When we bought our house as first-time buyers some three years ago, we were beyond ecstatic. It was the end of the renting era and the beginning of actual house ownership. A house to do what we wanted with, a dream for so long was now a reality. The two times we viewed the house, I didn’t really take in the decoration (mainly because it was so ghastly I decided to look straight through it), just the space, the light and the view from each and every window. There was no time for embracing our own interior style then. When we finally moved in a couple of months later, it suddenly dawned on me how much decor work needed doing to make the house just plain “nice” in the interim of a new extension.
It was then a year after we moved in that I started the interiors blog, mainly as a creative outlet and a sounding board for decor and style ideas for the house. I hate to admit it but at the time I did love a bit of shabby, dare I say chic, and country prints and patterns. But, I think probably subconsciously, this was a sort of taste that I felt I needed to go with because we live in the countryside and my tea caddies obviously needed pheasants on them. In actual fact, my true style personality had been buried for such a long time that it felt too scary and daunting to take a risk on it, so I stayed in that safe zone.
However, this all changed when I decided to properly finish decorating the living room and feature it on the blog. This was quite a nerve-wracking prospect. I had been writing comfortably about interiors I loved but was yet to feature my own home. It was then I realised this room had to be a true reflection of me and us as a family (although I was given full creative authority) if I was to stand a chance of creating authentic content.
I needed to delve deeper and explore my own interior style in order to give myself the confidence to just go for it, and I did this by following a couple of techniques.
Living room makeover moodboard
The first is all about using your instinct to see what sorts of colours, textures and looks jump out at you, that you are naturally drawn to using a style board. A personal style board is much like a moodboard just with more specifics that apply to you personally, you can create a digital board or a physical one using a large piece of card with cut-outs from magazines and books which you arrange and stick down onto your board. It’s really like a giant Pinterest board for you to use as a reference and to keep you on track as you make decisions during your decor projects.
To kick-start the process there are some questions you can ask yourself like some of these examples. This just gives you the chance to have a bit more of a think about whats important to you personally as opposed to what you think you have to like and follow trend wise….
What you loved about your childhood home?
Your favourite colours?
Travel hotspots and favourite holiday memories?
Cultural interests and hobbies?
Textures that appeal to you?
If you could go back in time, which era or decade would you go to?
The styles of clothes and colours you wear?
What season you were born in?
Styles in interior design you are drawn to and what you dislike?
How would you like to use the space?
How you want your home to feel?
Once I had looked more closely at these questions, I collated some images which reflected my style personality. As well as being really fun and creative, the specific mood board I went on to create for the room itself was really easy because I was clear about what my style personality was all about. I knew what the most important elements to the design were and how they could be incorporated in creating the overall feeling I was after. This gave me real confidence in my own choices and ideas for the room because I was honing in on my unique style, and that felt good! I even painted an artwork for the main feature wall. I finally felt in control and creatively confident in my decisions and creativity.
There are so many trends telling us what to do and how to do it, and I love this element of design, it’s important, but the bulk of design has to come from you and your own style. This is how we make a house a home that’s totally unique to us and that’s a lovely thing to see and be in, whatever form it takes.
Here is the finished room in more detail, which we love being in! If we decide to change it, I know my core style personality will still be evident, it may just feature a few different tweaks and accents which are fun to swap up and change every now and then.
Written and images by Anna Williams from House Anna