I am writing this sat in my living room, a room that has undergone a major transformation along with the rest of my home over the last couple of years.
Whilst I am not a qualified interior designer I have redesigned, refurbished and overseen 3 property overhauls. I love all things interiors related, subscribe to most design magazines and we joke that in my house I am the “creative director.” That is the driving force behind getting the look and feel of each house just how we want them. They have been tailored to our day to day needs, which have dramatically changed over time, with a stylish edge.
My own brief for my current house was a stylish, practical and comfortable home that doesn’t skimp on design led features including furniture that has history and is rare or unique. Like most people I know, hiring an interior designer is one luxury too far, so how do you get a trend led, well thought out scheme?
Here are my top 5 tips to being your own interior designer……
- Plan, Plan, Plan…..In my opinion you really need to live in your house to understand how you will use each room, you will be able to see how the natural light falls at different times of the day and assess what function a room will serve and how it will fit in with the rest of the house. Planning out your rooms beforehand is essential.
- Do Your Homework….Once you know what room is going where and if you have a naturally light or dark space you can then start researching and finding out what look and feel appeals to you. Many interior designers write for magazines, publish their own books and blogs to allow us to tap into their world. This is a great place to start for inspiration and I strongly recommend creating a moodboard of anything that takes your fancy. This could be colours, fabric, images and you may be surprised that there is a general trend or theme that shines through.
- Be Consistent…..Choose a colour palette and a theme throughout, this may be obvious from your moodboard, and try to relate it to all your rooms in some way to give a cohesive look to the whole house. For example I find so many looks appealing, Scandinavian, shabby chic, country farmhouse, ultra modern etc but all mixed together just isn’t going to look right!?! I like to stay true to the property initially and then add the elements of a particular theme throughout. In my current home of victorian era I have embraced the original features whilst going with a dark and moody grey theme.
- A Room With A View….think about the view through the door into each room, if you are sat looking through a doorway then treat it as a frame, what do you see beyond it? I like to have a good visual through each doorway so that if I have all the doors open off the hallway there is something appealing to view in all directions.
- Clever Styling…….So you have a cohesive theme, colours are sorted, walls decorated and the flooring is down, so now you need to choose and place your furniture, homewares and soft furnishings wisely. Hardworking multi purpose furniture is ideal for smaller rooms, think a footstool that doubles up as a side table for example. Don’t just plonk pieces down in the most obvious place and hope for the best, move furniture around and leave for a few days, then change it around again until you are happy and find the best arrangement. Have you ever noticed when you first place a new piece of furniture in a room it sticks out like a sore thumb and then after a week or so it is as if it has always been there? Maybe that’s just me!
Don’t forget that trends will come and go and that you (and your family perhaps) have to live in this house so the priority is that it meets your needs and that you create a happy home. Follow your instincts and choose colours and furniture that will stand the test of time unless of course you are happy redecorating every couple of years.
I hope you find these tips useful and it would be great to hear of your own DIY interior design successes.