How to draw inspiration for your interior design

Picture this, you’ve decided to renovate your home and you want a new, modern and fresh look. If that’s you then what a great opportunity you have to install your character and personality into your surroundings, see your rooms as a canvas waiting to be painted on. Where should you get inspiration from though? Where is it that you start?

Well I’ve found that the key is to soak up everything around you that you enjoy. This can be done when you’re out walking and enjoying yourself, think about the colours you like, the unique textures etc. Why not visit places like museums which are packed to the brim full of amazing design and architecture ideas. Explore magazines, take note of people’s house design ion movies, look at interior design magazines and just let your imagination run wild!

Think about the last perfect holiday that you enjoyed, think about your surroundings and what you enjoyed about them, picture the surroundings and features that you enjoyed most and recreate them in your own home.

You need to take a disciplined approach to interior design. Rather than coming up with good ideas and letting them slip by you, make sure that you’re noting them down throughout the day. To do this, always carry a notepad and pen with you, yes I know you can use your phone but there’s something much more creative about using a pen and paper plus it allows you to sketch down your ideas and inspiration if neccessary.

Photography is another way of cataloging and finding inspiration in your surroundings. If you’re able to, go out and take pictures of things that you like, whether these are in nature or in buildings. Make sure that you print out your photographs and collect them in a scrap book that you can work through at a later date too. You don’t need an expensive camera or anything professional to do this either, simply take your smart phone with you and get snapping.

After you’ve catalogued your design inspiration whether they’re pictures of wooden sculptures or cladding, or perhaps a particular design of wallpaper, it’s time to source your materials. When you are choosing materials you’ll want to first think about the colour and texture that you’re after, you can then use this to narrow down your choice into individual designs. The same principle can be applied to furniture selection too.

Hopefully I’ve given you ideas of areas that you can draw inspiration from and how you can begin fitting together your ideas, I know that this approach certainly works for me.

Wallpapering unusual places

wallpapering the bathroom

When people think of stylish kitchens they think of tiled walls and floors, granite cooking tops and stainless steel appliances but not all kitchens have to be this way! I’ve been experimenting with a number of different styles in the kitchen that go against traditional wall decoration.

For years now I’ve been using either tiles with a matt effect to decorate my walls and alternating their colour to great effect like the image below, however recently I’ve opened myself to the possibility of using specially designed wallpapers to use in my kitchens to achieve a similar effect for the fraction of the price. Now I know what you’re thinking, can wallpaper really be as effective as real stone tiles and then answer is almost. I’m not going to claim that you can’t tell the difference between real bricks and a brick patterned wallpaper but the wallpaper is a very close second and for a fraction of the price.

I haven’t stopped at decorating kitchens in this way though, oh no. Wallpapering bathrooms is my latest venture and why not? You can really get some unique looks using wallpaper rather than simply painting again, just take a look at these bathroom wall decorations here. One important thing to consider if you’re going to follow suit with me is the material that the bathroom wallpaper (or kitchen) is made from. By this I mean this wall decorations are typically going to have to endure and withstand some harsh treatment from steam and perhaps cooking substances, so they need to be waterproof and withstand cleaning. Luckily, you can purchase vinyl wallpapers which are up to this task.

When people think about the type of patterns of these papers, they typical picture the old floral designs that they were used to seeing back in the 80’s however wallpaper has come a long way since then. There’s a huge range of stylish and uniquely patterned wallpaper for you to choose from so there’s no need to limit yourself to something that is traditional. My favourite patterns to use that suit any room are brick style, the reason I use this particular design is because you can achieve a surprisingly authentic look, unless you’re right up close to the wallpaper you would even believe that the walls were made of real brick…many of my friends have been fooled!


Carpet, Wooden Flooring or Tiles?

Getting your flooring style right is crucial for establishing the feel of your entire room. Most people think that furniture is what really determines a room’s character but I myself believe this is a fallacy, flooring is the first thing you notice when you enter a room even if it’s subconsciously, so making the right choice of flooring is crucial.

wood or carpet

Should you design your interior with carpet or wood?

I’ve often battled with this question and the answer is, it depends entirely on the circumstances. There are a few factors that go in to my final decision which I’ll talk about in this article.

Carpet has many advantages. Not only does it give a luxurious feel to a room but it also provides a feeling of warmth, particularly in the winter months when wooden or tiled floors can be a little cold. Patterned carpet designs appear to be making a comeback too, they saw massive usage in interior design circles in the 90’s and are now seeing something of a revival. Myself, I prefer a plain patterned carpet of a single colour and preferably one that compliments the intended colour of a room’s walls.

Carpet also has the advantage of being relatively low cost in comparison to other materials like oak flooring or exotically sourced tiles which I sometimes choose to use in my projects. If you’re going for a plain design too, this can be even cheaper than it’s patterned counterparts. Carpets are also better at retaining heat than other materials like wood and tile which need to be heated from cold usually.

The downside to carpet is that it wears out far faster than most other materials. Not only this but if they’re consistently being used then they become dirty very quickly and then you incur the added expense of having your carpet cleaned or purchasing the necessary equipment to do so, so this needs to be weighed up.

The case for decorating with wood

Wood makes an excellent flooring material that can add a touch of class to any floor. My personal favourite is using multiple beams of oak sourced from sustainable oak trees to add the perfect amount of sophistication to a room. Timber of any kind when polished can look extremely impressive, wood is very much the choice at the moment in a lot of design circles. If you’re on a budget, it isn’t too expensive to buy synthetic oak or wood to achieve a similar effect. This material is a particularly good choice people who want a room that will be easy to clean and maintain. Wooden flooring also can be used to compliment other similar features made from wood like larch cladding.

Unfortunately for wood, it doesn’t conduct or insulate heat very well meaning that it can be cold in the winter. This coldness can make heating bills a little higher than if you had used another type of flooring such as carpet, which insulates far better. When it comes down to it though, you have to weight up the look and feel of timber versus the negatives of using it in order to make a decision.

Interior Design at affordable Prices

interior design bedroom

My goal is to make a difference to the interior of homes in Epsom and Ewell (where I currently live) and beyond. I believe people of all ages and walks of life have the power to transform their surroundings regardless of budget and age. I’ve helped elderly couples to people in the late teenage years transform their rooms and their homes.

Style and design impacts all aspects of our lives in ways that we don’t even realise sometimes. By making your surroundings comfortable, you can seriously improve your levels of happiness and well-being. I do a lot of my design work from home and I find that when I’m surrounded by unnecessary clutter my stress levels increase and I can’t focus as well as when I’m in a tidy orderly environment, it’s for this reason that I advocate minimalistic design features when I’m redecorating a room or home.

I believe stylish decoration shouldn’t come at the cost of usability. What I mean by this is, there’s no point having a nice looking home if you don’t have enough storage space or items in it that make your life easier, like conveniently placed storage facilities like cupboards and wardrobes. As such, when I’m thinking about how a room should look, I’m always thinking ‘how will this be used?’ and incorporating these ideas into my planning.

One of the corner stones of my interior design philosophy is that good design should’t equate to a massive budget. Sure, if you have a large budget you have much more purchasing power so the whole things becomes a lot easier but I believe in being resourceful with the items and money at your disposal, so I’ll be referring to places where you can pick up great value items.

Hopefully the advice and design examples that I will be providing will be applicable to any home but if there’s something in particular that you want to ask about, you can reach me via my contact page.