Much of a home’s impact comes from the mood it creates – in the same way that a theatre backdrop sets the scene for the play. Our minds are built around associations so that beach themes are attractive because they remind us of holidays, relaxation and escapism. Large loft-style living with industrial accessories make us think of cool, edgy and hip.
Different styles and looks appeal to different people. I drew up some mood boards to help friends and clients decide on what they were really trying to create in their homes.
Which one are you?
The Tropical look is based around colour – bright and vibrant colour and lots of it. Mango, emerald, Indigo, Fuchsia, turquoise and Acid yellow all zing in this style. This is about pattern, and multiple combined patterns. Flowers, fruit and birds proliferate. Plants feature inside and out and accents in raffia, natural woods and woven furniture.
This is about being over the top. And if you like this, it’s unlikely that you’re the shy and retiring type. You’re probably as loud, cheerful and sociable as the picture above.
This look is not compatible with urban living or very citified environments. It works best with open spaces that lead onto gardens.
Full blown glamour is a luxurious style with lots of gold and gilt. Colours are deeper: amber, oyster, forest green, midnight blue and violet. This is about lots of sparkle – mirrors and glass, marble and travertine. The baroque, rococo and empire styles of history have strong influence here.
Furniture is likely to be antique or carved. Fabrics will be rich: silk velvet, satins and brocades.
This looks is not compatible with chrome and modern finishes.
The Masculine Club style relies on a sombre colour palate of charcoal, navy and grey. There is lots of leather (sofas and even floors), wool and flannel. Wood is dark and usually polished – this is a formal aesthetic, with occasional lapses into a collector’s study.
Include a car with drinks, bottles, and mirrors. Throw in some leather-bound books. Keep the lines straight, trims to a minimum and you’ll have the musky, hushed cigar-smoke atmosphere of a gentleman’s club or library.
This looks doesn’t go with frills and flounces, pastel colours or pinks!
The Industrial Loft is a rough-edged look with structure and pipes showing. This is no time to hide the plumbing. Rust, iron, brickwork and concrete form a key part of the style.
Flags, banners and repurposed objects feature heavily. It works best in lofts and warehouse conversions.
This is not compatible with three pieces suites or matching sets of furniture.
This is an eclectic look - part rustic, part french provincial, part Tuscan. Colours are faded or neutral shades of aqua, sage, lavender, pearl and oatmeal.
Textures are rich and layered with wood, coral, rustic stone, worn leather and fossils. Linens and silks cover furniture and if patterned will be very faded and worn.
There is plenty of room for collected items (the more the better) adding to the overall sense of history and faded grandeur. Wood is limed or distressed.
This isn’t compatible with chrome, bright and clear colours or artificial fibres (such as polyester).
If your style is minimal and avant-garde, then really I have no idea why you are reading my blog! This is incredibly expensive to create. it relies on perfect finish, slick clean lines and strong linear shapes or sculptural pieces.
Colours are pure white or black, with bright clear flashes of colour. Surfaces are glossy: chrome, steel, plastic. Storage is hidden and furniture is spare.
This doesn’t really go with antiques, pattern, clutter mess or dirt.
This looks is made by its quality and its upkeep. If you like this – you gotta be rich.
The English Country Manor: florals, chintzes and patterns are layered with luxurious fabrics. There are abundant rugs, trims, tassels and fringes. Colours are natural but bright: leaf green, coral, butter yellow. Polished rosewood and mahogany hold photos in silver frames.
It’s elegant, it’s classic, it’s classy.
The Smart Contemporary style is reminiscent of a luxury city hotel: colour schemes are simple taupes, wines and chocolate. It is tailored, clean and formal. Fabrics are leather, chrome and chenille.
This is generally a style that doesn’t display a lot of personality. It is not compatible with mess or clutter, or with many personal touches.
The fresh country style has lots of wood and white with a single colour such as azure blue, rose-pink or apple green.
Antiques and vintage furniture sit on wooden floorboards with toile-de-jouy, striped or checked cotton and linen fabrics. Willow pattern china or old dinner services sit on a dresser, with bowls of flowers, samplers and family treasures.
Atlantic style is about wood-boarded walls, canvas and linen. Pale colours such as chalk, grey and duck-egg blue summon memories of the blustery atlantic coast. Nautical references abound. Furniture is distressed and fabrics are sunbleached, with driftwood, sisal rugs, storm lanterns.
Wool throws and blankets keep it cosy.
This isn’t compatible with lots of colour or pattern – it relies on a very pared back colour scheme.
So…. which one are you? Or are you a combination of one or two? More than three and you’re confused – and if you’re having trouble decorating your house this is why!