Whilst we’re spending so much more time at home, our attentions turn to making our living space…different. So we teamed up with interior designer, Anna Hewitson, for her top tips to improve your living space.
When designing an interior, the first thing I need to ascertain is how the space is going to be used, for what purpose and at what time of day. A successful interior is not necessarily one that photographs well, it one that speaks to you and makes you feel happy. Our homes provide us with a sanctuary, protection from the outside world, a place to retreat and have a sense of belonging – they define who we are. It’s so important now, more than ever, that we appreciate our surroundings which in turn can optimise our mood and even our health. There are many ways we can our tweak our surroundings to elevate our state of mind; make us feel more inspired, calmer and even more stylish!
My advice to anyone wanting to give their interiors a bit of a refresh is to decipher what they love most and make a focus on that. Look at what you have, not what you lack. Whether it’s a wonderful original fireplace, an antique chest or a piece of art which you cherish. Give those things room to breathe, space to stand out, I firmly believe less is always more.
A room plan is key. Think about how you’ll use the space and move around within it. Always make sure you can move freely within your space and there aren’t any pinch points. I often find it helps to mask out furniture on the floor to gage the scale within the space. This can also avoid making expensive mistakes.
Good lighting will elevate any interior, creating drama and atmosphere. Think about having different levels of light; ceiling lighting with pendants or downlights, wall lights and more specific task lighting. Lighting also goes hand in hand with zoning different areas for different needs such as working in the same room you may want to relax in during the evening.
Invest in things you love
Pieces you cherish will bring you happiness, always give them priority in your interior. Try to take a step back and look at the space and the things in it that you love. Look at decluttering your space so it has a calming sense. It’s really worth saving for something well-made and good quality, not only will it last longer, you’ll love it for longer too.
Comfort is key
It’s not all about looking good, you’ve got to feel relaxed and comfortable in your home. There’s nothing worse than walking into someone’s house and feeling like you can’t sit down or touch anything. Invite people to take a closer look; use tactile fabrics, mix materials and try not to make things look too perfect.
Don’t follow trends
A timeless interior always wins. With interiors, unlike fashion, you’ll more often than not be investing in bigger pieces which are more costly and harder to change. Always look to create an interior which will stand the test of time.
TOP TIPS FOR WORKING FROM HOME:
- Although it sounds obvious; keep your space tidy. A clean and clear space helps focus the mind. We don’t have the luxury of stepping away from our offices like we once did. Once you’ve signed off for the day, clear your laptop and papers away – perhaps clear out a drawer or shelf to put everything in so you can create some sort of detachment from your work.
- Add life – adding a plant or having fresh flowers close can be very therapeutic.
- Clean your windows; this is an instant way of making your interior feel lighter and brighter.
- Focus on lighting; dim the lights in the evening, invest in a nice table lamp or something that gives off a softer light for the evening.
- Invest in a pin board; you can easily make this yourself; perhaps re-use and old picture frame and add a cork board backing – you can even paint it. Add images which inspire you, little notes or things you’ve collected. This is a nice visual way of collating your thoughts and ideas.
Anna studied History of Art and Fine Art at University and then went on to complete a course in Interior Design at KLC School of Design. After 8 years professional experience working for a number of top London designers, Anna set up her own interior design business.