The Style Files No. 21Get a loada Design Soda!
Welcome to the home of the original intrepid explorer, or perhaps more commonly known as Design Soda, the award-winning interiors blogger. The person behind the name is freelance stylist and writer Ruth, whose home we’ve chosen as this weeks’ Style Files house tour..Take a look around Ruth’s home and you’ll be taken on a journey across different eras. Each room has its own vibe and styling from different time periods – each corner is packed with carefully selected ornaments and artefacts. From a colonial style living room to a block coloured blue bathroom to 1930s’ furniture, this house has it all. If you want your home to have personality, take tips from this one. Have a look inside!
All photos by the woman herself, Design Soda.
Here’s a home that incorporates the natural world, from natural history objects to paint with natural pigments
Where do you find your inspiration?
The inspiration behind our home is really varied. We live in a fairly average three-bedroom house which has quite small rooms (but high ceilings) which has given me the freedom to set the mood of different styles in each space. I love how each room has a different vibe and styling from different eras.
What was the design process of your home?
The design process of our home has been a combination of quick cosmetic changes with things like wall colour to more planned design, which has taken longer to evolve. When we moved into our new home I had a list of things I really wanted to change, but some things became more urgent than others. For example, the fairly neutral bathroom we inherited turned out to have a pretty major plumbing problems and became the most urgent makeover (and budget stealer) within the first month. The newest part of the design process in this house has been paying more careful attention to practical issues like storage. Now that we are a family, function has become a lot more important in our home design.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to create a home like yours?
Spend most time thinking about the colours that inspire you – those that make you feel happy, cosy, sociable or peaceful. Ignore trends which can feel impersonal, and use your chosen shades as base notes to your design. I like to incorporate the natural world within my home, from natural history objects and plants to natural materials and paint with natural pigments. I like to feel my home’s link to the outside world, and I would recommend this approach to anyone.
“Ignore trends which can feel impersonal and use your chosen colours as base notes to your design”
What’s the single most important thing to remember when decorating a room?
It’s got to be another thought on colour. For me the single most important thing is to follow your gut instinct, some colours can be a little daunting when painted on small pieces of paper but in my experience fortune usually favours the brave. If you were inspired by a shade at the outset it will usually be very successful on your walls, and bear in mind that a wash of colour looks far less dramatic than a small sample flash of it on a neutral background. Oh and get the biggest piece of paper you can lay your hands on for sample painting, and don’t forget to move it around the room to see how the colour will change according to the light.
What is the best homeware item you ever bought and why?
My most treasured homeware buys are always textiles. They are the thing that I spend most on because I see them as heirlooms and because they are a perfect way of injecting colour and interest into a space that can be moved around when you want a refresh. My Donna Wilson pouf and Rowenna Mason cushion are firm favourites, but for the last six months I’ve been absolutely thrilled with my Greenhouse cushion designed by Lizzie for Smug. I keep moving it around from room to room and it just looks perfect everywhere!
How would you define your style?
I really struggle with design terms as I feel limited by them, so I guess eclectic is the one that fits me best. Our home is fairly bohemian in feel. It’s a relaxed family space. I like collecting vintage but am also just as at home with modern pared back Scandinavian design. I use colour a lot but not in an especially punchy way, our style is definitely eclectic.