After Christopher purchased his first home - a brand-new 136m2 3 bedroom Fletcher Living Home in Awatea Green Development in Christchurch, he needed a whole lot of help. He didn’t own any furniture or décor. He knew he had a blank canvas – but he had no idea how to paint!
Adding your own personal style into a home is no small task. It requires creativity and calculated planning. In light of that, here is some advice to help you discover your interior style and express that within your home.
Think strategically about how you want to live.
Your furniture layout will impact the way you use your space. Planning the layout shouldn’t be about making furniture fit, but using furniture to fit the way you want to live.
Before we started choosing furniture, Chris and I went through his brand-new home and talked about the way he wanted to use the space. For me, this is the most important part of the design process, creating a space that Chris loves to live in, not just look at!
This was important within Chris’s dining space. There was plenty of space to fit a large 2m table and seating for 8-10 people. But the question I asked him was “How many people would you have around for dinner” - his response was 6 people maximum. So we went for a more affordable 1.8m table with 6 dining chairs.
Work with what you have.
Christopher’s house has a neutral colour scheme. He liked the design of the Fletcher Living Home, the colours, textures and materials, so styling his home wasn’t about changing the house - but emphasising the design.
I ordered A4 sample sheets of all the colours within the house, so as I selected colours to add, I knew they would complement the overall colour scheme. I added warms greens, orange tones and the small pops of mustard as they worked well with the grey of the walls, kitchen cabinetry and carpet.
I selected black roller blinds in the bedroom, predominantly black furniture and painted a black wall feature in the kitchen to complement the dark colouring of the windows and front door. The white brick wallpaper feature was to emphasis the white exterior and the white tiles in the bathroom and kitchen.
Decide on your style.
Chris has interior style – even though he has never furnished a house before.
Without realizing it, we are all making design decisions every day, as we select what clothes we will wear or the font we use in our emails– this is bent toward what we visually like. I’ve been shoe shopping with Chris, so I know style is incredibly important to him, we just needed to find a way to translate that into his new home.
The first step was selecting a style we could design within. After some Pinterest research, Chris decided he liked industrial style, which meant our design decisions were more focused. When it came to selecting a wallpaper, we decided on a brick or concrete look to suit the industrial style. Rather than browsing through every wallpaper option from florals to geometric patterns, we looked through the few ranges that had that look. It saved us time and gave us a clear direction.
Don’t under-estimate the importance of the shopping.
Creating your own interior style isn’t something you can achieve by blindly going into a homeware store and picking a few things you like. Though some may not believe me – there is skill to shopping.
Most of my shopping is done online. When you are in a store surrounded by so many pretty things, it is easy to purchase items without thinking about where they will go and how they will suit the rest of your décor.
If I’m looking for a certain product, like a round coffee table, I will spend time online first to find out what stores stock the style I’m after in my price range. You would be surprised how many items you can miss just viewing in-store, as some stores can’t physically fit their full range within their floor space! Online shopping saves me time, give me access to more stores and their products and also helps me manage my budget!
Be bold, be brave.
Without fail, every single interior design decision I have made that has been striking, memorable or magazine worthy has always been made out of fear and doubt! As a feature wall is going up or a purchase has been made, I am thinking “Am I crazy?”, “This will look terrible!” “Am I going to ruin the house?”. Creativity means you are doing something different, and doing something different isn’t easy.
My advice for being brave as you design, trust your gut and push past the doubt!
This blog series is sponsored by Fletcher Living. With over 100 years’ experience in the residential market, Fletcher Living have learnt how Kiwis love to live. That experience is integral in the design and construction of their homes. Packed full of quality features and modern appliances, their stylish, low-maintenance homes are finished and ready now – to discover more for yourself, check out their website.