The Style Files No. 2snoop around Diane's vibrant oriental inspired home
Welcome to the second edition of ‘The Style Files’ – for those of you who aren’t clued up, each month we feature someone who has an amazing home. Because lets face it, we all like to have a good old snoop around someone else’s house. Last month we spoke to Patti, whose loud but cosy home would make Abigail Ahern swoon, so if you want to check out her house, click here. However this week we are speaking to Diane, 30, whose just started running a business from home in Hertfordshire. Having worked as a senior designer at Fromental wallpapers, where her passion for oriental design grew, she now creates her own designs and oh.em.gee are they to die for!
The Style Files: Bringing you boundary pushing interior design to swoon over.
- What was the design process behind your home?
I am a fiend for colour and wow factor, I love interior design but I confess I am not quite as good at it as id like to be! I follow a lot of bloggers and use Pinterest to source beautiful ways to dress my rooms. My home is filled with my own wall murals, we moved into the house at around the same time I had decided to start my hand-painted interiors business, so I set out to utilize all the new walls to showcase my work. My new home was ultimately the catalyst for my business. We wanted a bright airy home so I combine bright colour with a lot of brilliant white walls, I feel that really makes the colours stand out more. When we bought the house (3 bed semi) it was in a dyer state, in desperate need of serious work. We gutted the place, knocked down walls and re-did everything on a shoe string budget. I was 8 months pregnant whilst scraping wallpaper, knocking off tiles, grouting, sanding, varnishing wood floors – the list goes on…..and on!
- What is the inspiration behind your home ?
I love oriental design, my hand painted walls are mainly inspired by 18th century Chinese wallpapers. I give them a modern fun feel, by use of strong colour, clean lines and more open composition. I don’t tend to stick to a particular style in my home, anything goes really as long as I like the look of it, we have a lot of soft metallic touches, I love gold, pink, yellows and teals. But combined with natural wood, some black/white and a few plants it really works! Everything must be practical. I cannot justify buying beautiful design (as much as I desperately want to sometimes!) if if is not practical. Our home is for living, we are a normal messy family, so I have to accept and work with that!
- What would be your advice to someone who wants to create a home like yours?
Use your imagination, be true to yourself and what will really make you feel happy. Its all about your surroundings, the style you choose defines you and your mood. If its cluttered, you will feel stressed, and visa versa. One thing I would say is that if you are also a colour fiend like me, then consider how you will balance that out. Because it is possible that lots of colour could become a stressful environment to live in. Consider balancing that with neutrals, including black. Or create one bright feature wall, rather than the whole room, it will really stand out that way and feel focused. Adding anything natural like wood and plants really works wonders. Always think about re-using the things that you already have, it is not always necessary to buy new. The majority of my homewares are either second hand, from charity shops, free cycle or just re vamped. I bought an old cocktail chair on ebay and re upholstered it, that was one of my favorite DIY projects. I also bought a huge solid wood decorative mirror for above my fireplace for only £15 on Ebay, painted it white and voilà, a fresh beautiful new look! You Tube has a plethora of tutorials!
How would you define your style?
Colourful, vibrant & liveable but with a touch of class
- Whats you best piece of advice for working with white in a home?
To me, white is the most important shade! Not magnolia, say no to magnolia (unless you are a landlord!). White makes things feel crisp, bright and fresh. It will make any other colour stand out. I personally always paint ceilings white, to make any room feel much larger and more spacious. White is key to balancing and enhancing strong colour, especially in small spaces. The same rule applies to my hand painted murals, I always paint a base coat of white for every element of my design, this is how I achieve strong colours.