Where do you call home? What are the five things that define your home? Describe your current home. What do you like/ dislike about it? How does your home serve your individual needs as well as the needs of others? How many homes have you lived in? In your older years how many homes will you live in?
I have a cousin, a style queen who could turn a back-packers bunk room into a stylish pad. It seems innate. She can look at a space and within minute’s cushions fly, items rearranged and there’s a new feel to the space. Instead of a self -conscious jumble there’s now calm, balance and synchronicity (you’ll meet CUZ in some style videos we are currently making about what style means, decorating on a budget and personal styling)
My home, my house, has always been hugely important to me. It’s a creative outlet to give shape to my house and garden. In Australia I have always lived in Victoria with its 4 seasons and in some ways tried to replicate elements of a childhood home in Derbyshire in the UK where I was born and grew up. The influences on my decorating are also Italian and French because I’ve spent time living in these countries.
But the styling of my home serves the purpose of creating spaces of safety, security, pleasure, sanctuary, excitement and ease of living. Much to my chagrin, I’ve learned that the practical, functional aspects of a house are not my first priority. In my world Form over Function always wins out! So replacing a temperamental washing machine will always come second to building a Victorian style arbour at the bottom of the garden!
Falling in love with a down and out cottage on a sloping bush block with overhanging gum trees, I saw not the work and dollars involved in restoring it but before me flashed a vision of a cottage in Provence. Thick walls, calm spaces, lots of French doors connecting lavender gardens and lime washed interiors. Ten years later, my dream is nearly complete. The cottage welcomes me in each season of the year with new vistas and internal moods. It’s my home. It welcomes my family and friends. It has its own seasonal rituals. In summer the heavy rugs, dark cushions and faux fur throws are all packed away to reveal the cool terracotta tiles. Light coloured linen duvet covers replace the warm winter colours and a few inexpensive cushions announce its time to be more casual. The deck overlooking the garden becomes a summer room. I eat breakfast and entertain friends at the large wooden table. An L- shaped outdoor lounge and coffee table is my office and the place where we can watch the sunset over a glass of wine in summer.
Creating a good home for yourself is not about money. It’s about knowing how your core values- the most important things to you translate into the spaces around you. So some tips…
- Make a list of the activities you like to do in your home. Prioritise them. If you love cooking and spend a lot of time in the kitchen this is a priority. If you love soaking in a spa bath 5 nights a week having just a shower won’t do it. Do you really need a sewing room? How many days a week do you spend there? Is asewing space adequate?
- If you aren’t a decorator but would like more skill in working with colour, balance, texture, shape, lighting, mood and yes, function….. Check out a local short course or hang around a friend who’s really good at it and ask questions.
- If, like me functionality is just boring but essential have a go – to person who can help you with that side of home design. It’s necessary
- Buy op shop, markets, preloved vintage items and repurpose
- Buy good quality furniture and decorator items on sale
- Develop a theme for your home which aligns to who you are and what matters to you. Create a coherence across spaces in your home using that theme e.g. French Provincial cottage style, Scandi, bohemian esoteric/arty/ OZ country style, warehouse industrial/ 70’s etc.
- Develop a basic simple colour scheme for your home unless you like Versace or baroque in which case..have a ball! versace.com
- Create a mood board or use pinterest pinterest.com to get design ideas
- Use sites like this one to collect ideas about creating your home
- Other great sites are
The Inspired Room https://theinspiredroom.net
A Beach Cottage www.abeachcottage.com
My Scandinavian Home www.myscandinavianhome.com
Have fun and let us know about the home you are creating.