After spending so much time at home during the past year, the importance of our interiors has become more evident. We want our home to be a safe place to land - relaxing and nurturing. We also want it to function well, incorporating flexible spaces that allow us to work and connect with others.
Now, more than ever we want our base to reflect who we are. Honing your personal style will help you to edit your current environment so that it feels more like you and rearrange things so that it feels a little fresher and up to date. Thinking about how your storage needs have changed over time and the elements that bring you joy will also help you to reshape things and invest wisely in the future.
We’ve put together some top tips to help get you started, along with insights drawn from some of the talented creatives we have featured here on the journal and our online magazines, beginning with this gem from Taliah Lowry of Byron Beach Abodes. Enjoy!
‘Layered texture brings a depth, a quiet romanticism and a sense of luxury to my interiors. I love using woven textures that have been created and crafted by artisans from all over the world. Their centuries-old cultures often represent the uniqueness of the skills of individual villages and have been crafted the same way, using the same techniques, for generations. They’re not mass-produced in a factory. To me, this is what makes it special. It not only adds to the feeling and the story of a space but often helps carry a trade or craft into the next generation. Nothing is more luxurious than that!’
-Taliah Lowry, Byron Beach Abodes
It’s inevitable that our homes begin to fill with belongings over time. Going through each room and removing all decorative pieces will begin a process of determining what you most appreciate and what might be better off in a different spot, or perhaps gifted on to someone else who will really value it.
After you have removed the items from the room, give it a good clean. From there, place only the items that hold meaning to you back in the space, including the items that work particularly well there. You might like to then add a few new objects or greenery to inject some new vitality.
‘When you have respect for a piece and connect to its story, it brings a deeper appreciation to a craft and it often then holds a personal significance. I love and invest energy into trying to curate decorative objects so that a client can proudly take their friends through their space and share the story of how it came to be.’
-Mel Gubbin, Avenue Twenty Two
How have your storage needs changed? What spots in your home are filling up with clutter because the items that end up there don’t have a defined home?
Take a walk through your space and think about how adapting your available storage options will help to create a greater sense of calm and order. You might like to change the contents of your cabinetry, add some shelving or integrate some storage baskets to denominate a home for those items you would like in easy reach.
‘We quite often use baskets as an alternative storage solution to drawers or cupboards. We often like to leave an open shelf in a joinery piece where we can then add a basket for storage. This creates a more relaxed feel to a space and also gives a less permanent storage option that can be removed and moved around. We especially love natural baskets as they help to ground a palette and give a handmade quality to a space.'
-Georgie Shepherd, Georgie Shepherd Interior Designer
Once you have worked with what you have, it's worth considering the key pieces you select for your home. These items go a long way to reflecting your personal style preferences and their placement can determine how you share your space with others.
We are talking about your couch, floor rugs, dining settings and occasional chairs. The style of your couch will set the tone for the space. As will floor rugs and runners, which help to delineate an area, layer texture and warmth and reflect your personal style. A quality natural floor rug will keep things relaxed and grounded, adding a timeless note.
‘We are totally obsessed with sourcing. It's one of our favourite things to do… We can spend hours just searching and searching online or in shops looking at everything until we spot the right things… Our choices are always VERY well thought out. We never buy or collect something without a lot of consideration and we look at all the options first before we go ahead.’
-Ebonie Bohlin, Maison de Base
Once you have decluttered, adding a new statement piece to a room will help bring it into the here and now. Think about the items that bring personality and drama, such as artwork, textiles, wall hangings and pendant lighting.
Over the years, many of the creatives we have worked with recommend choosing one statement piece per room. It is amazing how well a pendant light strung over a dining table or a wall hanging above the bed head can transform things. If your style is a little more expressive and full-bodied, combine one or two to really express yourself and tell a story!
‘There is always one hero piece in a space… The hero piece is there to capture attention, but it is also there to guide our guests through the space. So we always start with our hero piece! If I think about our Soul Barn, the antique doors are the hero of the space, the eye goes straight to them. I used The Dharma Door Mandala to follow the eye further through the space.’
-Simone Mathews, founder of Soul of Gerringong
Repeat this process whenever you feel like things are getting a little tired. Or you might opt to revive your home again as the seasons change.
As cooler months approach, add layers of texture and warmth with extra cushions, throws and natural floor coverings. Bring some cuttings from your garden inside to reflect what is happening outside in your natural environment. This helps to celebrate the change taking place.
As summer arrives, you might like to filter your space again, creating that feeling of space and airiness that is always appreciated on those warm days. Add some fresh plants or table decoration to an outdoor space for the extra entertaining you are likely to do during this time and celebrate more tropical plant vibes inside with potted plants and vignettes in key spaces.
‘I tend to get bored of things quite quickly so I’m always moving things around the home! Changing an artwork from the bedroom to the dining room makes it look like a completely new piece.’
-Agathe Touguet, AMA Studio Interiors
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