I know I have harped on about this before but I believe it is true….nothing easier and less inspiring than just throwing your credit card on the counter and letting some high end designer do it all for you. If I were to commission one of my favourite designers to redesign my home I would be all over them like a rash. I would not let it become one of those exclusive but characterless homes with no sense of who the owners are what so ever….I believe it is important to mix and match. To combine good quality design pieces with flea market finds, vintage car boot sale items and personal objects. To have that jaw dropping coffee table that meant you almost had to remortgage the house but to combine this with personal items and dare I say the odd high street purchase? I realize that in the designers world this may be frowned upon but I don’t care….I have been complimented for some of my cheapest bargain items. Flea market finds can be cheap only because someone else has lost interest in them but to you they might just have that little something that makes your other items shine! Important is to make your cheaper items your own – particularly the high street ones.
When I say make it your own I mean adding something to it or altering it slightly. For instance take a cheap lamp and have a new lampshade made. Good quality fabrics let boring and dull objects come alive. Or buy a flat-pack table and spray paint in a beautiful shiny hue.
Here is a top 3 of my high street brands or shops I am not too embarrassed to have in my interior, provided you add your own touch. In no particular order:
1) Ikea – http://www.ikea.com – I am not going to promote this shop. There are a lot of things I do not like, but no time to be negative… There are things I do like and they are for instance wooden table consoles or shelving. Paint the console or shelving in the exact colour of your wall and then dress with books and a nicely arranged ‘still life’ – flowers, vases, candles etc. The fact the wooden item fades in the background because you have painted it in the same, preferably dark, hue (dark walls make for spectacular interiors) – makes the whole look very designery!
2) Anthropologie – http://www.anthropologie.com – really good for lamps (make it your own with a new shade for instance), vases and trinkets and make sure to arrange and combine with your own antique and flea market finds.
3) Zara home – http://www.zarahome.com – very good for bed linen, sheets, quilts, throws and rugs. I have also mixed and matched some of their cushions with some of my more eye watering expensive ones. Can you tell which are the cheaper ones?
Just to let you know that I haven’t completely sold my designer soul to the devil: I just bought a stuffed peacock. It is beautiful and extravagant and the blue, green and gold colours are spectacular… I realize this is a bit controversial but I happen to like it and although I probably won’t keep it and I will use it in a shop display or just sell it on 1tsdibs ( this was the reason for my purchase in the first place and I have to believe you have to stick to your business plan and not get attached to items too much – this is so hard to do!!) I am confident this will find a good place in an individualistic and spectacular interior.