We all do it, pour over beautiful photographs of interiors in magazines or watch the home improvement programmes on T.V. longing to recreate the same in our own homes. You perhaps feel inspired even, but then you look around your own interiors with dismay, the mis-matched furniture bought or given over the years, the cheap blind at the window having seen better days, the decor looking tired or dated. Our meagre budget prevents throwing everything out and starting again from scratch. View this as a positive thing, homes evolve and tell stories about our lives and reflect personalities.
There is no such thing as good or bad taste, it’s your taste, and I believe in adapting and recycling your present home. If you don’t know where to start or what your taste and style is, an Interior Designer’s job there is to help you. A professional does not have their own style to dictate to you, their first job is to help you discover your own style and interpret it into your own home.
Below, I have some listed points which I hope will help you.
1. Choose an item you already own and love and such as a rug, a painting or an item of furniture to use as a starting point.
2. Don’t rush the process. Put your own mood board together consisting of those drooled over magazine photograph’s, swatch’s of fabrics and floor samples you like. This helps you focus on your taste, style and how you can interpret the look you want with what you already own.
3. Up-cycle old furniture by all means, paint is the great transformer. My husband often asks me that if he stands still long enough will I paint him too. Well I might! But don’t apply paint to a beautiful antique piece and replace the original handles with cheap new ones. An antique can add interest to the room. If you really dislike it, then sell it and use the proceeds towards something else for the room.
4. Edit your room by removing items and pare down your displays for more impact. Less is more, when applied correctly.
5. Start with a base colour. Take the ‘little black dress’ for example. You can dress it up or down, layer it, add different colours and accessories according to the seasons. use this as a guide for your rooms, the same rules apply.
6. Don’t be afraid of colour. If you like colour then use it. Opting for safe neutrals will not necessarily bring you joy. Paint one wall as a focal point, adding cushions and throws to add punches of colour. Colour can lift your spirits.
7. Badly hung wallpaper or badly painted rooms compromise the finished effect, so take time and care over this.
8. Poor lighting is detrimental to the feel of a room. Lighting is an intrinsic part of the room. Use dimmer switches and table lamps for flexible lighting schemes.
9. If new lampshades are not an option, cover your existing shades with wallpaper or fabric remnants.
10. Change the bedcover in your bedroom, it’s the biggest feature and can alone can make a huge difference.
11. Don’t just go with the pack. If you want fitted carpet instead of wooden flooring – go with it.
12. Try re-arranging your furniture. Either measure the room first and plot on paper to make sure it will fit, or use masking tape on the floor. This avoids unnecessarily moving heavy furniture.
13. Add a vase of flowers or plants.
14. Display a collection you own on a wall or shelves.
Successful interiors make you feel relaxed, ‘at home’. No one wants to live in a museum, show home or bland box. So whether it’s Ralph Lauren, Conran, or Cath Kidston inspired, it is your home and it should reflect the way you like to live and be as individual as you are.
In the famous words of William Morris
All picture’s other than my own are from Pinterest.