Design of the Times – Finding Your Inner Interior Designer

Life is funny. One day you’re completely carefree, 7 years old and hanging upside down at the playground with your friends. Before you know it, you’re 20 and think you have your whole future figured out. Then, out of nowhere, BOOM – you’re a full-fledged adult with all the responsibilities in the world. We don’t even realize it until we look back and see how quickly the days went by. Looking back, there are so many boxes we can check that say ‘Yep! I should have known my carefree days are over!’ One of those checked boxes is the never-ending desire to make our homes look exactly the way we want it to look. From our stockpile of interior design magazines to binge watching the amazing HGTV reno shows (shout out to Newfoundland’s own Rock Solid Builds!), and mainly through our own personality and creativity, we create an idea of how we want our home to look. There are many different angles to this, and therefore the big picture can sometimes feel overwhelming. We want our interior to look amazing and wow everyone that walks though the door, but many of us also want the ‘kick your feet up on the couch after work’ level of comfort, but not at the expense of design. We ask for it all, and we can get it! There are a few tricks to really help homeowners find the style they want in their home.

Own It! Have confidence in the designs and styles that you love and build on that. Your interior is just an extension of your creativity. Styling your home is an opportunity to express yourself artistically with looks that you love and live amongst those choices! At first glance, this can seem like a no brainer, but for many, it is not. We put so much pressure on ourselves and that’s when the doubt sets in. I’m here to tell you if you love a certain look, and you find yourself wanting to incorporate it into your space, just go with it. You love it for a reason… because it’s you! If you need help from a professional, go for it! Interior designers are well trained in helping homeowners bring their ideas to life.

Matching

We are all guilty of this. When you pop into HomeSense and see an amazing throw blanket that has the exact pattern as your accent pillows, your first thought is “Oh! That matches my pillows!” If that enters your head, it’s time to switch gears! Matching all the décor in your home creates a monotonous and unvaried vibe that you will surely shut the door on sooner than later. When styling a room or whole house, you need to create flow. Everything needs to look great together but have its own story as well. Variation is beautiful. To create flow, make sure everything is complimentary, your overall theme is always the foundation of your creativity, and always have fun! Don’t take your decisions so seriously and it will be sure to pay off.

Layering

When you’re in the reno mode, it is difficult to not go all in and purchase everything you need at that moment. Patience is an integral part of reaching your home design goal. By setting up your room one layer at a time, you have the opportunity to see your room’s progress one step at a time. This way you can set up, step back, and gauge how the room is coming together. You can add new inspo, remove anything that has come to light throughout the process that you don’t love, and tweak where you are headed.

Don’t Overpower

When you are renovating a space, or even building a new home, it’s an exciting time. There is difficulty in not putting all your favorites into one space. It is easy to overpower a room by filling it. Although you may have a folder on your computer of links and pictures to make your kitchen dreams come true, it’s important to remember that a certain level of simplicity, whatever that is to you, is always positive. If your room is overpowered, when you walk in that room, your mind will be overwhelmed. Stand back and look in from someone else’s perspective. This is the biggest piece of advice that I give to my design clients. Throughout the reno or new build process, take a step back from time to time and look from the outside in at what you are creating. When you’re in the trenches checking each must-have off your list, it’s easy to get lost in that process and end up with a room that is busy, cluttered and not what you wanted. Take time to see the big picture.

Focal Point

A focal point is an area in a room that the eye will wander to first. Creating it, or making one that is already there stand out, is a game changer. Once a focal point has been established, you can use that as your starting point and branch out from there to compliment it. It’s the best starting point for furniture arrangement, décor and accessory layout, and most importantly the theme and inspiration behind your design. A focal point can be something that is already in the room – a fireplace, a large window with a great view, or a stripped-down original wall to name a few. A focal point can also be created. Keep in mind it is something to subtly grab all the attention when you first walk into a room. For the creation of a focal point when one doesn’t already exist, you have endless possibilities. An amazing piece of art that is large enough to grab a visitor’s attention, a framed picture collage (pictures of greenery look amazing and add a touch of that bohemian feel to any space), a near-ceiling to floor curtain arrangement carried by a statement rod and hardware, a large piece of furniture that has enough character to create a conversation and get lots of questions, or even a wall itself. With colour, design, texture, or any combination of those, any wall can become a statement piece in a home. From wallpaper, to shiplap, from wainscotting, to board and batten, the possibilities are endless. 

The best part of redesigning, updating, or newly creating a room, is making it your own. Once you have all the design stuff figured out, use that layering concept we talked about earlier. What can you add to this glorious space to give it a jolt of character and make it your own? Not just character for passers by, but some items that you truly love, and it will bring you joy to see it out in the open every day. Maybe it’s a few pieces of your children’s artwork framed and hung proudly, or your grandmother’s homemade throw blanket to curl up in and read a book at night. Maybe it’s a sketch of your dog, your favorite essential oils and diffuser, or that pile of books you always want nearby. Whatever those items are, don’t stash them away in exchange for your new look. Remember, it’s home, and as amazing as it can look, it needs to carry the comforts that come along with its name. 

If you’d like to see more ideas about living rooms or dive into other areas in the home, add a comment on our Instagram. I’m always here to help! …and don’t forget to follow us more design inspo, @trim_designnl

by Megan Callahan