Conventional wisdom tells us that to create a lovely room, start with a favorite fabric or rug. That’s a textbook tactic. But after years chatting up talented designers, stylesetters and creative homeowners—as well as experiencing their exciting projects—I contend that truly special spaces begin with an idea. 

That’s the approach social superstars Brad and Hailey Devine took when they decided to create a new home in South Jordan. The young couple wanted their digs to celebrate and reflect their family heritage. That idea prompted journeys to England, Chile and Norway. At each scenic stop, they gathered one idea after another that helped guide the design of their dream home, documented on their YouTube series “Making a House a Home.” 

The couple’s idea cup ranneth over. As John Steinbeck penned, “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple, learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” The Devines’ adventures confirmed this, and today, the family is surrounded by decorative details and cherished keepsakes that make their rooms as personal as they are posh. 

Fortunately, there are many places to gather design ideas that don’t require extended travel and trekking abroad, although few promise to be as exciting and memorable. Closer-to-home sources include design darlings Pinterest and Instagram, as well as countless decorating programs, websites and podcasts. Then there are my personal favorites—design magazines like the one you’re holding now. When we pull an issue together, we search for projects and products that are not only spectacular, but also brimming with stirring and creative ideas—yours for the taking. The goal isn’t to clone someone else’s space (where’s the fun in that?), but rather to find and finesse ideas that help you create a space that’s uniquely yours. 

This editor’s note was included in our Winter 2021 print issue. The magazine is available on newsstands now.