desire to inspire west elm modern interiors blog

Desire to Inspire is an amazing interiors blog, and its two co-founders are living proof that we’re all digital neighbors online. Kim Johnson is a design superfan in Canada, while Jo Walker is an ex-interior designer in Australia. But they didn’t let opposing hemispheres or 8,000 miles of separation stop them from starting Desire to Inspire after meeting on the internet in 2007. Since then it’s grown to become one of our favorite shelter blogs on the web. We got in touch with Kim talk design tips, pets on furniture, and more…

desire to inspire west elm modern living room ideas

How would you describe your individual styles, and how do they work together?

We both LOVE thrifting and finding cool vintage pieces for our homes. We are also huge fans of mid-century modern, and anything with an industrial vibe. I think my style is brighter and more minimal, whereas Jo loves dark dramatic spaces filled with lots of goodies she’s collected over the years.

modern bohemian living room design west elm

Let’s talk about Pets on Furniture! Just how did this phenomenon get started?

I am surprised that our Pets on Furniture feature is still so popular after three years. I receive submissions every single week, and I’ll keep going until they stop. Animals play a huge part in my life (I currently have seven cats) and in Jo’s as well (she has birds and her husband’s guide dog). The reality of owning animals is that you often have to decorate with them in mind. I sure do. So décor and animals combined makes sense. And it’s a great way to energize our readers on a Monday.

dogs on couch modern living room west elm

Is there a Desire to Inspire post that stands out to you for being unexpectedly popular or polarizing?

This post about an apartment in Tel Aviv, Israel, that 27-year-old Ron and his girlfriend renovated. It has been a huge hit, and ended up on StumbleUpon. I first blogged it in August 2010 and now it’s up to almost 500 comments. The apartment is filled with creativity and is an amazing feat for a non-designer or decorator. I think that is what’s so inspiring to our readers.

modern apartment renovation tips west elm

Looking back, what Desire to Inspire project are you most fond of?

We are proud of all our own home projects. As awful and decrepit as the structure is, I have worked really hard to make my house into something I can live with. To my shock it has ended up featured on several websites, blogs and even books! I am not a designer so I’m proud of the publicity.

Jo has been working slowly but surely on her home. It was built in 1860, needs A LOT of work, and so far she has done an amazing job. She is super creative and comes up with some really fab ideas to temporarily revamp spaces while she saves-up money to do what she really wants.

bathroom renovation australia interior design west elm

What are your two cardinal rules for interior design?

DO NOT, under any circumstances, purchase furniture in sets. There is nothing more boring than walking into a bedroom where every piece of furniture comes from the same line.

DO mix styles. There is nothing we both love more than a really old farmhouse table surrounded by modern chairs, a vintage gilded-framed portrait hanging above a row of sleek white cabinetry, or a traditional chair upholstered in a funky fabric.

modernist kitchen rough luxe cats on counter west elm

You can see updates from Kim on her Flickr and fashion blog. Get more from Jo on her Flickr and Online Shop. And you can follow Desire to Inspire on Facebook and Twitter.

Images: Desire to Inspire

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caroline @trend-daily

November 8, 2012

It’s such a great story and success story. i’m really new to blogland and get blown away just about every day by the most amazing blogs and incredibly creative people out there. What Kim and Jo have set up is just so inspiring-maybe one day I’ll be able to find my own niche and do something similar-i love the idea of being part of a global team! :-) Caroline

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