Take a look around your home. Is it beige or brave? Does it look as coordinated and as stunning as this 3D room?
Or do you long for a bedroom with a splash of colourful zebra-funk, like this?
Whether you just have the first formations of a decorating idea or know exactly what you want – in your head, in 3D like long-standing mydeco member milyca8 and newbie sahfs, or with a torn page from a magazine taunting you on your fridge – it’s sometimes hard to be brave enough to take the plunge and get that look for real.
This is where the new-look mydeco.com comes into effect: we’re launching a sleek website full of hand-picked, gorgeous homeware curated from a select group of retailers and designer-makers so you can achieve your dreams – be it a luxurious candle holder you’ve got your eye on, or a whole room newly decorated and transformed. But where do you start? I spoke to Julia Kendell, renowned interior designer and TV presenter, who is also supporting isme’s campaign to make your house more ‘you’, to get her expert advice:
In fashion, we’re told to be individual, embrace your wild side, be bold and colourful… But many homeowners and renters have told mydeco.com their homes just don’t reflect their personality. Why do you think this is?
We have spent so many years afraid to decorate our homes in anything other than the ubiquitous ‘property developer’ palette of magnolia, that we now find it very difficult to see our homes as a reflection of ourselves.
I also believe that women lose a sense of their personalities within their homes after spending years creating an environment that is appropriate for a growing family. Once the children begin to leave home there is an opportunity to reclaim both your physical and emotional space, but it is taking that first step and breaking away from old decorating habits that seems most daunting.
What are some easy first steps to take to inject personality into the home?
Your home should be an inspiring place, filled with memory-triggers and reminders of adventures and happy times. Choose furnishings and a colour palette that excites you and ornaments that mean something to you or encourage you to fulfil ambitions, such as a map of places you wish to travel to.
What if you want to decorate more, but lack the inspiration?
It’s very difficult to be objective about a space you have lived with for a long time. People become accustomed to their surroundings so can find it tricky to visualise a whole new look. It often helps to remove as much of the original decor as possible (pictures, curtains etc) and cover the remaining furniture with white sheets to provide a ‘blank canvas’ from which to consider new options.
And for those who have an idea but don’t trust their judgement?
Collect together images of inspiring furnishings and room schemes and build up a picture of your own personal style. It’s always a good idea to browse the internet for ideas, sit down with a pad of paper and work out what kind of investment will have the most effect on a new room scheme.
Once you have determined a new look and colour scheme for the room, pull together a moodboard to ensure that the various elements within the scheme harmonise and complement each other. A moodboard is a great tool to help determine how far you can go with colours and patterns to get the balance just right.
What can people do to gain confidence when decorating?
In order to get confident about decorating try framing a strong, patterned wallpaper in a large frame and live with it for a while. Add more of the design or additional elements in accent colours to introduce the new look step by step and see how you react to it.
What’s your top tip to be braver in the home?
If you are struggling to break free of the ‘beige trap’ try using a light grey as your neutral base colour. There is nothing scary about it and it will instantly update your decor. Accent colours stand out more when partnered with grey, and truly beautiful schemes can be created.
My top tip for introducing strong colours is to ensure you always add neutrals back in to the design. Strong and heavily saturated colours can be a strain on the eye and, while they can look fabulously dramatic, it is essential to provide somewhere for your eye to ‘rest’ within the scheme. Neutral tones will do just that, allowing you to be braver with your colour choices.
What would you avoid?
Avoid emphasising textured and poor quality walls with feature colours; it will not give you the desired effect!
These top tips are courtesy of interior designer and TV presenter Julia Kendell who is supporting isme’s home campaign to make your house more ‘you’. For your chance to win a home makeover with Julia visit their website.
A new, exciting, braver world of shopping for your home is fast approaching! Very soon mydeco.com will be unveiling:
- a brand new look
- a curated selection of stunning sought-after products to make your home unique and full of character
- many of which you can see in 3D with 360 degree videos
- and pop into a ‘changing room’ and try on for size!
- the ability to shop from quirky boutiques country-wide but all from one basket
- AND all this with your slippers on, fire roaring and sipping your tea. Bliss.
Ellie was mydeco.com's fabulous Editor for three years, and is now off exploring South America. Read more posts by Ellie.