When starting out on a new project several clients have said to me “Now I don’t want my home to look like a showroom” in the fear that they are going to end up with a contrived, impersonal and impractical interior.
The truth is, I couldn’t agree more. No home should reflect a showroom or even one of your favourite stores. A well styled home is not about imitating trends or following fixed rules; it’s about creating a distinctive and coherent story that reflects you and your family.
In my opinion styling your home is an ongoing process that takes many years to achieve and is often forever evolving and never complete. The most amazing interiors are those that tell your story, by sharing objects and memories that you’ve gathered along life’s journey and that are significant to you. These unexpected objects are what give a home its unparalleled character.
A talented designer will support you through the decision-making process, giving you confidence to push boundaries, break rules and take risks to create a truly unique and well-balanced home that you otherwise wouldn’t have had the courage to do so.
However (at the risk of doing myself out of a job here) you don’t need a designer to create a comfortable home that reflects you. You just need to identify your style. Everyone has one; it’s about finding it.
The easiest way to find your style is to flick through magazines and ruthlessly rip out any images that strike you; paint colours, entire rooms, styling ideas, textures, fabrics, and furniture – anything that grabs your attention. If you prefer to do this digitally Pinterest is amazing for gathering ideas.
Once you’ve spent a few months gathering ideas, place them out in front of you and take a step back. Don’t worry if there are a couple of “odd ball” images thrown in the mix, just realise these for what they are and remove them.
With the remaining images you’ll start to see a pattern in your choices – voilà you’ve found your style! I had a client just last month do this exercise and she had unknowingly put the same image of fabrics in several times. We had a laugh.
Now that you have a better sense of your innate styling preferences, use this as what I call the “base palette” for your home. This “base palette” is a starting point/design tool that will ensure your home flows consistently and harmoniously from one space to another.
From here you can build upon it, adding your own personal flair by introducing found objects, colours and textures that are a natural expression of you and are shaped by the way you and your family live.