Best U.S. States For Design Inspiration

Designers and creators across all niches often pull inspiration from their favorite neighborhoods, cities, and states, so why shouldn’t you do the same when it comes to sprucing up your home? 

We pulled together a collection of data to help you find the best U.S. states for design inspiration.

To create this list, we looked into the number of museums, landmarks, university programs, and even social media popularity of each U.S. state. The states with the highest scores are home to some of the top design-inspiring states in the nation.

Unsurprisingly, New York came in at the top of the list. Factor out social media rankings, and Pennsylvania takes the top spot. And to our surprise, despite being home to one of the 7 wonders of the world, Arizona ranked last in social media mentions.

Is your home state design inspiring? Let’s have a closer look at how each state scored!

The Big Winners and Losers

You probably saw this one coming, but New York is the state with the most design inspiration! And it’s easy to understand why; New York is home to 276 landmarks, 786 museums, and 7 university programs, with the largest concentration in New York City. But what really puts New York at the top of the list is the state’s popularity on social media.

When examining the hashtags #design, #designinspiration, and #interiordesign, New York was the clear winner with 15,141 mentions, giving the state a grand total of 31,358 points. 

Home to an impressive number of sought-out cities, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, California trails closely behind in second place with a total of 29,466 points. The Sunshine State scores well in all categories and rates as one of the best on the list for social media mentions, with an impressive 14,154 of the above mentioned hashtags.  

The states that didn’t fare too well on the list? Idaho. The Potato State has one of the lowest counts for landmarks in the country, a small count of museums, and only 1 state university program.

States with the Top Landmarks, Museums, and University Programs

With so many people scrolling for inspiration, It’s easy to see how social media mentions affect a state’s score on this list. But what if we take out a state’s social media score altogether? Will New York still be considered the best state for design inspiration in the country? 

Surprise, it’s not!

If we remove its social media points, The Empire State falls to number 4 on the list. Thanks to Pennsylvania’s impressive number of landmarks, state university programs, and over 1,000 museums, the Keystone state trumps New York for the number 1 spot. 

In fact, when not factoring social media points, the states that take up the top 3 spots are all home to over 1,000 museums each, making the cities of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Chicago some of the most culturally rich areas in America. 

When it comes to the number of landmarks per state, New York climbs back up to the number one spot with an impressive 276 sights, followed by Massachusetts with 191 landmarks and Pennsylvania with 169.

As far as education goes, New York, Michigan, and California reign supreme for the number of state university programs on offer.

Social Status

Now that we’ve had a look at how the states rank without social media points taken into consideration, let’s have a closer look at how each state faired with the amount of mentions for  #design, #designinspiration, and #interiordesign.

New York takes first place with 15,141 mentions, and California is not far behind with 14,154. Surprisingly, the bronze medal goes to the state of Texas, which comes in 3rd place with 9,217 mentions. Despite being home to the Grand Canyon, the state of Arizona came in last place with 554 mentions.

Who’s Weighing In?

In California, 51% of #design mentions were driven by men, with only 36% made by women. In fact, our data shows us that the number of mentions for #design was made mainly by men in New York, California, and Texas. The tables turned in these three states for #designinspiration and #interiordesign mentions. These hashtags were more often used by women.

Where Did the Stats Come From?

To find out which U.S. states create the most design inspiration for visitors and residents, analyzed government data from the National Parks Service to determine the quantity of landmarks in each state. We then analyzed data from Museums USA to determine the total number of museums in each state regardless of their niche. To determine the number of available university programs focused on design in each state, we sourced data from CollegeVine. Finally, we analyzed the top three most popular design hashtags, #design, #interiordesign, and #designinspiration based on the quantity of hashtags from January 1st, 2023 until March 14th, 2023.

Share the Inspiration

If you’re looking for some design inspiration or to inspire others, feel free to share this study. We permit you to use the images and content here for noncommercial purposes. Just don’t forget to link back to this page to give the authors proper credit.