I had pipedreams for my first rented home to make it big in the highly saturated world of Instagram Interiors. I carefully considered the colours of the furnishings I bought, while scouring Gumtree for a bargain.
It didn’t take long before the reality of the house never looking like an Instagram paradise everyday, hit. While my ideal home still has a big shelf of books and other things I’ve collected over time, that take me back… buying books or vintage records might be better left to those who can afford to drag and drop on interior decor on a trend basis.
Constantly chucking everything ugly out of the shot, buying more stuff to make our homes look ‘right’ and 100 photos to sift through later – have you even written a commentary? I was uninspired by the same old corner, and the same old house influencers and blogs posting on a tired merry-go-round on my feed.
But I’m not always the most patient person… creatively speaking.
Part I Character first, Scheme second
Micro-curating your home might give you structure or direction, but does the reality make it a happy, liveable home the rest of the time? I thought acing the scandi minimalist look would make me happy, but it didn’t. While I can appreciate the peaceful quality of minimalist style, I realised I do love colour from the lack of it, and trying to keep that at bay was a lot more effort. It takes time to be precise, but to me, there’s a time and a place for that. I want my home to excite, guide and surprise me. *Ironically that balance of structure and freedom is the plot line of my work life at the moment too.*
Build a Space that Inspires and Surprises YOU, Not Just Everyone Else
All of my parents’ homes are varying paradises of collected items, and I’ve started to acquire some of my own treasures now. I’m very protective of my velvet sofa, it’s the first big purchase I ever really made with my own money and I regularly point that out to my partner, in its defence. Some photographs, sculptural glass and teak objects are still trailing behind me from Bali and Sri Lanka, 2016. I’ve had moments of ditching them, but I still haven’t actually done that and I’m glad I haven’t, because they come from an important part of adulthood and memories that will follow me into the future.
If you had dolls house, how would you have furnished it as a child? Has that style changed?
Don’t fall into a trap of letting the period or architectural style of your home dictate bringing your character and personality into it. Have some fun in the freedom you have to strike a balance of living, and enjoying.
Part II Restyling My Exisiting Furniture
If you only own a few pieces it’s great because you can work those into a new style. Less stuff gives a bit more flexibility, but the more you have, the more you have a design challenge on your hands.
My sofa is grey and the rest of my things are intentionally neutral – ideal for a recently refurbished rental but also a foundation for any future investments. Like the above, I could opt for the same game but honestly it looks a bit dull and hotel-esque. Swanky hotel, but still hotel. Yellow is an obvious accent for grey but after much deliberation despite my affinity for yellow, I’m thinking something a bit… more. The place I’m moving to is neutral throughout, but I’ve seen otherwise. Before we found a place I saw some wallpapers I just can’t unsee and certainly couldn’t paint over… unless I was willing to take the deposit on the chin.
It’s very easy to fall into the Instagram trap now. There are so many homes that always seem so ready to impress – it must be a full time job keeping all the cute dogs’ fur off the white floorboards! Minimalist black accents and beige walls are all the range, but a creative thinker goes on adventures and comes back with jewels💎
So my next step on the rental home parade will consist of sumptuous colours, inspirational pieces and art held up with Command strips.
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