One of the questions I get asked most here on TLL is about my home its décor and design. People have asked for a home tour and for me to share how my house is progressing. It is my plan to share with y’all areas of my home as I feel ready to do so. I have already shared my daughter’s bedroom and if you had not seen that please click here. I recommend you refresh your memories because much of the room has changed once again and I plan to share how I transitioned her toddler room to The Little Princess Room it is now soon.
It is not my intention to talk about my home today, but more about design and décor and how you create a style or look for your home. I have always been interested in décor and design – it is in my blood! I have so many memories of my parents remodeling and decorating homes. I vividly remember the smell of paint being burnt off the skirting boards by my mother on her hands and knees and my parents looking exhausted from peeling paint or wallpaper from ceilings and walls. But they did it all, remodeling and decorating our home room by room. I think they loved it although it wasn’t always conducive to marital bliss. They would change the feel/mood and look of a house and make it our home. Even now, they have scaffolding up as I write this, knocking doorways between rooms, remodeling bathrooms and developing into the roof. Granted they are doing less of the work themselves these days, but when it comes to the design and décor of their home they are not standing still and I have inherited that bug.
I don’t wish to date myself but I remember when most décor inspiration came from books, magazines and some google images. With the invention of social media we are now bombarded with images at every turn. I think if you are someone who is looking to curate your style in a new home or discover what you like, all this information could be overwhelming. Today I want to share some of my key thoughts on helping people navigate this world or décor and design.
- Love. This is so important to me, whether you own or rent, your home is your largest investment so you should LOVE it. I am also a proponent of filling your home with items you love. It will become more cohesive and a reflection of your family. There is something magical about being able to touch and see items around your home and for them to evoke memories or thoughts that you are able to reminisce about or share in. It is more sentimental than purchasing something because it subscribes to a certain look. Very few of us are fortunate enough to buy new décor and furniture specifically for each home; most of us collect items as we progress up the property ladder, whether inherited or purchased. If we buy pieces we love we will want to take them with us and reuse or repurpose.
- Practicality. Sure, you can look at thousands of gorgeous images and think I want to recreate that, but you have to be practical about the stage of your life. There is no point spending thousands on wallpaper or upholstery if you have small sticky fingers around. Similarly there is no point having a polished floor if you are approaching your mature years. Practicality also covers versatility, for many a room has to be multipurpose and that is not always conveyed in the stylized photos of Instagram. Storage is so important and you can never have enough. A home will always look collated and dressed if you have places to put away your things (ie hide the crap!)
- Budget. Sorry to bring you down to earth with a bang, but one has to consider this. We can all get swept away looking at and desiring bespoke items but if the budget is Ikea then we have to work within those parameters. A beautiful stylish home can be created on any budget, you just sometimes have to be a little more creative which is more fun. Even if your budget is not limited you have to consider if what you are adding is good value, either in terms of adding value to the price of your home or to your quality of life. Perhaps consider asking yourself if this is your “forever home”, or the place you wish to raise your family. If you can enjoy your investment for a longer term I believe your can let your heart rule your budget a little more.
- Fit. If you are in a new home or remodeling your current home and are unsure what direction to take, I always try to be sympathetic to the home’s bones. This is especially true in countries and areas where homes are older. If you have bought a new home (unless it has been modeled on a period style) perhaps cornicing or picture rails might not be a fit. In the same vein, if you buy an older home with period features it is important to modernize with recess lighting and modern amenities. Ripping out older floors and fireplaces is criminal! You can decorate with a more modern taste while respecting heritage.
- Flow/Tone. I have lived in quite a lot of homes and the flow and tone is probably one of the most important things I consider when decorating. I like there to be cohesion as you move between rooms. Whether your home is several thousand square feet or a small apartment, if you have a smooth flow between rooms your home will look stylish. How can this be created? Color is an obvious one, if you’re wondering what color to paint your home, go look in your closet and see what color you tend to be drawn to. I may sound crazy but sit in your home and see if colors come to you. Look at possessions you may love, that can inspire a palette. If you are a Pinterest person, look at a board and see if there is a color which unites all your pins rather than getting detail-obsessed by an image. I always used to scrapbook magazine pics and I could see as I flitted through that a palette appeared. Tone is another way; tone through shades of color is obvious but tone can also be created through texture and textiles. I love love love textiles and I plan to do another post all about them at a later date. Similarly, the décor accessories you choose can set the tone and mood throughout the home.
I am by no means an expert but these thoughts and considerations have work well for me to date. As I begin to share my home and some of the upcoming projects we will revisit these points in more depth. If you are in a position where you feel overwhelmed by projects and decisions with design perhaps consider hiring an interior designer. I think their expertise and knowledge can be invaluable as well as providing savings and discounts.
How do you style and decorate your home? Have any tips which you wish to share?
Have a great week friends.
Another great post! Love hearing your thoughts on this! Balance and scale are two easy points to remember too, I.e. buy pairs of things will be easier to use in your home and create balance. And try not to buy furniture pieces too big or small for the space will help with scale.
Great Advice. I love buying in pairs. Kx
Hi Kate, I’m on the move very soon. Moving to a fairly modern house, but needs updating. I can’t wait to start my new project. I’m really into OKA right now. We have a new store opened in Guildford. I’m taking some of the elements of their style, and combining it with West Elm/White Company and a great independant store near to where I’m moving to called Arighi Bianchi
Hi Carolyn, A new move and home how exciting. Sounds like you have lots of great ideas and taste, please keep me updated. Kx