The Gift Vase that Stimulated Creativity

Dana Corriel, MD, describes what stimulates her creativity, from household decor to surrounding yourself with warmth and "new".

A friend bought me this funky vase for my birthday (I’m so thankful to have her in my life) and I stuck some dried red roses inside it, then propped it up on top of a short stack of books in my living room.

People started asking me where I got it. One after another.

They just loved the way it looked, they explained. One of them even described it as “whimsical,” an adjective I rarely use, but probably should.

I noticed that every time someone asked about it, the conversation would go off on another, uniquely interesting tangent.

I began appreciating my vase as more than just the decor piece it represented, at face-value. It was doing so much more.

It was stimulating creativity, through the of sparking unique conversation. Decor inspiration, I called it. And I had experienced it many times before.

You see, the incorporation of unique items inside our homes (especially ones that have memories, or other meaning, attached to them) allow us to explore new conversations, and take us in directions we’ve never been before.


The incorporation of unique items inside our homes (esp ones that have memories, or other meaning, attached to them) allow us to explore new conversations, and take us in directions we've never been before. Click To Tweet


Truth is, people ask me all the time where I come up with my ideas, and how I get inspired.

And there’s no simpler answer to it then this: enrich your life by adding uniqueness to it.

The best part of this is that you get to decide what to add.


Here are just a few other suggestions ways you could start this:

  1. Surround yourself with warm people. Supportive ones. Remind yourself regularly that “support” has different meanings to different people.
  2. Find the things that make you smile. And especially those things that make you THINK.
  3. Say yes to opportunities that are out of the box. Tap into the untapped.
    Take long, warm showers and let the ideas flow.
  4. Find a crew that values exploration. And discussion. Combine the two: explore together (or separately, even) and then discuss.
  5. Don’t be a sheep. Prioritize imagination and creativity.


They’re more “life mantras”, really; a few of the fun ways I try and spice up life. Kick it up a notch from the mundane.

I also created a series, a few years back, that was “whimsical” in some aspects. There’s a curated theme throughout (I walk with colleagues, and then chow down on food), but also hold random conversations depending on where whim takes us. It wasn’t an easy series to produce, and it was doubly hard for me (as a historically private person) to press ‘publish’. But I did, and it will be out soon here, too.

In the meantime, if you’re reading this, thanks. If you have a unique photo from your own home, esp of decor, share it with me on social media, and consider tagging me in it, or calling me out to take a look. Maybe you can inspire my next conversation this time around, and I’ll have you to thank.


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