My Top Style Tips - Where to Begin ......

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Hi Everyone

I hope you have all been enjoying the weekend - we were shooting some lovely new Lene Bjerre stock which I have already started to add to the site ... and some other new ranges too which I'm quite excited about - more on that to follow .....

Stuart hard at work :)

But for now, I wanted to chat about something dear to our hearts - namely 'interior style'.

One of the things I'm most often asked is 'where to begin' when re-decorating a room or a new home - so I thought I'd share a few of my style tips with you.

There is such a vast array of furnishings, accessories, flooring and paint colours available, I can see exactly why it can appear daunting!!

Regular readers will have picked up that our particular style ethos here in Natural Calico is all about creating a blank neutral canvas and adding interest and depth with unique accessories.

It's a style that works for me personally - after a hectic day, I like to return to a home that feels calm and timeless - but that isn't 'sterile' or overly 'interior designed' looking either - it's that all important 'balance' I guess !! 

I genuinely think that the "blank canvas" approach makes life a lot easier - it eliminates the effort of coordinating pattern and strong colour and reduces the risk of expensive mistakes -  but even within that fairly simple style ethos, there is a bit of thinking required beforehand !!

Step One - Scrap Book

I couldn't urge you strongly enough to compile a scrap book - tear out pictures from magazines, look at Pinterest, treat yourself to beautiful Interior coffee table books etc etc. Hopefully you will begin to see a pattern emerging of rooms you gravitate towards. But try to be realistic - I love to draw inspiration from foreign parts ..... but if you live in a Victorian semi, it's unlikely to end up looking like a French Farmhouse .... your scrapbook is for inspiration - not something to copy verbatim !!!

Step Two - Where to Begin

Most Interior Designers start with colour and pattern - be it for the sofa, curtains or whatever - and then compile a mood board based around that.

But as we aren't really about colour and pattern in Natural Calico, my approach is a little different.

My starting point is about defining the actual style.

It goes without saying that you need to understand the room itself - its' characteristics, dimensions, natural light and so on .... I will cover things like flooring, scale, lighting etc in another blog - but for now, this one is purely about style.

Step Three - Understanding Different Styles 

Even within our fairly simple style approach, there are a huge variety of styles and routes to go down .... and to demonstrate this point I have chosen various images -  all of which, are rooms and settings I have worked on and all are from our own Natural Calico archive.

Hamptons 

This is all about slip covers, denim blues and casual fabrics - casual with a little bit of sophistication - have any of you watched the movie "Something's Gotta Give" ?? Enough said :)

French Country

'Dreamy' with old style paintings,burlap/grainsack and a little bit of vintage ..... 

Coastal

Stripes, casual, breezy, fresh, contemporary ...... 

Urban Country

Timeless, calm, cool with a little touch of urban sophistication ...

Farmhouse 

Shaker units, casual fabrics, welcoming, durable, timeless ......

Period

Chandeliers, reclaimed fireplaces teamed with slip covers and sophisticated greys - elegant but comfortable ....

Scandi

Crisp, cool, simple, pure .....

Retro

Authentic mid-century items mixed with other newer items ....

Vintage/Eclectic

Quirky, individual, rustic - 'old meets new' ......

Industrial Chic

Industrial style light fittings, metal signage, wicker .....

 

So there you have it folks - if you look at every one of these images, the basic concept is exactly the same - create a blank canvas with pale plain neutral tones and add personality and interest with accessories.

I feel if you can begin to understand the actual 'look and style' you want to go down, the rest will follow naturally. If, when you have your key elements in place, you want to add a little pop of colour, that's such an easy thing to do with cushions, throws and flowers - but my advice is to concentrate on the core style first. 

I sometimes find it helpful to categorise specific styles - eg Scandi, Coastal, Industrial, French Country or whatever .... but the one thing I would urge is this - try to avoid mass produced "themed" accessories - keep it low key and choose your accessories wisely.

I hope that was helpful and that I haven't confused you further - but as I keep saying, there are no rights or wrongs - find a style that makes you happy and enjoy it :)

All for now.

Take Care

Marie x