I am a sucker for home and lifestyle magazines. I can spend hours scouring pages and pages of perfectly styled living rooms and bedrooms. Throw rugs, scatter cushions and bedside lamps, that link seamlessly to a stunning colour scheme, or stylish mood board.
And so, when it came time to make some decorating decisions in my newly renovated apartment, I gained two new best friends. Pinterest and my local newsagent. I spent hour upon hour pinning ideas to countless online boards, as well as marking hundreds of magazine pages, colour coding them according to style. Pink for scandi, yellow for hamptons, blue for coastal…the organisation went on.
And then, in the midst of all of this design indecision, my sister asked me one simple question and it really was the answer to my decorating dilemma.
“How do you want to feel in there?”
And all of a sudden, the pinned websites and sophisticated photographs didn’t really matter. I had focused so much on what was on trend, what was in fashion and what was considered stylish, that I had forgotten that what I really wanted, was an apartment that met my needs. A room where, upon finishing work, I could relax and feel at home. A home office, where I could do the opposite. A workspace that invigorated me, woke me up and motivated me. Those pages in the magazine were beautiful, but let’s face it…..they were also lacking in soul.
And lacking in soul was definitely not what I was after.
And so instead of pinning and flicking through magazines, I made a list for each room. How did I want to feel in this room? Was this room for feeling warm and cozy at the end of a busy day at work, or was it for me to sit in the morning sun and wake up with my morning coffee? Was it a room for work, where I wanted to feel energised and invigorated? And when I began to focus on how I wanted to feel in each room, instead of which lounge or bar stool was gracing the pages of the most recent home decorating magazine, I also discovered that I didn’t need (or want) the popular styles that felt like they had stepped straight from a display home. I wanted rooms with purpose.
Warm and Cozy
My lounge room is my sanctuary. And although I love the Scandi style as much as the next person, it doesn’t exactly scream warm and cozy. When you want a room that invites you in and asks you to relax, you need to be thinking colours and textures. Warm, strong colours that envelop you and almost act like a blanket. Light colours are cool, and so too will your room be, if you use them. If you are after a cozy room, think throws, cushions and floor rugs. If you want your room to be warm, then use fabrics and textures to create an actual warmth. And think function. If it’s a room where you would love nothing more than to snuggle on the lounge, covered in a throw and drinking your evening cup of tea, then you need somewhere for your tea! Side tables and lamps go a long way in creating a warm and functional environment, in which you have no choice but to relax.
Last of all, fill your space with things you love. For me it’s books. A relaxing lounge room for me needs a reading chair, a reading lamp and some reading material. Sounds like heaven, hey?!
Energised and Invigorating
Not surprisingly, my little work office, that doubles as a yoga floor space, needs to have the complete opposite function as my beautiful warm lounge. It has to wake me up. This is not the space for dozing off in my wingback chair. Nor is this the space for relaxing with a glass of red, after a day in the office. This is the space for getting stuff done. In this room, I need to be awake. I need to be switched on and I need to be energised.
And so, this is where the light colours come in. With a beautiful grey palette, white trimmed windows and an abundance of natural light, let me tell you that this space is doing its job. Warm cozy carpets are replaced with a light timber floor, with similar teak and white office furniture. Inspiring black and white photographic artworks, adding a personal, yet creative touch. And topped off with an abundance of living indoor plants, reminding me to step away from the computer at some point in the day and actually get outside my office! If there is work to be done, this is the room to do it in!
An apartment that is more ‘me’
It has been amazing, how stepping away from the trends and stylistic advice of popular culture, has actually left me with an apartment that is more ‘me’ than any over decorated abode, that has just slipped off the pages of a top publication. By asking myself more than just how I want my apartment to look, I have created an apartment that meets my needs on an emotional and holistic level, as well as being aesthetically pleasing. I looked at each room with a new perspective, and have ended up with, not just a very beautiful house, but a home.
Are you decorating? Then ask yourself, not how you want it to look, but how do you want it to make you feel?
Written by Georgie Trenwith
Georgie is an Aussie beauty who puts our literary game to shame. A creative soul, when she isn’t balancing being a full time teacher and a part time writer, you’ll usually find her lost in a book, enjoying live music & theatre or spending time with the fam.