Painting a piece of furniture or two can change the entire focus of a room, but how do you know what style to decorate in, and what you need to do to find your own, individual style?
SAY HELLO TO STYLE, FORM & FUNCTION - 3 PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
When creating spaces in our homes, there is a process we are all likely to follow. It goes something like this:
Imagine the space, source what we need, create the space and then evaluate it in terms of it's functionality and if it pleases us aesthetically. Has it achieved what we wanted? Will it do what we need?
ONCE UPON A TIME...
In this sense, styling your space can be likened to a fairytale - your own personal Cinderella story!
"How does that work?" I hear you say, but think about the process - you're going to be just like the fairy Godmother, and your space, just like Cinderella!
The first thing you will do is imagine what you want to create (a beautiful Princess) then look at the things you need to change (Cinderella from a drab mess, into the beautiful Princess). The next step is to source what you need (the pumpkin, mice, glass slippers etc...) Then we get to the fun part where we get to put it all together. The last stage - the ending, is where you get to enjoy the finished product - transformation complete!
Now you and your family get to live happily ever after in your newly styled space.
Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at all the steps in this process one by one - Style, Form & Function, though there is an overlap between all three.
A room that's built just for function, with only practical form and a bare minimum of style will leave you with something that looks like a dentists waiting room. Hardly your fairytale ending!
In this blog, we're going to look at a few of the cornerstones of style, and how you can define your own personal look.
Here are my top five tips:
1. FIND INSPIRATION IN YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Look at what you already have around you - inside and out. Where do you live? Suburban home with garden, inner city townhouse, home with a coastal view, farmhouse in the bush? Just a few examples - but you can see from these that the immediate environment surrounding you will be very different from one to the next. Look out the window, take a walk around your garden/neighbourhood and get a sense of what you see in relation to colours, shapes and textures.
Also, surround yourself with as much inspiration as you can. Head to Pinterest and start saving pictures you love - the ones that leap out at you and catch your attention. Head to the local library and borrow some books on style, and home design or pull out that stash of home magazines and start flipping through the pages.
2. MAKE IT PERSONAL
Your style has to reflect your personality. You need to make it about you and the things you love. There shouldn't be "right and wrong" in style - it just needs to resonate with you. There are some guidelines we can apply when we are styling a space, but we will talk about those more when we look at function and design in our next blog.
Your personal style can be a reflection of the things that have made you unique - find inspiration in places you have lived, or travelled to, what your hobbies are, and the places/things that make you happy.
3. MIX AND MATCH TO MAKE IT WORK
Too "matchy" can make for an uninspired, boring space. Too "mixed" and it risks looking chaotic, and without that all important harmony that makes a room work.
To find a balance, try starting with just two or three elements that you can mix up. For example - a gorgeous old, vintage trunk as a coffee table with the a more modern look sofa you may already have. Different styles - but, if the scale is right, you can certainly make it work, and create a focal point that reflects your individual style. A good example of mixing and matching is using throw cushions - mix up the colour, texture, and size. Just remember to include some element of repetition to ensure it stays harmonious. This is a great budget friendly way to change up your space instantly!
4. GET AN UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR CURRENT SPACE
Take a walk through your room, and through your home. Make a note of the things that you really love about the rooms, and the things that you aren't in love with that you would like to change. For example, you might love the big window in your bedroom, but hate the dark brown bed and bed tables that make the room look dark (a simple fix by the way - you just need to power of Furniture Paint!) Obviously, when you are developing a style for your home/room, you want to build on the things you love, and start minimising the impact of the things you don't.
5. FINDING YOUR STYLE TAKES TIME.
Developing your own personal style takes time. It's fluid thing, and it will change over the months, and years, you live in your home. You may be inspired by different things with the changing of the seasons, or things like the changes in your family life, and the daily routines you have.
I think back to what I considered important in the rooms of our home when we still had very young children. The different types of storage you need, how furnishings need to be multifunctional and highly practical. Now I'm finding I get to indulge my love of vintage and unique bric-a-brac, and have more intricate and styled interior spaces. I don't need to worry now about little heads bumping into sharp corners, or pulling tassels off cushions, or spilling juice on the sofa (most of the time anyway!) This means, my style, choice of furnishings, and accessories has changed and evolved over the past few years. It also means that we use rooms in our home differently now the kids are older, then the way they were used when they were toddlers and pre-schoolers.
SOME MORE PRACTICAL TIPS:
Start collecting and making notes - paint colour chips, fabric swatches, magazine pages etc...
Create a mood board - either a digital one using your Pinterest boards, or the old fashioned way, using cork board, or scrapbook. You will find it much easier to stay on track, and stick to the main design principles if you have a road map of sorts. A mood board is a great starting point.
Take lots of photos. This is a great way of reminding yourself wearer you started on your styling journey, and gives you an opportunity to review the progression, but it also is a way of catalogue those things that you love that give you inspiration - you can even add these photos to your Pinterest boards so you have even thing in the one place.
Don't rush out and purchase anything just yet. I know that shopping is the fun part, but just wait for a while, and think about what you already have. This is where painting can help you. Giving your exisiting pieces of furniture and decor a fresh coat of paint, and maybe a change of colour will let you see them in a whole new light. That daggy, orange pine TV unit you really dislike will look gorgeous, new, and on trend with a coat of paint! You can also use things in rooms that you may not have thought of before, due to the way they look now. Painting them will give them a new lease on life, and possibly will become the all important focal point in your rooms new style!
If you haven't painted furniture before, then we can highly recommend our Beginners Bundle. It includes everything you need and you can get started on your new room makeover as soon as it arrives! Also, we're always here to help if you have any teething problems.
I hope you enjoyed this first part of our series on Style. Next up we will be talking about all things colour!
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