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Kevin Kelly Interiors Design Blog

How to discover your interior style in the Sunday Business Post May '17

How to discover your interior style in the Sunday Business Post May '17

A home style worthy of any homes interior glossy is practically the standard remit of every progressive, dynamic Irish person. Its not enough to whip up an egg white omelette with Donegal cheese and Connemara kale, drop your kids off dressed head to toe in cool labels from Dublin 4 boutiques, run a Hell and Back and then go to work. We also all want an awesome pad that we and our partner and kids are proud to show off, but equally a home that ensures all its inhabitants will unwind from their own anxiety and work ridden days.


In our search to improve and ultimately create a ‘perfect’ home for ourselves, we scroll through the feeds of Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz and 600,00 of us tune into RTE’s Room to Improve on Sunday nights. The feedback we receive from our clients is, totally understandably, that you are overwhelmed by choice and have lost a sense of what your own style is.


We run a lot of consultations to help decipher what our client’s styles are and how to best execute it in their home. Often clients come in loaded with printed Pinterest images, many of them of wildly different interiors; go through our fabric library chasing different colour schemes and moods, only to go for something completely different, which is undoubtedly their core sense of style.


I always have my radar on when I’m looking at Pinterest to recognise when the interior is completely incomparable to the clients or where the photography has falsely played with the reality of the room. So how then does one discover their interior style?


One way I read a client's style is by looking at what they are wearing. This isn’t 100% the case, but is more often than not extremely telling and I would definitely recommend to someone who is confused about their interiors style to analyse their wardrobe. How do you dress when you want to look great? Do your special clothes lean towards a conservative cut (safe but expensive looking) or do you go for an awesome design before the fit. If you like wearing cool trainers you’re probably lean towards industrial chic materials; Tory Burch pumps I’d go with textured fabrics in a neutral palette but with a twist – nothing overly traditional.


Study your wardrobe objectively and think about why you love certain clothes and ultimately how you want to feel at your best. If those pieces are predominantly sophisticated yet modest then this is how you probably envision your home. To the extent of how comfortable you are bringing in patterns, bold colours etc into your fashion, this may well be reflected in your ‘perfect’ decor. Look at the colours and fabrics of your favourite pieces too and what mood they create in you, which again may well cross over into your interiors.


Another way to depict your style is to revisit the accessories, homewares and other items in your own home. You may have picked up pieces over the years but not realised why you are drawn to them. This is a good opportunity to do some editing and styling by riding off dust collectors and reworking uncluttered spaces with a fresh eye. Taking away all the accessories will create a clean canvas and help you to recognise which pieces are making the room and what might be missing to enliven the scheme.


Another source of inspiration for you to look at is your travels as these environments that you love say a lot about the mood you can transfer to your own home. Do you love a very slick city appeal or prefer coastal chic ambience? Think about the colours that you associate with that place and how they make your feel – crystal clear blue waters, hot pink Indian colours or do you prefer the softness of Provence?


At the end of a consultation, I pull some of the fabrics they are leaning towards as a starting point to teaching them how to build a mood board. A mood board can include pictures of furniture, images you’re drawn to, pieces of fashion, patterns etc. When you step back from the board/s you’ll notice a style emerging and hopefully an interesting colour scheme with certain similar patterns coming together.

Don’t be overwhelmed if you think you like a myriad of interiors looks that you worry can’t be married as we will find a common vein running through and help you to choose the best of each style and mix and match it with other styles. The thread running through might be a core colour palette and a defined mood, which we will bring out so that ultimately you have an even flow throughout the house. It is essential to remember that the most interesting homes embrace uniqueness and personality.

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