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black-eyed-susan_orange-wall_local-living-magazineAsk your favorite designers where their ideas come from and the answer will be revealing. Street culture, foreign travel, nature and fashion are all key influences. I find additional inspiration with seasonal fabric and furniture launches. And that’s just the beginning. Design has undergone a mini revolution, with modern undertones in particular spilling over into every style.

Winter nesting can be the perfect time to make personal changes in your own décor. We live in a design-conscious age where interiors have caught up with fashion in the race for change. If it seems confusing to be bombarded with so many choices, the flip side is that there has never been so much design freedom. Finding inspiration is now one of the most enjoyable parts of defining your style.

Examine how you live, then tailor your interior accordingly. Consider first who lives at home. If it’s just you and a partner, then sleek and sophisticated can be perfect. But if there are children, a more practical style will be vital. You would be surprised how many interiors I have designed around pets! If you often have guests, or a home office, you may need two looks: flexible and casual for the living quarters yet chic and grown-up for your private zones. Consider how you like to live and run your home. Be honest. Consulting a professional should always be a consideration. Think of him or her as a personal trainer! You’ll get a different level of service and end result than going it on your own. However, your input and serious thought should definitely play into the planning.

A few rare individuals have a strong look that is their unmistakable personal stamp. Homes designed by a professional are permeated with one cohesive design thread, from furniture to accessories and finishes. That being said, ours homes will be a mix of varied looks and influences. Just as we amass a wardrobe of clothes to satisfy needs and tastes, it’s fun to combine different decorative styles that express your personal styles.

It can be hard to successfully combine a string of rooms reflecting a number of different styles. Try adding modern accents in bathrooms and kitchens, leaving the living spaces more transitional with touches of modernism. It is vital to pick one broad thread to draw everything together. This might be using identical flooring throughout. A tightly controlled palette of three colors or variations of the same color will bind styles together and be a unifying factor.

However good your “links” are from one style option to another, here’s a word of caution. It’s visually confusing to combine too many different influences. The results will be visually chaotic both for you and your guests.

Stylish looks for your home are no longer for just for the brave or the young. What’s more, there are enviable choices. So, start gathering inspiration and find your style.


by Susan Taylor, Local Living Magazine

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