My previous life as strategist and business consultant sometimes rears it head and I end up intellectualising the whole interiors design process. I was reading one of my fave blogs www.abigailahern.wordpress.com, and it got me thinking, she was writing about the quest to help clients define their individual style. To me that's just half the battle the next step is sticking to a style. I have come across lots of homes where different styles have been designed in every room. May be individual, but wow, it makes the house feeling really unrestful and not at all calm. I've done it myself I have wanted to create a contemporary look then drifted and the look has its ended up more traditional in other rooms.
Then this came to mind – Steven Covey a immanent american management guru said that one of the 7 traits of highly successful leadership is to “begin with the end in mind” . Crikey this should apply to anybody about to decorate their homes house!! Evolve and mix and match but begin with an overall end style in mind.
Overall style. Rip out images from books, magazines of furniture, room sets, colours and styles. Find the common thread that attracts them to you, is it a colour theme that inspiring you, is it a french vintage style or cottagey look. Then create a collage or mood board. Think about the colours, shapes and textures that are part of this style. Use it to remind yourself what it is your trying to achieve. When your making that choice on say a sofa or a light refer back to your board to check it fits. Stay focussed it will save you money in the long term. I have seen so many spaces where furniture has been bought randomly only for it to jar with existing pieces.
Regroup - look at what you already have if it doesn't fit me ruthless, find a new space for it elsewhere, store it away, sell it or see if it can be customised to fit in with the style you are trying to achieve.
Colour - If you are thinking about decorating a whole house create a colour board and experiment with colours on this. Put together shades of colours which come from the same colour family or if their from different colour families make sure that the are toning colours.
For example Colour families - Farrown and Balle Skimming Stone, Elephants breath, Charleston Grey
Shopping - try rationalising where you shop, it will stop you from wandering!. Look for shops that sell items that focus on the look your after. Country Cottage try Garden Trading, oriental try Andrew Martin.
Fittings - minimise the number of floor coverings through the house. If you do have different floor coverings make sure the tones of the wood, carpet of tile tones. I once counted 14 different floor coverings in a house it makes spaces feel really small.