Sunday, 17 March 2019

Does my sofa look big in this?

The first design meeting with a client is always exciting and best done in their home over a cup of coffee or a glass of something chilled. How do you think they would feel if I mentioned the desire to see their wardrobe? Probably be a little confused and check that I was an interior and not a fashion designer. But there is a good reason for this and it could just help you with your own interior design projects.

I have a friend who has a wardrobe that is an assault on your vision. It is crammed with colour and pattern with no organisation. She will mix fabrics, colours and patterns that have no right to look good together but on her they work. And her home is the same. If she likes it, she will buy it with no thought as to what she already has and what it will go with. Beds and sofas are strewn with dozens, and I do mean dozens, of cushions and throws. Fabrics sparkle, there is glitz everywhere and it changes from week to week. I love to visit but I couldn't live with it, it's way too chaotic and boho for me, but it's not about me, it's about what she feels happy and comfortable living with.

If you look in my wardrobe you are unlikely to see much colour, it's a sea of neutrals. Despite efforts from friends and family (particularly my mother who regularly sends me 'unsuitable clothing') colour is almost always restricted to accessories. Occasionally I try something bolder but even though I know the colour suits me I don't feel comfortable, it really isn't me. I love 'luxe' fabrics but if I make an investment then an item has to last, I have cashmere jumpers that are at least 15 years old. Most of my quality clothes have been collected over the years from charity shops and EBay (and an indulgent husband at Christmas!). I won't wear velvet in the summer or linen in the winter, just can't do it, and I really don't like manmade fabrics. You will never see me in a Christmas jumper or sequins & glitter.

You won't be surprised to know that my home is the same, a calm unobtrusive space. I swap winter velvet curtains for summer linen and cotton. Fabrics are natural and usually unpatterned, maybe a check or stripe although I do like vintage curtains. Walls are plain to highlight artworks, every accessory has a story or special memory and most of the furniture we’ve had for years. Table linen is seasonal, candles are ivory and unscented. I love layers and texture.

Below is my current winter wardrobe (in temporary accommodation and in desperate need of new hangars) and two previous bedrooms. You see the similarities?

If you want further evidence then have a look at some of our well known interior designers and their interior styles. Two complete opposites - Kelly Hoppen and Trishia Guild. Ms. Hoppen is the queen of neutrals and slick contemporary design whilst Trishia's designs are full of colour, pattern and exuberance. These two images sum up their personal and interior style perfectly. Neither is a better designer than the other, they are just different.

So if you want inspiration for your own interiors, don't turn to Facebook just open your wardrobe!

Feel free to follow our new life in France as we restore our house and barn here

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