How do we manage an interior like this?
This scene is one I love and admire but would struggle to arrive at so successfully. Placement of objects, in this case, looks random and natural and as if they have been there in their rightful place for eons.
Decorating interiors is never that simple.
Beautifully curated rooms take time and patience and most importantly a great eye. This room may not be your style or even your taste and yet it has a harmony and balance that is enviable. I want to sit right down, examine everything and ask a million questions. It’s an interior that piques my interest and makes me feel engaged.
Could I live with it?
Colour wise yes. Busy-ness no. But, I wish I could.
My interiors are not as relaxed as this and as hard as I try and emulate this wonderful clutter, it’s not in my nature. The key is to learn from the trying; collecting, styling and arranging is as much about trial and error as it is about the end result.
My new collection for THE EMPORIUM launches tomorrow and you have guessed, it is something for our homes. I have had the luxury of playing and playing with these “new” but not new pieces and I have been reminded of the art of arrangement.
How to get our eye in? How do we create our rooms to feel equal part homely and equal part eye candy? I have a few tricks that have always worked for me.
Certain ingredients make a room work and without question these are non-negotiable.
For me, they are books, magazines, flowers, plants, fragrance in the form of candles or incense burners and soft lighting and comfortable furniture. The objects and their placement come after this.
*Find the ingredients that resonate and a wonderful room is about to unfold.
A successful interior is made up of layers.
An interior needs texture and different ones to achieve the individuality it should have. Paint, fabric, flooring and window treatments all attribute to this and so do our objects. Layers can be not only about the texture but also history. Our lives are not static – they morph and change and with this so do our possessions. In our sitting room, new sofas sit alongside chairs bought 20 years ago and other decorative pieces from 30 years old.
*Throw some history in there. Think something old and something new.
This sounds easy but for many, it is not. Once something finds a home it is stuck for the entirety. No, Shake it up, move it and see how small changes can breathe life into a room; it can be totally transformational.
*Don’t be afraid to change something, it can always go back if you make a mistake and who knows it might be the perfect shift.
This is where practice comes in. Object grouping is a skill and one to be learned. Study heights and shapes; work with colours. I start by removing all the objects from my gaze, a blank canvas if you imagine, then I start replacing one by one. I have worked this way for years and it is the only way I ever find the right home for our possessions. Adding something new into the mix can make it all change and mean starting over again. Tiring yes. Rewarding, hugely. Start with small collections and build them out. Buy one, look for another; therein lies the joy. Collecting is not about extravagance but about the choice, the search and the placement. Think about how naturally collecting comes to small children and how wonderfully they arrange their treasures.
*Play, play and play some more.
This time tomorrow I will be showing you No 2 fromTHE EMPORIUM – it is a small collection – and I’m excited to tell you their story.
Meet me back here? xv
images, ngoc minh ngo, house & garden