using music in interior design

Using music in interior design: a multidisciplinary approach to design

The other day, I was listening to the Creative Pep Talk podcast. A new favorite, by the way – you should check it out. And on this episode, he was diving into how some people approach the creative process. And more specifically, how they gather and organize inspiration.

The example of Solange came up. She is known to do extensive mood-boarding before starting on an album. And these mood boards are almost purely visual, not auditory. Which seems strange for an album at first. But also genius. So it got me thinking how I could be using music in interior design.

I think that anyone who even has an ounce of creative blood in them knows that the creative process is way more far-reaching than just your discipline of choice. We’re constantly gathering inspiration around us, soaking in all the juices. But when it comes to actually planning for our projects, I at least think that I may neglect this outside inspo.

And I think that’s a mistake.

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So I’m creating a challenge (or more accurately, opportunity) for myself to start incorporating music in interior design. Or at least my process surrounding interior design. And I’m posing the same challenge to you as well, my fellow homey homie.

I think that by approaching your creative process in this more multidisciplinary way, you end up with design fueled by much more personality. And with design that is really distinct from anything else out there.

Green marble staircase winding down next to an eclectic and subtly colorful room with varied artwork, furniture in various shades of wood, and two matching orange rugs
Photography: David Yeow

And that’s because looking to other sources of inspiration can really help you think outside the box and approach design in a novel way. If you’ve ever done a design project – for yourself or for clients – you’ve probably done the hours-long pinterest scroll. Everything starts to blend together. It all begins to look the same. You have 1208420123 different directions that you want to go in and no clear idea which one is “right.”

Not only can music be a great way to disconnect for a minute and give you a visual break. But it can also get you in the headspace to generate your own visuals.

What would it look like to use music in interior design brainstorming?

I think the cool thing about mixing up your design process is that it can manifest in so many different ways.

But I think a great way to test the waters is to put on a playlist that fits the “vibe” you’re going for.

So let’s say you want to design a really sexy, swanky, yet soft bedroom. Look up playlists like Make Out Jams on Spotify (below) or other ~special time~ playlists.

Or you want to design a commercial space that is good for having parties and playing energetic live music. Maybe go for an upbeat, afrobeats playlist, or whatever kind of music you like to dance to.

The connection to music could also be more subtle. For example, maybe you want to create a living room that just makes you feel comfortable and safe. Put on a playlist of all of your comfort songs – ones from your childhood, ones you always play in the car, ones that remind you of a really good period in your life.

Comfortable and personable living room with a build in arched teal bookshelf, a swinging cane chair, a boho rug and a tufted light blue velvet sofa
Photography: Leslee Mitchell

Whatever your playlist of choice is, I’d recommend closing your eyes. Picture what kind of space you’d be in if you were listening to this in the most ideal scenario. What colors come to mind? Fabrics? What kind of art does your imagination put up on the walls?

You may surprise yourself with what kind of ideas come to your mind. Whether it’s a full-fledged design scheme, or just one spark of an idea that you can then run to Pinterest or magazines to beef up a little bit.

See what happens when you mix in some music in interior design

Once this idea was planted in my head, I started actively trying to imagine perfectly paired interior design with whatever music I’m listening to, every time I listen to music.

If anything, giving this a shot will reignite your passion and creativity if you’re feeling a little stagnant. (Seasonal depression and getting dark at 4:45pm is such a bitch when it comes to creativity and productivity, so we can use any kind of a defibrillator).

I’m excited to put this to use as I move onto designing the next room in my new LA apartment! (I think I’m tackling the bedroom next, so stay tuned and subscribe!)

Need some playlists to get the creative juices flowing?

Lucky for you, I just went on a rampage on my Spotify playlists. They’ve been collecting dust over the last several years, and I figured it was time to give them a little love.

So feel free to check ’em out and see if you connect with any of them! Just click on my Spotify profile and go to all my public playlists.

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About me

Hey my name’s Hannah Michelle Lambert, the voice behind homey homies. I’m an LA-based designer, writer, and content strategist. I’m passionate about the intersection of productivity and creativity. I love talking about creative habits, technology, processes, and everything in between that helps me blend the Type A and Type B parts of my brain.

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