It’s very tempting when you buy a new home to want everything to be perfect as soon as possible. The same can be said when moving home, or just re-decorating. It’s natural and I’m as guilty as the next person. But! You will also want a home that reflects your personality, is comfortable to be in, makes you feel good, and suits your lifestyle. Am I right? A home that you are proud to show off to guests, but just as happy to retreat to when you want some me-time or time with the family. If all of this strikes a chord you will just have to be patient. It takes time to create a unique interior…
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Adopt Longevity Goals
Image: Layered Lounge.
Remember how our grandparents furnished their homes? When they purchased a new sofa or dining suite they expected it to last forever. Isn’t it about time we adopted this habit again? Not only is it better for the planet to ‘buy once and buy better’ but you will take time over the purchase. Knowing it will be with you for a very long time will stop any impulse buys and you will hopefully buy something that you will cherish and love forever. And knowing that you will not be replacing furniture again and again means that you can spend more on it. Quality over quantity every time. This doesn’t mean that you have to be boring and buy a grey sofa over a warm ochre velvet one. You just have to be sure you will still love it in ten or twenty years time.
Give Trends a Miss
Image: Original BTC.
Which brings me on to the dreaded trends that flood our shops and our Instagram feeds. You know that they are only there to make you spend money, right? I’m all for trends. I love researching them and writing about them. Even buying into them (but less and less actually). But be choosy. Add an item or two (if you really can’t resist), but don’t go so overboard your room looks themed. Again, ask yourself if this item you are craving will still look good in a few years.
Read The Room
Image: Leaf Envy.
We all love a period detail don’t we? This is not the seventies when everything was ripped out and chucked on a skip! If you’re lucky enough to have them, I’m very envious. Make the most of them. Use paint to make them stand out if the room calls for it. Allow them to shine by not crowding them with furniture. But reading the room means more than taking note of historical details. Watch how the light changes thoughout the day. Put lamps in dark corners. Position furniture in it’s most advantageous position. No one wants to walk around obstacles or be unable to reach their drink.
Develop and Grow
By now you will have decided upon a furniture layout and chosen your ‘forever’ pieces. These are the building blocks on which to grow. Smaller items of furniture can be added over time. Slowly. The same goes for artwork, soft furnishings and accessories. Buy a piece of original art that you were drawn to in a gallery. Something that will be unique and loved. Make something. Cushions are simple to sew (forget about zips, look on YouTube for cushion tutorials with another form of closure), knit a throw, or throw a pot at evening classes.
Buy What You Love
Image: Linen Bundle.
And when you do buy, buy only what you love. Don’t worry too much about where it will go. You will always find a place, even if that too takes time.
Mix it Up
Image: Rebecca Udall.
Try not to buy matching sets too often. It’s easier to buy things in one store but that just results in a home that looks like a furniture showroom. Even bedding can be mixed and matched. Cushions look better when individually chosen (will someone please tell sofa manufacturers that we don’t want six matching scatter cushions in the same fabric as the sofa), and a table set with mis-matched tableware, cutlery and glasses looks way more interesting. Get the heirlooms out and use them. Cadge a few knives from a relative, and cherish those things you found in a car boot sale.
Add Something Unexpected
Image: Poodle and Blonde.
Let’s not be too predictable. Adding something unexpected to our interiors gives them the wow factor. Play with scale. Buy the biggest pendant lamp available. An oversized piece of furniture can often make a small room appear larger. Paint your ceilings to match your walls. Wallpaper a ceiling! Collect taxidermy. Frame your children’s art.
Display The History of Your Life
Image: Porcelain Superstore.
Holidays (remember those?) have been a great source of inspiration and marketplace for me. Move things around. Move things to another room. And every so often take everything down from a shelf and start again. Read about styling tips and have a go. It’s a skill that takes time to hone – I’m still learning, but annoyingly some are born with it.
The most unique homes are lived in, loved and filled with things that were chosen with care.