How to make your home truly yours and not a replica of everyone else’s...
It might sound simple, but making your home actually feel like YOUR home can be a bit of a daunting task. Lots of my clients are worried about adding colour or pattern to their home out of fear that it will impact a future buyer's decision and not be the right colour scheme. Or worried they'll get it wrong and so stick with the safe (usually much blander) option!
It doesn't have to be big permanent decorating choices in order to add instant character and personality to your home , to make it feel more like your own space. I always tell my clients to decorate for them , not someone else --- yes, you want to have an air of timelessness to the design so that you don't spend £££ on a kitchen that ticks the current trends and then grow bored of in a year's time, but you also don't want to end up with one big white box (unless that's what you love!!). A new buyer is likely to want to put their own stamp on the place regardless, so you might as well enjoy the space as YOU want to whilst you live there.
This is often the reason lots of my clients reach out for help - it's not that they don't want to inject some personality and character into their space, but more that they're just unsure with where to start or how to bring things together into something beautiful and cohesive.
I thought I'd suggest a couple of ideas below for small changes you can make at home that will instantly make the space feel like more of a reflection of you.
1. BE BOLD -
- yes just do it - the 'oh should I pick the neutral version or the striped version, (oh I'll go neutral just incase I don't love it down the line) when you had actually fallen in love with the stripe' - trust your instinct and the pieces you're drawn to.
And if you're worried about spending money on bolder pieces, choose things like accessories - cushions, rugs, lampshades that are easily changeable. SISTER by Studio Ashby have launched a new range of of gorgeous fabrics I’m currently using for a few room designs, they have a classic feel yet still stand out. Used to reupholster chairs and sofas these would be stunning.
Or have a look at the colourful patterns by Beki Bright used for the fabulous cushion seen here.
Some of my favourite places to shop bold, colourful accessories:
Pentreath & Hall
The Conran Shop
SYS (of course!)
- yes lampshades - you can make a big impact on a space by introducing pattern through things like lampshades - pleated fabric versions (as seen in this image by Paul Massey on the right) or fun, patterned papers with contrasting trims. Easy to move around between spaces too if you want to try them in different rooms.
We make a whole range of handmade paper lampshades in different paper options and bespoke sizes in the shop - perfect if you already have a base- perhaps something vintage that needs updating with a new shade.
Explore our collection HERE
HUM London are a lovely brand who hand paint patterns onto their lampshades for a real personal touch to any room.
3. WOODWORK -
- if you want to add some colour to your walls and doors but don't want to repaint a larger surface area, think about areas like skirting boards, door frames or little alcoves/pantry spaces- somewhere you can add in some colour without it being an entire room.
Colourful, painted ceilings and cornices can also add a really vibrant modern feel like this amazing Copenhagen home featured in House & Garden below.
(Image credits - Elsa Young, below Line T Klein)
-as you know we have our own Art Drops regularly at SYS and feature amazing highly regarded artists and up and coming talent. Art is the easiest and my favourite way to add interest to a room. From one large piece taking up a wall to a gallery feature with many small pieces, it’s instant personality.
5. UNUSUAL FURNITURE/ANTIQUES
- antique and vintage furniture will always help add character to a space. I really like to make sure I'm incorporating some antique pieces into schemes, alongside more modern furniture or patterned fabrics and textiles in order to ground a space and make it feel like it's been lived and loved, rather than just created out of thin air. Antique textiles are also a lovey place to look too- vintage quilts for beds or even wall hangings/ pieces of fabric that you could have framed and hung on your walls. I'm also really enjoying seeing lots of beautiful antique, painted pieces around - there's often BEAUTIFUl (but expensive) pieces to be found in the antiques section of Robert Kime, or head to Tess Newall's Instagram account to be inspired by her latest decorative painting projects.
For more affordable places to look for one-off pieces, try the following:
-Shepton Mallet Antiques, Vintage and Collectors Fair
-Sunbury Antiques Fair - Kempton Park Racecourse
-All the IACF fairs that happen across the country
@sourcedbySYS- I source a select amount of antique and vintage furniture along with artwork through the shop, keep an eye on this instagram page for updates.