5 ways to inspire your inner interior designer

Updating your home décor can initially feel like an overwhelming project to take on. If you want to step up your interior design but aren't sure where to start, Richard Eaton — Design Director at leading ceramics and homeware brand Denby — shares five ways you can bring your Pinterest board to life.Denby kiln dining interiors©Denby

Whether you're redecorating one room or have a vision for the whole property, interior design can inject your house with personality and truly make it feel like a home. Mood boards, sketches, and fabric samples can not only make updating your property much easier (and help you avoid any costly mistakes along the way), but they can also make your passion project much more enjoyable. Here's how to get started!

Developing a concept

To start re-imagining your interiors, you don't necessarily need to follow a set theme or defined aesthetic like minimalist, bohemian, or Scandinavian design. Instead, start by simply taking note of any colours, patterns, furniture, lighting, or pieces of art that catch your eye. This could be when browsing through fashion blogs and lifestyle magazines, or when you're out shopping or at a gallery: either way, you can gradually get a sense of what your own personal aesthetic is, aside from trends and established design styles. This gives you a simple place to start when brainstorming colour palettes and the overall style of each room. 

However, if there is a defined look you've been dying to try out, try to find interior magazines or blogs dedicated to this style so that you have plenty of examples and points of reference to work from. This is where platforms like Pinterest are invaluable: you can create online mood boards dedicated to your chosen style and find inspiration for everything from the latest light fittings and flooring to wall art, soft furnishings, and ceramics. This way you'll have more direction and some specific ideas in mind when you start shopping.

Visualising your ideas 

light airy studio space © Denby

If you interact with things better on paper than on a screen, then why not make yourself a physical mood board? Even if drawing isn't your strong suit, making some simple sketches can help you visualise and communicate new ideas better, whether it's just for yourself, your decorator, or when making decisions with your significant other. 

Alternatively, you could take a blank sheet of paper or card — which will represent the different rooms of your house — and start filling it with your favourite pieces of furniture and décor from interior design magazines. Cutting clippings might feel like you're back in school making an art collage, but it's a great way to visualise the layout of each room. Plus, if you don't stick them down, you can move each piece around until you find the perfect place for it. This can give you more freedom to explore more adventurous options without them being set in stone (or glue!). 

Experimenting with colours and textures

bathroom styles © Denby

According to Vogue, one of the major interior trends of 2022 is biophilic design, meaning colour schemes, textures, and the general atmosphere of your home takes inspiration from the natural elements. Think lots of natural light, furniture with soft, curved shapes rather than sharp lines, and a colour palette full of earth tones like muted blues, greens, yellows, and sandy browns. Natural materials like marble, exposed concrete, and mohair rugs can incorporate pattern and texture into your home more subtly. 

This greener approach is not only reflected in our search for more sustainable materials and second-hand, durable vintage finds, but it also ties in nicely with the revival of some iconic 1970s interior trends. The forest greens, burnt orange, and brown leather from this era are all making a comeback, as well as bold patterns and a more eclectic feel rather than modern minimalism. You may want to experiment with a few vintage-inspired details like ceramics or artwork at first, but if you're feeling brave then why not let this trend inspire a whole new look for your home? Using a mood board to plan each room in advance can help you keep any patterns, bright colours, and statement pieces balanced and avoid overwhelming the eye.

Avoiding costly mistakes

Planning ahead with mood boards, sketches, and samples isn't just useful for aesthetics: it can help you avoid costly mistakes further along the line. For example, when in the process of choosing new paint or different fabrics for sofas, curtains, and pillows, always make the most of any samples and swatches you can get your hands on. Pinning fabric samples to your existing furniture for a week or so allows you to see how it could look alongside the existing colours and textures in your home, particularly as the light changes over the course of the day. 

The same approach applies to paint swatches: when redecorating places like the kitchen or bathroom, remember that the lighting of the homeware store will be different to the lighting in your home. Similarly, colours can look very different when looking at your mood board on a phone or computer screen, so it's important to still look at paint samples in person before committing to them fully. Be sure to let the samples fully dry (as they can also look a different colour when wet) and leave them for at least a week. This lets you see how the colour will look throughout the day, in different weather, and generally helps you to envision it in your home. Aim to bring home a handful of new colours to choose from, but avoid getting so many samples that it gets overwhelming to decide. 

Seeing concept to creation 

The best part of any project is sitting back and enjoying the final product in all its glory. Seeing your mood board come to life in your newly bought or rented property is what truly makes it feel like a home, so be sure to take plenty of before and after photos to remember every step of the process. Now all that's left to do is host a housewarming party!

Interior design is one of the best ways to inject some personality into your new home, so why not get started today with a mood board, sketches, and colour samples? For more interior inspiration, moving guides, and rental FAQs, be sure to visit Denby's blog 'be inspired' and of course, check in with Ocean. 


 

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