When I ask new home builders what their favourite interior design style is, they will often say “I like a beachy, casual look that’s comfortable” or “I like interiors to look luxe, with opulent colours and textures.”
But when people try to drill down further, they can find it difficult to explain exactly how that would look in their new home.
That’s because finding your own style is a process – it involves spending time online and at your favourite stores researching what’s available and how and if it will work in your own home and creating a design ‘picture’ for your individual space. It takes time – which is why I always advise homeowners to start the design planning process early.
So how do you go about it? Well the good news is that it’s a fun process. Go shopping with your mobile phone and online (without your credit card!), visit display homes, read design magazines and find things you love. Gather as much information as you can about individual pieces – size, price, available fabrics and colours and start collating the information with the images. You can use a scrapbook, an interior design app or a Pinterest board – basically you’re compiling a bunch of images of design items that appeal to you.
Then you can ‘build’ rooms with your selected items – see what a sofa looks like with the occasional chairs, cushions and rugs you like. As you move through the process, you’ll begin to see what works and what doesn’t and what you should be left with is an overview of the type of aesthetic you want in your home. You’ll start to see patterns in colours, textures and furniture styles and this will ultimately become your personal design style. This process works the same for working out what you want the exterior of your house to look like as well.
Once you’ve hit on your style, formalise it by creating a design brief – a document that mixes words and images about your interior design style that you can later refer back to. It’s well worth creating this document – as it will make your purchasing decisions so much easier and minimise the risk of your home looking like a hastily thrown together dogs breakfast!
While it may not be possible financially to include every piece of furniture or design item straight away, at least now you have a style direction and you can wait for sales or when you get that bonus at work to purchase the items that fit with your brief. Or you may find that some items are out of stock – don’t be tempted to purchase something else in a rush to fill your home – stick with your brief and be patient with the process.