Journal

Six questions that Interior Designers ask to define your home’s style

What defines you translates into colour palettes, fabric choices and overall aesthetic.  As a designer it is my job to make that translation.  Since words like, modern, eclectic, or luxury mean different things to different people, instead I ask how my client wants to ‘feel’ in their home.  Function is key to making the space work, but it is just as important to understand who will be living there. 

Aesthetic can be easily identified via imagery eg Pinterest/magazine shots etc the real secret to great design is understanding who uses the space, and how they live on a daily basis.  Here are six questions I use to determine my client’s unique style. 

1. What do you like to wear?

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

What you wear, looking at the colours, fabrics and patterns are you drawn to, what brands do you tend towards and what perfume/cologne do you wear? Coming from a background in fashion I find it very easy to translate this into interior style.

2. What are your health goals?

Photo by Kat Smith from Pexels

Are you active and health conscious? Are you eating mostly a vegetarian or only plant based foods and want vegan interiors eliminating fabrics made from animal skins, wool or down? There are many fantastic alternatives which look better, last longer and have no suffering attached.  Do you have a baby or young children,  a family member with allergies or health problems you can have products without harmful toxins? (I actually only specify products without certain chemicals but that is a whole other post!). Are you interested in Biophilic Design – using nature inspired design patterns and materials.  Would you like your home to encourage a more healthy lifestyle? 

 

3. Where have you enjoyed visiting?

Ham Yard Hotel London

Nothing says more about your style than the places you have enjoyed visiting or perhaps living in before. Perhaps your hotel room had an amazing bathroom? How did you feel getting ready there – did it lift your spirits? The essence of a favourite location can be incorporated into your home.  Do you have cultural collected items you want to display? This will inform a lighting scheme and perhaps a display cabinet? 

 

4. What is your favourite restaurant?

The Ivy Chelsea Garden London

Where you like to eat reveals a lot about your interior style. If the restaurant is casual dining this is most likely how you like to live your life. Otherwise if it has sumptuous fabrics, white table cloths and low lighting – or is it a combination of both?

5. Do you like to entertain?

Image: House Beautiful

Perhaps you love to cook on weekends and host dinner parties or casual bbq’s. Maybe you live out of town and often have overnight guests? Do you have family that visit and stay for extended periods? All of these factors help me build a picture of the how your home needs to function and perhaps accommodate multi-generations.

6. What are your hopes and dreams?

You may be unsure of what you want or are buying your first home together as a couple or you may be downsizing – I would then encourage my clients to let their imagination run free…. In a fantasy world how many children or grandchildren might arrive in the next 5-10 years? Would you like to get a pet, if you could buy any car what would it be? If you say a Range Rover or a Prius that also tells me a lot about your style.

If you would like my help on your next project click the link below to request a free 15 minute design call.

10 Design Trends for 2021

I want to share with you 10 top interior design trends for 2021.  Designers use trends as inspiration and must keep up to date on design directions eg, sustainable design or hybrid homes. There is no set look, your home should be unique to you. Whether you are just about to redesign or just want a few tweaks to keep things fresh, you can take inspiration from the key trends. 

1. Navy is the new black…. 

A big trend for next year is dark navy which can replace black and anthracite. Blue represents security, faith, truth and hope. When you desire peace and order it is the go to colour.  Dark navy is elegant and a perfect compliment to shades of dark reds, golds and greens which brings a sense of tradition and colours that will not let you down. 

navy is the new black

2. Light woods 

Scandinavian inspired interiors use this material not only on floors but walls and ceilings too.  You get an overall feeling of well being when you walk into a space like this. The raw colour and aesthetic, will be increasingly used in multipurpose areas in the home or commercial world. Bringing the tactile natural element inside and having it on the walls and ceiling makes you feel secure and boosts productivity. 

biophillic cafe

3. Sustainable modern design 

Designer pieces made using bio and recycled plastics, recycled concrete, reconstituted stone products and low impact materials are on the increase.  There is still a big gap between the up-cycled thrift market look and the high end design pieces. The cost of producing ethical, eco furniture is still higher, investing in it though means you have something for years to come and you can make savings elsewhere.  

Who really wants to unhealthy unethical furniture? Can you reupholster and reuse/paint classic furniture to blend with and  use VOC free paints. Always ask a furniture seller to show you the eco certificates from the producers.  Interior designers can source recycled silks, wools, and show you sustainable design solutions. I recently installed white cotton look and feel voile curtains made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.

4. Statement Pieces 

Statement pieces are the key to creating a moment that you will adore to see every day and guest will remember.  It can be a rug, an item of furniture, or a wallpaper (yes it is going to be a thing again).  Like with any arrangement let one item take centre stage. Adding a bright colour or reflective surfaces eg brass creates a statement but there are ways to do this using pattern and scale and they are more subtle to live with. 

5. Natural Elements 

Is a trend based on bringing nature into our homes.  Combining natural and organic materials reminds us of being outside and giving a sense of freedom.  This has become increasingly important for those now spending a lot of time indoors.  Balance can be restored even if you do not have outside space.  For those that do, blending the inside with the out strengthens the human – nature connection even more. 

6. Grey Interiors 

Grey is not a colour but a true neutral. It is versatile, timeless and a great base to create different moods.  Using accent colours you can change the look through the seasons. 

7. Global Rustic 

Blending old and new (as in sustainable design) creates a feeling of comfort and security.   Caramels and browns from the 70s and symmetrical layouts from the 18th and 19th Century creates a peaceful feeling because it is easy for the brain to process. Be adventurous and mix different eras and cultures from around the world. Textiles, woods and metals combined create the home someone who has travelled and has brought treasures back to be enjoyed in the comfort of their own home. 

8. Face Line Art 

The art world is buzzing with this trend.  From cave paintings to the modern day and the first images a child will draw. This style is simple and powerful it strikes a cord in our soul. 

 

9. Industrial Hybrid Homes 

Similar to the light woods trend, a more industrial influence this will be used in multipurpose environments.  As we change and adapt the spaces we live in this feels creative, raw and allows us to develop a hybrid home. No longer the domain of single city loft dwellers, the trend will be for people to have spaces that can adapt using  partitions to be a work studio, a zoom home school, an exercise space and at the end of the day a home. The trend will be that work and commercial spaces will feel more flexible and homely giving a sense of security and comfort especially important during uncertain times. 

10. Neutrals 

One could argue this is not a trend but for next year many fabric houses are producing more natural textures tactile fabrics in their collections and we see softer shapes in furniture becoming more popular.

So that is a round up of what I have seen as the design trend predictions across the interior design industry for 2021.  

What is your style, have your circumstances changed and do you want to revamp your home in 2021? If you would to chat about your next project and how I could help you, don’t hesitate to get in touch and I look forward to hearing from you. 

Thanks for reading, Amanda. 

Credits where known are shown other photos have been found on Pinterest, I will gladly credit anyone who gets in touch with details of any photos un credited. 

Home Office Design – 5 key rules

There is a huge demand for home office design and here are some the 5 key rules to consider. 

Whether you are a solo entrepreneur used to working from home, or it is a whole new experience, there are certain things that can make all the difference on how to make this work for you.  Ikea or bespoke there is a huge variety to suit all budgets… 

2020 – the year of the home office

1. Dedicated space with good light and seating

Natural light, with some light over your desk for dark days is key.  Having a comfortable chair is important to keep your posture aligned and those with back problems before lockdown would benefit from getting advice on the chair and desk options. 

 

2. Good Organisation

well organised space

Having everything to hand is a timesaving if you are working reduced hours or have others at home who you need to care for.  You’ll have to keep it clean yourself so having a space for everything is key.  

3. Privacy

Garden office

A garden studio provides a separation from home life and you can make your zoom calls stress-free without household noises in the background. These pods can be ideal for those who don’t have the space inside the home or work with a colleague and want a dedicated space. The can also add value to your home so a sound investment in many ways.

4. Stay Sociable

Home office with meeting area

If you will be holding in-person meetings (of course when it is safe to do so) dedicating a small area for this saves time and allows you to welcome clients into your space. People will no longer judge you for working from home so go for it. Having a room divider as above can hide anything you want to keep private.

5. Time Management

Probably the most important rule is to keep office hours. You’re at home, you’ve saved time to travel and you may be tempted to just work on – this will lead to burnout. Clocking in and out, having regular breaks are essential to staying on top of the home office game.

If you would like help to design your home office contact me below for a free consultation.