Styling your home with intention is a key part of becoming an interior stylist. Come join my Part Three of my Free Online ‘Interior Styling For Beginners’ course. In this post, I’m sharing tips and tricks for styling your home with intention so that you can create a space you’ll love.
If you have been join in on my course, so far you would have learned how to choose the perfect colour pallet and how to create a mood board for each and every room. Now we are focusing on styling your home with intention.
STYLING YOUR HOME WITH INTENTION
It’s easy to be tempted to rush to finish decorating project buy buying things like sofas or furniture just to get the job done (even I have been guilty of that). The problem with rushed purchases is as quickly as we fall in love with them, we just as quickly grow to hate them.
Instead, take your time, enjoy the experience and fill your home slowly with things you love and, most importantly, need. From what you hang on your walls, to the furniture you buy, to the scatter cushions on your sofa- they are all part of an interior stylist’s tool kit to bring colour and pattern into you home to create a considered look.
And this is what styling your home with intention is all about – small considered decisions. Love and care will create a space that you will retreat to time and time again.
Look At Your Home Through The Eyes Of An Interior Stylist
Before you start transforming a space, view your home from all angles. Stop and notice what you see when you enter your home, stand in corners, turn lights on and off, open and shut the doors. Get to know your home inside out, and discover what looks great, and what doesn’t work for your home.
When you come to styling your home, try visualising your interior as a film set where objects, like your art and furniture are not static and can be freely moved around your home to make way for new pieces or reflect a shift in your interior style. Nothing is static.
As you play with things around you home, you’ll start to reclaim the space, find out new ways to make the areas work better for you – and free up your home.
‘Take time out to absorb what is it you love and what makes you feel disconnected from in your home. Breaking down your home into areas, will help you move forward when styling your home’
When I walk into a magazine set, I make lots of small decisions on how to arrange the furniture, how to display art and how to fill the space with colour. Take a look at this short film from my cover shoot with Good Homes which will give you a good idea of what I do on a shoot. This is what I want you to try out in your own home!
Seek Interior Inspiration Everywhere, And I Mean Everywhere
When looking for interior inspiration, don’t feel confined to instagram, magazines or Pinterest. Although a great resource, they can be an echo-chamber of ideas and be very much based on fast-fashion which doesn’t always work for everyone.
Go out into the world and discover spaces that inspire you. That can be a dusty old library, to a modern art gallery, to a historic house, to a wild flower field.
Take photos of furniture you like, make notes on that gallery wall you instantly was drawn to, remember what it was like to sit in that sofa in the hotel lobby. All these scraps of ideas will help you build a home that looks and feels like you.
Only Display What You Love In Your Home
Keep only what you love is essential styling a home with intention. Never underestimate how clutter can impact how your feel about your home. Clutter can you’re your anxious and stressed out. Drawers bulging with paperwork, messy kitchen cupboard overflowing with out-of-date food, disorganised wardrobes, can make us feel that our home is getting the better of us.
‘If you don’t love it, send it back out into the universe. Give it to a loving home – and make space in your life for things that fit perfectly into you’re here and now.’
Bring order to your space, and reclaim your home making it for purpose. Open shelving will look amazing in the kitchen, but do you have the time to keep them clean and tidy all the time? Do you have a drawer (or two) bulging with unopened letters? Is your home office pin board overflowing with piles of paperwork?
Storage is the ones thing that will need to constantly change in your homes to suit your needs. Look for second hand-shelving and cabinetry which will make your space work harder. When you have young children, you’ll need lots of baskets to stash toys in, when they grow up you’ll need more drawer space. If you work from home, you’ll want somewhere to tuck your paperwork out of sight – but if you go back to a 9-5 job, you’ll need more room to store your work clothes.
Buying from second hand or junk shops is an affordable way to update your home. And is inexpensive to replace when the time comes.
Allow Your Home Style To Change and Evolve
The rooms in your home should be forever evolving to reflect your mood, the seasons, your changing family. Try not to decorate a whole house or room in one single day, instead take your time over it, sourcing the exactly right items for the space.
On a personal note, my home has had many transformations. When I first started, I had no money – so I filled my home with things I found in skips (read about that here). Then as I saved up, I started to make small changes in corners of my home – buying an ottoman bed for my guest room when I decided I needed more accessible storage space. Or when I found this desk on GumTree for my living room. My next investment purchase is a new sofa for my living room.
‘Your home is not a showroom. A mixt of furniture from all eras and shops is being true to what you love, especially when you draw together items of a similar colour or shape.’
And remember not everything in your home needs to fulfil its intended use. Chairs can double up as bedside tables, floors used as place to display art or piles of books and magazines, hang decorations of cupboard handles. Start looking at items out of their usual context and decide how you can use them differently in your own home to add personality to your space.
Treasure Your Home’s Imperfections
Celebrate the imperfections in both you belongings and in your home. You will find styling your home will bring a level of authenticity into your interiors. Slightly rusty hooks, old jam jars filled with wild flowers, a well-thumbed book, worn wooden table – all have a timeless appeal that will long outlast any interior trends. Abandon precise and measured arrangements in favour of a collection of salvaged finds.
‘Don’t fret about imperfections – it is these little marks that make this decoration uniquely yours.’
Aging imprints a beautiful patina onto even onto the most man-made of objects. Sun bleached paper, rusty metal picture frames, moss covered terracotta pots, weather worn woods all add a character your home. If something it too shiny and new for your homestyle, why not leave it in the garden for a week or two and let nature work its’ magic.
Fill Your Walls With Personality
Rethink your notion of wall art – it’s not just prints and pictures that can adorn your walls. You can hang up a rug for instant texture and pattern to your walls. A woven seagrass matt from India or a rug from Marrakesh will tell of your travels abroad. It seems a shame to hide pretty vintage dresses – or a finely printed kimono – inside a wardrobe.
We all have pieces of clothing that tell a story so display your beloved garments for all to see. A length of patterned wallpaper washi taped to the wall will make a pretty backdrop to your belongs.
Note cards with a sentimental scribble, or a post card with a quote on it – when tucked into the frame of a mirror makes and unexpected alternative to the usual photos memorabilia. Incorporating a quote or the words of our favourite poem or song into your interior instantly personalises the space. Using words as decoration allows you to introduce a true sense of self to your interiors.
Look twice at everything in your home. As no matter how inexpensive or ordinary these items maybe there is an innate beauty in everything – as long as it is displayed with love.
Shop For The Big Purchases Carefully
When you are ready to make those big investment purchases, it’s important you don’t make a mistake. Start by writing a list of the things you desire and record the measurements of your home in a notebook – even try sketching out a floor plan. Carry this when you are out and about. This will take the pressure of looking for objects on specific days and leaves you open to suggestions when you stumble across items on your travels.
‘Years of experience has taught me, that shopping for the perfect items never works – and the perfect item often turns up in the most unexpected places. I found my linen cupboard in a junk shop in Brighton one rainy Tuesday. It’s the exact fit for the space I needed. I could never have planned that.’
Do you feel ready to start styling your home with intention?
Styling your home is all about reflecting your true home style, about creating space in your home, about buying things you love and need, and then filling your walls with treasures and memories. If you follow these very simple rules, you’ll have a home you’ll love.
I’d love you to start by styling one corner of your home that has been bothering you. Either a messy drawer, an untidy shelf or a rearrange. Be brave – share your photo on your socials channels, and share on your Instagram – and don’t forget to tag me at @welovehome so I can see your hard work.