Did you have a style in mind when you started?
I get inspiration from everywhere and I welcome inspiration. But that doesn’t always mean it’s what I want for my home. I get inspired and it helps me think of and narrow down on what I want. It could start with an item, a piece of furniture or an emotion that a space evokes. So I’d say don’t worry so much about the outcome yet. I think it’s important that we are inspired. That doesn’t mean by any style – just inspired to create, to do something you love, to feel alive and excited.
Colour!!! Believe it or not I was terrified of colour in the past. Mainly because I didn’t know what to do with colour and I was afraid of making mistakes in my choices. For years my first flat was all black and white, mainly ikea and some wood. The problem with that was it made me more terrified of adding colour in case I ruined the black and white look. It was pretty intimidating and didn’t feel warm.
Whenever I visited friends’ houses who had mismatched furniture and colour, I always warmed to the space and wished mine was the same. But I wasn’t brave enough! That went on for three years. Then I added red! So my flat was red blank and white… but it was a start. After that we moved to a new house and I slowly added blue and then green.
Five years ago we moved to our current house- a Victorian terrace with warm wood, brick walls and a 137 year old oven. All the walls were bare but I slowly found the courage to decorate with a little warmth and colour and not be afraid to ruin things. After all, they’re really just inanimate things and can be changed quickly if we make mistakes. No biggie- it’s not the most important thing in the grand scheme of things.
So enjoy your decorating journey and don’t let fear stop you from experimenting, doing what you love and finding what makes you happy in your home!
It’d have to be my Ikea bureau cupboard that I painted in chalk paint and wallpapered. First it was an item I traded with a friend in exchange for a grass strimmer!! It was useful storage space where I stuffed it with miscellany and shut the cupboard doors and then the mess was out of sight, out of mind. So I wanted to hold on to it for that reason but my house was changing in colour and style and I couldn’t leave it looking country and stone colour. So I painted it in black graphite, waxed it and then papered it with Sophie Conran wallpaper which I bought on eBay. I’ve since Marie Kondo’d the inside of this bureau and that has made me feel even better about it! 🙂
Recycling and upcycling would be two of my biggest tips! It not only saves money, it’s also an opportunity to be creative and helps to save the planet. Before I throw anything out or give it away, I think long and hard to see how I can give it a new lease of life!
With new purchases, if you want to pay less than retail prices, then shop around on eBay, Gumtree and local sites. Sometimes someone has changed their mind or was bought something as a gift that wasn’t their taste so it’s not always second hand.
Lastly, for online retailers, there’s often a discount to be had by looking for a brands ‘ambassadors’ on Instagram and seeing if they have a discount code you can use.
First of all, don’t worry about how it will look in the end. Think about being inspired instead.
Secondly, think about how you want the space to make you feel. Warm? Cosy? Fun? Cocooning? Relaxing? Happy? Friendly? Dramatic? Peaceful? Calm? Quiet? Loud? Exciting? Make sure your answer is an emotion rather than a description of the space. Start there and work your way back. Always with the emotion as the “brief” and from there you can gauge whether any item in your room will achieve that brief. Remember, you have to live in your space. It’s not a space for show on Instagram or a magazine. It’s a living space and if you’re not happy in that space then what’s the point of the revamp and all the money and effort you will spend on it? Sometimes a space takes time to form so that the design grows organically which is great and the journey will add soul and story to the space so be patient with yourself and take your time.
Finally, don’t be terrified of a blank canvas. Often all it takes is a first step!