee table and end table. Don't be afraid of mixing black, blue, and brown. These colours are all considered neutrals, and will always work well together; just make sure they're all kept in the same tones.

And don't forget lighting — it's the jewelry for the space. Think about your cuff-links and maybe your watch and choose something that ties your whole outfit and room together.


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