Here’s the preface I’ve just written for a new interior design book called Home Decor. Thought you might like to have a read of my interior design philosophy.
The world is being overtaken by technology: Ipods, Ipads, Kindles, Macs, Notebooks, Laptops, Blackberries, downloads…. perhaps this is a good thing. Perhaps it’s a sign of the inevitability of progress. But I don’t think I’m the only one to regret the loss of the wild creativity of LP cover art, the pleasure of settling into a comfortable chair with a favourite book with its evocative cover and crisp pages, or thumbing through the colourful pages of a magazine during the commuter rush hour. The thing all the items of inevitable progress lack is the pleasure of the tactile, of colour and design. And so, in a time where the new exists in a virtual realm, and equipment giving us access to this virtual world is of the stream-lined and soulless variety, we turn even more to our homes to fill what I believe is an innate need for decoration, comfort and self-expression.
I don’t think it’s any accident that we have entered an era of “nesting”. We’re all working longer hours, travelling long distances for work and pleasure, and spending an increasing amount of time linked up to the virtual world via emails and social networking (and may I just ask why it is so necessary to be constantly contactable?). But we are human beings, and we can’t ignore the “being”. We like to touch, smell, see and feel. We are sensual creatures, and we take pleasure in things which make us feel good.
And there is an immense pleasure to be had in a comfortable sofa, with room to stretch out your legs; in beautiful artwork, chosen because you love it, and which gives you delight whenever you look at it; in the vintage lamps which your partner found at the market in France during your holiday; at the Moroccan rug you lugged back from the weekend break to Tangier. These are all representations of the real you. No one puts these items of delight together quite like you. Your home is the canvas of your self expression, and like an artist you should be bold in your decoration. At home you are not judged; at home you are the king and queen of your castle. Why settle for the blandness of beige and the worry of “what is correct”? Trust your instincts. Bring together orange and turquoise; blue and green. Do it a little at a time to start, if you’re worried. Ask an interior designer for some guidance if you’re not sure — the best interior designers will help you bring your inherent design preferences to life. They will help you create the rooms that are all about you, not all about them.
The pleasure of coming home to a place where you feel happy, where clutter is put away, where favourite treasures are displayed for your delight, where furniture is comfortable and well-placed, where you can put your feet up — this is what we all crave. When you are happy in your home, this is a big step to being happy in life.