Guest Blog Post
Lucy Gough is an Australian-born, London-based Interior Stylist who has spent the last ten years styling for the most highly coveted interiors magazines in the UK as well as high street brands like John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Dulux, Crown Paint and Heal’s to name a few. Versatility is the key to being a successful stylist and Lucy loves that no two projects look the same! In this post Lucy talks through some key things to consider when renovating or restyling your home…
One thing that the last 18 months has taught us is that our homes are the centre of our lives. All of a sudden we were told to stay indoors… so indoors we stayed! Then we found ourselves staring at our walls for days and weeks and months on end and started to see the ‘imperfections’ in our homes. So, it’s no wonder that A LOT of people started to pour their savings into renovating or restyling their beloved spaces because our homes have had to work so much harder than ever before and serve so many more purposes.
Kitchens became offices and bathrooms became zoom-rooms (the only place to get any peace from the kids!). I saw people hanging art above the loo and using the loo as a chair to conduct meetings. No one on the call had any clue! Sitting rooms became workout spaces and bedrooms became meditation rooms.
We all realised that if we couldn’t escape our homes, we had to make our homes work for us. So, people started to analyse their priorities. Some decided to finally frame their family photos after decades of them being in boxes. Some realised their favourite reading chair was in a dark corner and decided to light the space. What joy the right kind of lighting can bring! Some realised they hated their scratchy bath towels and invested in soft cotton bath sheets. A lot of us got back to basics and realised that we didn’t need luxuries to make us happy – it’s the simple things.
Now that we are coming out of the most bizarre months of our lives people have re-evaluated so much and decided to relocate to somewhere that makes them happy. And some have decided to stay put but really change the fundamentals of their homes from the ground up, and I am receiving an influx of emails and messages from people who want help in doing so. People want help in making their house a home and something that makes them feel like their homes are the sanctuaries they deserve.
So, when you are deciding on how to renovate or restyle your home you need to think about a few key things.
– How do you use your home?
– Do you have three dogs so you need a boot room with a dog bath?
– Do you have school-age children so you need storage space for bags and shoes and books near the front door?
– Are you excitedly single and want your kitchen/dining space to host many parties for 10+ people once the world opens up again?
Once you really drill down into what and how you want to use your space then you have a starting point for your new scheme. When you’re planning your project you will need to think about lighting your spaces – I suggest using multiple light sources on more than one plane.
When I style a home for a client, I always start off by seeing what furniture and accessories are in the house already that I can use in the new scheme. I try to re-use as much as possible so there is less waste! Most people have at least a few key pieces that can be incorporated into a new space. Then I will do some picture research on Pinterest and other inspirational places so I can put together a mood board for the client. Once I am in the creative process, I can start to see a colour palette emerge and then I continue to create the scheme using an edited palette of 3-4 colours maximum. This will help to keep the overall design feeling strong throughout all the rooms.
I run an online course called ‘How to style your home like a magazine’ and I hold a Q&A session with the wonderfully knowledgeable Dan Blaker – Creative Director at lighting design consultancy, Nulty. Dan expands more on the idea of having light sources on different planes. A plane can otherwise be referred to as a wall or ceiling or floor. If you have a central pendant lamp or downlights on the ceiling, then hang wall lights above where you sit and read. You can add occasional lamps on your side tables, and finally with a floor lamp in the corner of your room, you will have a number of sources of light so you can create different moods depending on the task at hand.
Lastly, if I could offer one simple piece of advice when lighting a room, I would suggest that all your lights are on dimmer switches. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to bring ambience to any room and it is relatively inexpensive to do.
Best of luck with your project and enjoy the creative journey, Lucy x
Interior bedroom image © Jon Day Photography