I’m always asked about Trends, and to be honest, I don’t think they have a lot to do with decorating your house.
Here are 5 ways to enjoy your home more this year and they have nothing to do with trends.
We’ve lived with beige and greige a good 10 years now. And yes, it’s a safe, tasteful and pleasant way to decorate. We all like a clean, serene environments, but (yawn) aren’t we getting a little tired of them?
It’s time to inject some colour! No need to replace the big items - large furniture, large rugs and walls. I’m talking pillows, accessories, dishes, draperies, small carpets, a bit of wallpaper… A few injections of intense colour is exciting and makes us happy. Remember getting a fresh box of crayons as a kid? It’s time to get a bit of that instinctive feeling of “I love it!” back into our homes. Colour is one of the easiest ways to do that. Big impact, and a great excuse to treat yourself to something new .
2. PERSONALIZING YOUR INTERIORS WITH CHARACTER (NOT TRENDS)
If I wrote here that purple was in (which it was last year!), would you repaint your dining room purple? I don’t think so…
Trends are lots of fun to read and play with in bits and pieces but they don’t really mean much at the end of the day. It just doesn’t make sense that some ‘trend forecaster’ should decide what you will paint your walls (when you finally get around to doing them this year!).
I encourage everyone to look to their own unique character rather than a trend list when you decorate your home. You may not think you’re particularly unique, but you are! We all have ‘favourites’. Favourite colours; favourite motifs - think dragon flies, apple blossoms, birds; Favourite interests - think music, knitting, cooking, gardening, photography. All of these things create your character and should be obvious in your home. These are the things that will make you happy when you’re home because you’ll be surrounded by the things you’re drawn to in life.
No designer or ‘in list’ can give you personal character or tell you what yours is. They can help you to express it if you know what it is, but be sure you show through in any design you plan to live in, or I guarantee it won’t give you joy in the long run.
3. SOULFUL INTERIORS (IT AIN’T ABOUT THE MONEY, HONEY)
And isn’t that a good thing to hear? Quite simply, the best interiors have soul and it isn’t something you can buy. We’ve come a long way in the world of decorating. Everything is at a wonderful level of taste and availability, but to create a really great home, we can’t just go shopping, or try to find something that looks like a magazine picture. We have to make those rooms connect to ourselves and our own journey.
Ways to do that are through personal collections, family photographs, references to our heritage or geography, pieces from our family’s past. Those personal connections give a home its soul and regardless of the style - modern or traditional - or cost, they take it to a higher level.
We’ve all walked into homes that seem to lack a soul. They may be beautiful, expensive, but it just feels like no-one’s home. Giving your home its soul is one of the most enjoyable parts of decorating. We all know the feeling when we hit it - it’s a warm and fuzzy that’s inexplicable. Enjoy it!
4. FEEL THE COMFORT OR FORGET IT!
I don’t have to say much here other than, rooms that look good but aren’t comfortable, suck. Sorry - I couldn’t resist. We all know it’s true! And there’s no need to live with discomfort when there are such great options out there. What we have to do is learn to shop for comfort, not just aesthetics. If you want a reclining chair in your living room - keep looking till you find one! LIfe’s too short not to have it. If you want to be able to read in every room of your house, find a way to put reading lamps in strategic spots.
Once we start to enjoy our homes for their comfort, they really begin to work for us, rather than making us work for them. Don’t just use your eyes when shopping, use your hands, use your butt, and use your mind to think about how you want your home to function, not just look.
5. CONSCIENCE - USE IT BEFORE YOU BUY
The fact is, the issues we have with the environment are here to stay. How could we shop without thinking about them?
The good news is that so many products today are incorporating great ideas and technology into their manufacturing, we all just need to support them and look for them in every choice we make. Why wouldn’t we? It just makes common sense.
Read the fine print, ask questions, do your research and look for options. They’re out there and at no sacrifice to style. In fact, I’m finding that often the greener items seem to have a higher sense of style. The two often go hand in hand, which is great news. We all know the power of the consumer. Use your power for a better world.
By the way, these are the notes I wrote up for my talk with Marilyn Denis on ChumFM last week. If you missed the interview, click here for the audio link.