I feel so privileged to be a part of the fantastic Blog It Forward project {you may remember it from my previous post} and to be able to share with you what inspires me. You know, this has been the hardest post I’ve ever had to write. Ever. I started, deleted, edited, deleted, started again, pasted bits in, scraped it all and started from scratch… Get the idea? I guess it is almost impossible to define what it is that inspires me. It can be anything, anytime and anywhere… But I know exactly how it feels when it happens as I get that feeling in my chest and in my belly – that certain warmth, a smile on my face, sometimes even a little tear when I feel deeply moved and truly inspired.

I guess I am inspired by many, many things – big and small, obvious and hidden, special and everyday. I’ve decided to tell the story through the images which, to me, evoke that sense of beauty, special meaning and that certain “feeling”.

+ I am inspired by music. I listen to a lot of different types of music – from classical, beautiful balladsethnic & gipsy, hip hop, old school breaks, to down ‘n’ dirty electro. Yeah. I really love to sing and I also play the piano, although not as much these days – image via here.

+ The banner says it all – via here.


+ Parites and celebrations – via here.


+ Motifs, colours, textures & patterns reminiscent of the place in the world where I grew up. Top image via inside out, bottom left via here, bottom rigt via here.

lse Crawford. The most inspiring designer ever. Period. Ilse launched theUK Elle Decoration in 1989 which completely changed the face of design magazines around the world.

+ Ilse’s company Studioilse creates the big idea and emotional values behind a brand to produce a long lasting and strong brand identity. Ilse is also a Head of Department for “Man and Well Being” at the world renowned design school Design Academy Eindhoven. I am in absolute awe of this woman. And if you are like me, then you will definitely enjoy seeing this video on GESTALTEN.TV in which she talks about her work and her approach.

+ Fun and functional design that doesn’t take itself too seriously – via here.

+ Beauty in the random and the unexpected – via here.

Yayoi Kusama’s art.

+ In fact, I have a funny story about seeing Kusama’s work in person at the MCA in March last year. Husband and I walked into a little room {very much like the one in the bottom  right image} – I was so taken by the experience that I completely forgot to watch where I was going and I fell off the viewing platform straight into a pool of water up to my knees. How embarrassing!

+ Sharing special meals {preferably pork} with the people I care about – via here.

+ Amazing movie sets, like this one from Dr Zhivago – via here.

+ Dreamy photography by Tom Walker.

+ Funny shit with double meaning like this illustration by Jan Kallwjet – via here.

+ I love a great parody. Like this spoof of “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys which has been climbing up the viral charts. Check it out – it’s a tribute to The New Dork ruling today’s tech world. Really fun and catchy. Produced by Pantless Knights and discovered via good ol’ twitter.

+ My favourite author Milan Kundera and this brilliant book – via here.

Dreaming is not merely an act of communication; it is also an aesthetic activity, a game of the imagination, a game that is a value in itself. – Milan Kundera.


+ My husband, our amazing partnership and memories of our wedding day. In fact, it’s our third wedding anniversary tomorrow – woot woot! Photography byDeyan. My dress by the very talented man in the picture below…

+ Yes, so the images above lead me to the truly amazing fashion designer Akira Isogawa. This man is a real artist and his clothes are very special. Meeting him was one of the most memorable moments for me, as I have been a huge admirer of Akira’s work and his enormous talent for the longest time. Did I mention that he is not just talented, but also incredibly humble, unassuming and super lovely? Images via here, here & here.

+ Our gorgeous friends and our fun annual trips together – photo by Ben Pyke.

+ Husband {the cutest baby ever!} and yours truly as little bubs – it’s fun imagining what our own babies are going to look like one day.

So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed a little slice of what inspires me. And please take a look at Words and Eggswho preceded me, and tomorrow y o u h a v e b e e n h e r e s o m e t i m ewill follow me.

Also posting today are these blogs – black white yellow, out and about africa, crafty weasel, rikshaw design, fringe, sumanam,katie*belle, the vintage laundress and miseducated.

Thank you Victoria, for organising such a fantastic project and a huge thank-you to all my readers for inspiring me and encouraging me to keep blogging. There would be no yellowtrace blog without all your support – you guys are my biggest inspiration.

Aww… so much love!

x dana

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

16 Responses

  1. Justine

    I REALLY enjoyed reading this! So much diversity in there and so much I could relate to. Very inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing it all. Great post!
    ps I simply could not live happily without Kundera’s books in my life ;)

  2. sophie munns

    Hello Dana,

    so wonderful you found your way to my blog this morning…esp as i posted on your fab work and the great images from husband.
    Like this post Dana…fav book of all time because it was so deeply affecting… not just the first time, but on consecutive reads over time… Unbearable lightness. Love Ilse Crawford particularly and lots of things you feature.
    There’s a lovely energy to your blog that find very admirable and such a tonic!
    best wishes,

  3. Melissa de la Fuente

    Oh Dana! What a great inspirational post hun! So many wonderful things, I don’t know where to start! The two of you on your wedding day, gorgeous(your dress, the designer and of course, the two of you) Your baby photos…both of you are so beautiful. That amazing installation…(I would have fallen off too, it looks kind of easy to do- the falling, I mean) the banner, the music, the irreverent art, fun & functional and your annual trips with your pals. I love it all and it makes me SO happy! Thank you for sharing this with us dear one. What a lovely life you lead….:)

  4. Dennice

    Gorgeous images and beautiful words. Your inspirations are inspiring! I’m so happy to have “met” you in this way. Finding out about this part of you is a wonderful first meeting. Your blog is beautiful…

    Thank you so much for sharing…xo

  5. lesley

    what a lovely, and yes, inspiring post! i am enamoured by the photos that you chose here, and am excited to explore your blog a little further. thanks for inviting us in!

  6. lani trock

    so in love with your blog!
    incredible aesthetic. thank you victoria/blog it forward!
    can’t wait to explore here…


  7. Sarah-Jane

    Dana – so great to see your inspirations, what a lovely post, as always.
    I’m totally inspired by you!! Truly – the blog is such a great expression of your amazing style, creativity, warmth & energy. We are all very lucky to share in it!
    Lots of love,
    Sa x

  8. yellowtrace

    Wow!!! Thank you all so, so much for all your incredibly kind words. I feel quite overwhelmed by your warmth, sincerity and support. Your comments mean so much to me, especially as this has been by far the most personal post I’ve ever written. I was extremely hesitant to expose this much of myself at first, but now I am so glad I did – I would have never expected you all to embrace “me” as much as you have. And that means to me so much more then I can say…
    x dana

  9. James Bailey

    You are such and inspiring individual. Being an artistic myself, I love all things art and design related (interior design, sculpture, music, dance, textiles, fashion design, millinery, etc.).
    This post made my heart race and I could feel emotion welling up inside me.

    I just started an internship at a Toronto based magazine, in the Fashion Department, and I was excited but nervous to start. During one of my first assignments I had stumbled upon your blog. The refreshing and creatively saturated posts displayed by you and others made me feel so happy that there are still people out there that are willing to share themselves.
    Never stop blogging – I am a new fan <3


Leave a Reply