It is as inspiring as annoying: visiting friends in their brand new place for the first time. Inspiring, because fresh color schemes and the latest furniture give ideas for my own pad. Annoying, because I have a pretty cool house already and I don’t want to turn it all upside down, yet again. But this week we entered a whole new different ball game: friends hiring interior stylists for the design of their new apartment. Fascinating, because interior designers use 3 skills that home-lovers can learn from. This is what we can learn from them:
Spotify tip while reading this post:
View your place as a plan
Interior designers don’t have a connection with your place. They do not care about any of the furniture you already own. They haven’t gone through rows with your lover on minimalism versus cozy clutter. And they approach your place as an empty canvas with only its four corners as a frame. A good stylist will ask you for pointers and no-go’s and then set to work. Their only goal is to make you happy.
Interior stylists will set the basics straight. The ways you use your place will define the various elements it will have. This can lead to a reading corner by the window for book lovers or a super-sized dining area for social bunnies. Then, the lighting and layout of the place will help define where to put each of these elements. Small living rooms might feel roomier without a salon table and you want as little as possible to obstruct natural light flowing in. And finally, a sound color scheme will set the mood right and make all future choices easy. It is like the sky in a landscape painting: a dark cloudy sky will not make a light and happy landscape. The color scheme will define the way your place make you feel.
The ultimate achievement is to zoom out enough from your own mind and house, so that you can see your house as a blank canvas. It asks of you to give up the details and any attachments you may have. If you are not capable of doing so and you still want a plan, you should ask an interior designer to do it. This logic may be applied in all other fields of your life..
Interior designers know that grand gestures make the difference. For one, they are not afraid to do bold things. They won’t fear using dark colors, blow up pictures to wall-sized measures or color block the wall, because they know it will support the bigger plan. And bolder moves usually make for more unity in your interior. Dashes of color, mini-paintings scattered over the apartment and the lack of color on the walls can end up looking messy to the eye. Bold gestures can grab an interior together. They will make it look like one large painting instead of numerous drawings here and there.
What’s the worst thing that can happen anyway? Re-painting your walls if it doesn’t work out? Boo-hoo!
Set yourself up with a shopping list
Interior designers will make you a shopping list based on the plan. This way they can make rational choices before hitting the stores. This is as opposed to the situations where you would be scrutinizing the price of each item, spending tons of time in each furniture store, and ending up indecisive.
The trick is to set yourself a budget for all items together and prevent yourself from falling in love with pieces before the plan is done. Then you select the pieces you want to pop out. If the dining table is paramount to your happiness (and you don’t have kids who like testing crayons on wood), invest in a decent one and save bucks on the lamp hanging above it. This way you treat yourself to some really nice items that really make the difference. And to prevent yourself from falling in love, find the items online before going to see them in the store. Stores are designed to make you ‘feel it’ and get you greedy. Shopping online leaves out that factor so you make rational choices (although, and I speak from experience, stay on guard!).
No eye for interior design? Having a stylist crafting a plan for you is a really cool experience. You know you will end up with a sound interior in which lighting makes sense and you feel well at home. It saves you tons of time and possible fights with your mate, making the extra costs a total return on investment. I know one day in the future I’ll want to try this out. Have you ever?