We live in such a visual world, and how it has changed since Shakespeare or Byron’s days when your command of the English language as a wordsmith garnered more respect or success than any image could conjure.
Naturally things change and move on. We live in the digital age, and the proliferation of design led sites, such as Pinterest and the plethora of design blogs like Apartment Therapy and Décor8 are demonstrating that everyone is dabbling in design.
As an interior designer, the last and often the most enjoyable part of a project is seeing it come alive after the final installation and styling. What amazes me more however is when I visit the same clients again, even years later, and nothing has been changed or moved. When I asked a client once about this (as you can if you develop a strong relationship with your client), she blinked and looked surprised that I even had asked. She answered that she loved how we had styled it, and that she was worried that if she moved items around they wouldn’t look as good.
Reese Witherspoon getting it right, Elle Decor Septebmer 2012
That response has stuck with me. When you buy glossy home and design magazines, all the beautiful room shots – and they are beautiful – are propped with perfect art books and artfully placed accents. To the trained eye, it’s so obvious that they are homes that have been styled by someone else other than their occupants. This was the preserve of the rich and famous, but now it seems we are all at it. Millions all over the world are now “amateur stylists”, scrupulously attending to and documenting, as never before, the details and meanings of the design and decoration of their homes, their clothes, appliances, hobbies and more. Frankly, I’m all for living and dressing better and if this is the means with which to do it then so be it. I always say that it takes as much energy to dress badly as it does to dress well, and the same can be applied to home decoration. That being said, it’s important to approach with balance. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’s on the next Pinterest board, as what you see is usually only a beautiful snapshot of a fraction of their life.
You can create a beautiful home and a stylised way of life without too much fuss. It’s important to use the space to promote your interests and lifestyle preferences, not to be hampered by them. A wonderfully smelling candle placed on a console table creates warmth and atmosphere (and we just love the ‘Lulu in Provence’ candle by Jonathan Ward that we have currently showcased), or a blanket thrown over the edge of a sofa looks casual, chic and stylish. You can use cashmere blankets, linen sheets for a beachy look, or think outside the box and use an oversized pashmina which looks just as good on your designer sofa as it does on a little black dress.