Where We're Finding Inspiration Off Social Media

As a visual industry, it's easy to rely heavily on design inspiration on social media. With every new project we spend more hours than you’d think drumming up inspiration and figuring out the aesthetic direction of a project. If you’ve followed us for a while you know that every Sunday we share our Instagram saves of the week, it’s a great time to tune into our feed to see what we’re loving and what’s inspiring us.There is a lot of comparison as designers and things can even begin to feel redundant when we look in the same places for inspiration. To combat this, our team is actively seeking design inspiration offline and far from social media. Today, we're sharing our tips to seek inspiration elsewhere and how we're applying it at j.miller design.

Four Places to Seek Out Inspiration Offline


Outside of designing, one of our favorite things to do is travel. Now that the world is slowly opening up we’ve been able to take a few select trips for work and even snuck in some for-pleasure getaways. We have found that just changing our scenery can be endlessly inspiring. From carefully admiring regional design aesthetics to studying historic buildings in other areas, travel truly is our greatest source of inspiration.

Image via Santa Monica Proper


Recently, we shared a round up of a few of our fave accessories. Beautiful hardcover coffee table books are a favorite accessory and constant source of inspiration. It's so exciting to see how many incredible designers are focusing their energy on authoring beautiful hardcover books again. We are never not in awe of the tactile beauty of paper pages. Below, we've linked what's on our shelves right now.


A few weeks ago, we rounded up our favorite local spots in the Minneapolis area. Now that we’re able to dine out a little more, we love to gather inspiration from our local restaurants (both for decor and food)! It always amazes us that hospitality design is frequently lightyears ahead of what's happening in residential, so we've made it our mission to dutifully try every restaurant in town. For science, of course.

Image of Canteen via Remodelista


Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, making it a wealth of natural inspiration. In particular, Minneapolis has done a wonderful job of preserving our lakes and outdoor areas, making them available for public use. Our summer season is short, and our winters are loooong, so we revel in these summer months as a wonderful time to be outside and enjoy all that grows this time of year. The shades of green, textures of organic materials, and smells of nature will never stop being a primary source of inspiration for us.

As always, we thrive in our creative community alongside long time designer friends. However seeking out inspiration in unexpected places helps push our designs further for our clients, create innovative solutions, and constantly fall in love with our job all over again. Looking for more inspo? We keep everything we find organized neatly on Pinterest so we can access it quickly and easily.

Share Your Thoughts