When renovating one or more rooms of your home, it can be very easy to limit yourself to what is available at your local DIY store. Not enough people see this as a chance to really throw themselves into their home and make it their own. If one hasn’t redecorated in a while, for say five years, it’s likely that the person we were then is quite different to the person we are now. In that time, styles and themes have come and gone, and our own interests have probably changed, even slightly. Redecorating has plenty of stress, in packing things up and actually performing the work or having people inside your home to do it for you; it can be a hassle. However, you can make it fun, even if it means a longer period of planning to get things just right, and it will be all the more worth it in the end. It will also mean that your new room will be unique to you as an individual, and probably won’t follow the same pattern as your friends and neighbours.
Below are a few sources of inspiration to turn to so you don’t limit yourself to what is available on the day when you go to the DIY shop:
Movies and Film:
Have no fear; this isn’t any encouragement to turn your house into Pee Wee’s Playhouse, nor any recreation of a room from television or film, as that is quite tacky (unless you’re planning to charge for tours). What you ought to do next time you’re watching a film, is block out momentarily what is occurring in the foreground with the characters, and glance behind them at the interior or their furniture. More independent films tend to go for quirkier choices, and are less likely to have product placement in them (thus you won’t end up with the easy, mainstream choices); instead, they’ll have some more “out there” set designers working on them, and with foreign films, you’ll get a real variety of ideas you wouldn’t be exposed to normally. That doesn’t mean you can’t find great stylistic choices in Hollywood films; for example in (500) Days of Summer, the kooky Summer has a very interesting apartment, which the camera spends time on, highlighting while architecture is a major theme throughout. There will probably be many blogs online where, if these resonate with even a minority group, people will be discussing where they can buy similar pieces, or make it themselves.
Pinterest is the fastest growing social network going at the moment, more so than Facebook and Twitter. Though it is most popular amongst women, there are some fantastic ideas thrown around that will make you go ‘ooooh’. It’s simply a virtual pinboard, separated into categories, where people can pictures, infographics and memes, and “like” and “re-pin” (or share) them. You can have different boards for different themes, and it’s a great way to organise ideas you get as you browse online; rather than bookmarking everything you see and having a huge, untidy folder with broken links, you have everything set out nicely, which your friends can see. Some furniture or fittings stores are on there, and often promote discounts they have on certain pieces, linking you straight through to where you can buy them.
With smartphones with built in cameras, you don’t really have an excuse not to charge your phone and snap a picture when you see something you like on your travels. This could be a piece of graffiti, or a building you don’t normally go in, and something could catch your eye (I once saw a nifty wallpaper at a job interview, which proved to be a great conversation-piece as I took the picture). You can then take it to a designer who can put something together from that picture. With camera quality getting better and better each year, you won’t have some grainy, blurred photo to work from either, and can share these pictures with friends immediately to get their opinion. With some apps, you can even play around with the colour scheme to get an idea of what something could look like.
Traditional but an old favourite a “big book” with cuttings from catalogues, magazines and books. There will always be magazines in waiting rooms and hairdressers, so if you see something that catches your eye, you can rip it out, asking politely first of course. It shows progress, and some people are just more comfortable with a physical document they can hold without relying on technology. It’s nicer to browse in the evening and is an excuse to have friends over to go through it with, rather than emailing. Plus, if you’re someone who flourishes when it comes to organisation, it’s an excuse to get out the dividers and ring-binders.
Paul enjoys finding alternatives of furnishings and other designs he sees in independent films, for his own home. He is currently working on a few home improvement projects, including the new government green deal, which is emphasising the use of renewables, while also going through a renovation of his own home.