One of the things I’m looking forward to most about 2020 is moving into our new home and watching all my interiors ideas come together. To chat all things design, I sat down with interiors maven Jane Churchill and we discussed what her top design tips would be for someone wanting to give their home a little makeover- whether that’s giving a sofa a new look or renovating a whole house.
Interior design has been a passion of mine for years and although I’m doing up our new house myself, it was great to pick the brains of an expert and I’m definitely going to use some of the tips we discussed. Read Jane’s tips below and see photos of our day spent chatting in Jane’s gorgeous home.
1. Mix and old and the new
Jane Churchill explained that she sees this all the time with her clients and that there’s an assumption that a home can be either traditional or contemporary when the opposite is true. If you have some antique furniture then mixing it with something more modern is what creates a unique style. That could be other furniture, bright paint colours, unusual textures or bold fabrics. A period home can be given a whole new lease of life with some pops of vibrant colour and similarly, a contemporary home can still have aspects of traditional style. Marrying the old with the new is what creates that personal look…which is the one thing you want from your house.
2. Be brave
Making bold choices are key when it comes to interior designing and, as Jane says, part of an interior designer’s job is to encourage their clients to go with their gut and make brave choices to create their dream home. Often a client will come to a designer with one bold idea and they need the encouragement to see how it will look in situ. If you’re doing up your house yourself then remember to think about the bigger picture- if the things you definitely want to include are on a small scale then remember to zoom out and check what the overall look will be.
3. Lights change everything
Consider lighting your most important check box- where you put them, how they’re wired, what kind they are, where you turn them on- all of these things need to be considered very carefully for the whole house. Unless you’re in-the-know about electrics, don’t make any decisions without talking to a professional as lights absolutely dictate the look of a room. You can spend months choosing the right colours, fabrics and furniture but if you have the wrong light bulbs in the lamps, the whole thing will look wrong.
4. Mirrors are magic
Jane’s favourite part of her Chelsea house is a dressing room on the landing- the doors of which are mirrored so it’s completely hidden. Even just on their own, mirrors can work magic tricks by providing more light and an illusion of space. Big ones, small ones, round ones…they’re the hardest working accessories you can have.
5. It’s a place to live in
That means the sofas need to be comfy and there will be family photos everywhere. Without personal touches, a house is not a home and so whatever your style, there has to be space for the everyday bits of clutter that comes with family life. A overly manicured house will have a hotel feel and won’t be welcoming to you or to your guests.
Jane Churchill Interiors
81 Pimlico Road