One object that influences me, as a designer, is the contact lens. Much like the contact, I believe that design should be universally and personally beneficial, making life clearer, easier, and more aesthetically pleasing.
I think that boat cabins are very inspirational spaces. Boats usually have very limited space, well designed cabins utilize the space to be functional and organized with out feeling cramped.
A building that I find to be inspirational is The Yellow Tree House in New Zealand. I think that nature is a huge contributer to successful design.
The following is a picture of myself over looking Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan influences my design because it looks like something it isn't. The clarity and motion of this beautiful lake echoes that of the ocean.