So as you may know if you read my previous post, we are at the beginning of redecorating a 1950’s house we are renting in Los Angeles. I detailed the rooms and how they will be used, and included before photos in the previous post, and today I wanted to explain my thought process for how I plan to tackle this large scale rental re-design. After years of scrolling through Pinterest and saving years of inspiration the first thing I realised was I had several directions I could go, and eliminating a few ideas was the first port of call. I actually really love the 1950’s features within our new house but wanted to find little touches to update it, and more than anything, make it feel like it really is our own.
Our current collection of furniture definitely leans more towards mid century modern, where as when we lived in London most of our furniture complimented the victorian flat we had bought, and for that we went with a more industrial and antique style that suited the building. While I believe any space envisioned can become a reality, finding a common theme and a steady starting point with this new move is actually harder than I had anticipated. I’ve found myself jumping between cold flat iron pieces, lots of monochrome with leather and a lot of the references I had collected were that of a very neutral nature, very minimal, a little bit Scandinavian in design and quite absent of colour.
The first problem I encountered was remembering I’m sharing this house with another human being (hello husband) and he had his own ideas about what kind of environment he wanted to live in, and finding a middle ground meant he needed some colour. Getting two people to agree on every single interior decision is near impossible, count yourself lucky if you fall into the camp where by your partner lets you go it alone, and praises you when you’ve finished for all your great work!
When I take on any kind of creative project I need to have a focal point, a general stimuli that guides the rest of my creative decisions and quickly, I realised I was pretty overwhelmed with having this much space for the first time ever and was struggling to commit to an initial focal point. I scrawled through various references and tried really hard to consolidate my ideas down to the bare minimum, I tried very hard to find the common themes. The colours I found myself drawn too, and asked myself what I could actually imagine myself living in?
After numerous moodboards for each room, I had to go back to the start and make one overall mood board with the colours that called out to me, the styles I liked and images that made me excited. In other words I needed to simplify. The mood board below is now my collective starting point, a brain dump if you will. From this I realised my travels to Palm Springs were a big inspiration and it was no surprise to see how much mid century modern furniture pieces we as a couple had accumulated since living in LA. I also could see repetition with the colour mustard and velvet as a texture. It’s all about finding a balance, and for me showing hints of my inspiration but still finding our own path with how the house becomes an extension of who we are as a couple.
My final moodbaord
1. Collate anything visual that catches your eye, scroll the internet, Pinterest and Instagram are great for searching specific words and hashtags.
2. Get specific. Go through your saved visuals and look for repetition, what are the colours you’re drawn too? Are their patterns or genres of decor you repeatedly pick out?
3. Make a starting moodboard like I did, I made mine on Canva and its so easy to do (I have a blogpost with step by step instructions on how to do this here. This is only for your most favourite images. The key visuals that you can see inspiring all other decisions. This is also great if you are decorating with someone else, perhaps a partner or room mate. If you both have the mood board you can reference this to make sure you’re both on the same page and stay in sync.
4. So many furniture companies offer free swatches, so start collating paint swatches, sofa fabric swatches, floor samples etc and keep your favourites with you at all times so when you’re looking for things to fit into your decor scheme you can hold them up and check they work in harmony together. Two companies I know I’m really interested in are Joybird Furniture and Farrow and Ball paint, both have swatches your can get so now I can place them next to each other and see which ones go together making it easier to rule out ideas.
5. Store your ideas somewhere safe, I’ve actually really enjoyed using digital notebooks that can transfer between my devices so my ideas are always with me, even if I only have my phone on me and I’m out and about. Good Notes so far has been my favourite, allowing me to upload photos, write text on them and move pages into different orders as I go, plus I can make multiple notebooks and get really specific room to room. It’s quite literally just like a notepad I use on my iPad, making it really easy to email ideas to Dave when I’m out and about. I can also store ideas that I know may require more budget that will come at a later stage in the redecorating process and refer back to them as and when needed.
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