Zoe Brewer, creative director and owner, My Interior Stylist shares her top tips on how to decorate your home yourself:
Decorating a property whether a re-design or a new home can be a daunting prospect. The hardest part with any design scheme is starting out. Often clients believe they have no idea about what style they like or what will work for them. At the other extreme some people, including me, have so many ideas, the question is which to use and which do you really love, rather than flash in the pan trends. Both scenarios are equally confusing.
So here's my top tip to starting out on your own design journey, whether you're planning to hire a designer or doing the work yourself - the key is to get inside your head and find out what you really like.
You need to look for inspiration all around you because you never know what might be the starting point for you. It could be a cushion, fabric or wallpaper or equally a butterfly, flower, holiday, anything you see while about and about. So how can you find out what you really like?
A couple of years ago, I'd go about this by asking clients to flick through magazines and catalogues collecting images - even little objects that inspired them. There are downsides to this method. Firstly, buying loads of magazines is expensive plus it's quite time consuming and limiting in terms of the images you'll find. Even if you have travel, food and style magazines, as well as interiors, they can only show you so much and it's normally by default the ‘on trend' look of the moment.
Thankfully, there is now a much more effective method I recommend for collecting ideas and it's called Pinterest. I've been absolutely in love with Pinterest since joining a couple of years ago and now cannot imagine how I ran my business or indeed my life without it! Pinterest allows you to create ‘boards' to which you ‘pin' images either found from the vast Pinterest community or from any other source of your own.
To start out, create a board for your room and then pin images that you love to the board. It doesn't need to all be about sofas and lampshades, you can search and source ideas via colour, textures, fashion, food - whatever triggers a good emotion initially. If you can do this with an open mind, you may be surprised at the results. You will start to find that certain colours or ideas become prominent and soon a theme will emerge when you see all the pins together and tada... you'll have the beginnings of a fabulous scheme.
You can create different boards for each room or set of ideas. If you're designing a room as a couple, you can share boards, which is a good way to see both of your ideas together in one place. As a designer, I often use the ‘secret boards' while in the planning stages of an idea. Pinterest also has an app for your iPad and iPhone, enabling you to pin whenever or where ever you have a spare moment or an idea pops into your head.
To show you how well this works, take a look at my starting point board for a recent design project for eight apartments.
The image at the top of the article is one of my completed living rooms.
Plus to see more of how Pinterest works, you can follow me here.
Zoe Brewer is part of Pinterest's UK Pin It Forward (#PintItForward) campaign. Recently, 300 bloggers from the UK shared boards and stories about what inspires them and how Pinterest is a part of their personal passions and also recommended their own favourite pinners.