Our lives are constantly evolving, as a human race we are evolving... and so should the Interior we live in!
Many people move into their home and decorate only once. They buy all furniture from one location, decorate within a weekend or holiday break, and then it stays the same for 10 years plus! I am so against this - although I completely understand the challenges people face with finding the time and energy, as it is hard work - especially when you have a full-time job and are looking after a family! Most of the time we just want to get it out of the way in one go.
However, with this approach you can end up with an interior that lacks character; often due to an admittedly time-saving over-reliance on a small number of high street stores!
An interior should evolve over time, just like we do. I believe items should be sourced carefully and have some connection to you as the owner. Your home should tell a story of your life and the experiences you have had. This generally is not possible to do if you buy all your furniture, artwork and accessories in one shopping trip to Ikea! Whether it be a vase bought from a flea market on a trip to London, a second-hand up-cycled piece of furniture which was passed down from your parents or an ornament that symbolises something you are passionate about, your interior should reflect parts of who you are. By choosing products that represent you, your interior comes alive and is so much more interesting to live in.
It has taken me a year to get my living room and kitchen to the point it is at right now, having added each piece gradually and seen it evolve over time. Only recently, I bought a set of dining chairs and up until then, all of my dining chairs were odd and second-hand! It doesn't matter if it takes you one year or three years, it is best not buying irrelevant items just for the sake of it. These chairs for example were bought ex-display from Next at just £50 each and they were just what I was looking for.
The dining table in the photo is second-hand from my parents' house - it is about 20 years old! We had a disaster moment a week after my poor Dad had spent two hours re-staining the table for us. It involved soaking wet white washing. I'm sure you can imagine what happened. The result = brown stained washing and a water marked dining table. Rob wasn't in my good books for about a week after that! Pfffttt. Boys will be boys hey.
The rug was bought from Egypt for the equivalent of £20. What a bargain! I love the colours in it; they make the room so much more bright and fun. Our kitchen units are a grey wood effect mixed with white, so a burst of colour was necessary to avoid the room looking cold and uninviting.
Colour is so important in an Interior. People are often scared to introduce bright colours into an interior design scheme, with the fear that they will get it wrong, or get bored with it after a while. Be bold and be daring! If you experiment with colour in the accessories to start off then it won't be so much of a costly mistake if you get it wrong!
Another important factor in accessorising a room is the artwork you choose. I struggled to find artwork at first because I couldn't find anything I liked, but then one day I had a eureka moment and now my walls are covered in pictures and artwork that I love! I urge you not to give in and buy a generic canvas just because that is all you can find in all of the run of the mill shops out there.
The image above tells a thousand words. Every item has a story behind it and to give you a brief summary, the round chess piece like table was bought in a warehouse clearance for £70 from an Interior Designer that I did some work experience for (it should have been about £180 from John Lewis (Content By Conran)). The copper globe represents our love for travel and my love of copper accessories! This was bought from Notonthehighstreet.com. I am obsessed with this online shop as it has gorgeous personal and unique products for your home. The sofa is from Stocktons and is sooo comfortable- it is called the Alexis by Ashley Manor (A UK Manufacturer).
The wooden drift wood was found on the beach in Malaysia, the Country where I was born. Malaysia has a very warm place in my heart because the culture is so different there; family and friends are valued much more than materialistic items. The pine cone in the glass jar was given as a gift by Rob's little niece Lola after a day out at Formby Pinewoods!
The artwork is a mixture of home-made, printed off the internet and bought in a store. The top square one is from Next, which has a metallic effect with an enchanting, layered silhouette of a natural landscape in front. The feathers picture was found on Pinterest ; I literally printed it off a website and placed it in a simple £5 Matalan frame. Lastly, the bottom image was home-made on Microsoft Word! It is a mixture of sentimental dates that are relevant to our life - dates of birth, the day we got together and the day we got the keys to our house! The combination of the three pieces looks really effective and they complement each other nicely at a next to nothing price.
I love this image - the curtains look amazing! These are my Great Auntie Doreen's sheer curtains that have been passed down the family to the third generation (me!). My mum altered these beauties to suit my window and she changed the top to a pleated design. My mum also upholstered the footstool which is the same age as me! Yes 27. Why buy a whole new piece of furniture when you can rejuvenate something old? It costs much less, is better for the environment and often gives the room a vintage flavour.
My armchair is from made.com - The Kubrick is a modern take on a classic wing chair. It looks fabulous but it does also come in handy for the older members of the family to sit in due to the ease of getting back up! My tiler did refer to it as the granny chair when he was doing my flooring haha. Cheeky!
The copper fish ornament is from Tkmaxx for £15. It has a gentle nod to authentic Asian design, which I do love. I found out the other week that this pretty ornament is actually multi-functional - acting as a microphone as I caught one of our nephews shouting into its mouth!
"I'M TALKING INTO THE FISH'S MOUTH! I'M TALKING INTO THE FISH'S MOUTH! I'M TALKING INTO THE FISH'S MOUTH!!!"
You do learn something new everyday.
Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog.
To conclude... let your interior evolve with you. Your home is never complete!
A big thank you to Stephanie Elsa Photography for taking all of the photos for me and for her creative input on the day of the photo shoot. This was an experimental shoot to see what we could come up with and the results were brilliant!
I highly recommend checking out her Facebook page here : Stephanie Elsa Photography