DESIGN A ROOM
Last month I popped along to a Cotswold barn to attend an interior design workshop run by Lauren Gilberthorpe. It was an inspiring day and I enjoyed learning about the interior design process from someone in the trade. I also loved chatting with the other attendees about their interior plans. There was such a great mix of people and it was fascinating to exchange stories over lunch as the rain fell on the surrounding Cotswold hills. Today I am sharing some of the things covered during the day.
Before entering into the redesign of a room it’s wise to consider the following things:
1. What is the age and style of the property?
2. What will the room be used for?
3. What items need to be in the room?
4. Who will use the space?
5. Is there anything that doesn’t currently work?
Lauren also suggested taking photographs of the space. This can help us to see things we may not have previously noticed. It’s easy to miss stuff when we’re overfamiliar.
CREATE A MOOD BOARD
I was interested to hear that Lauren creates a mood board for every room she designs. She suggested getting a large sheet of paper, a pile of magazines and letting your imagination run wild. Images don’t need to be of homes but anything that inspires you. You’re looking to finish with a sheet of colours, textures and an overall mood for the room. This will be your reference point when making decoration decisions, choosing furniture and so on. I’ve never done this before but it’s certainly something I will do in future.
PLAN THE LAYOUT
The next step is to draw a plan of the room and cut out shapes of your furniture. This will enable you to try different layouts. Lauren advised considering the following:
1. Make adequate space for walkways – ideally 90cm.
2. Ensure coffee tables are at least 35cm from the sofa. Always factor in places to put drinks!
3. Arrange furniture so you can easily access doors and drawers.
4. Don’t feel you need to keep all your furniture. Consider letting things go or moving items to other rooms.
5. Think about the seasons. Maybe you need one layout for summer and one for winter?
6. Consider doubles, for example, if you have a large space you could have two smaller coffee tables rather than one large one.
7. Be creative with your furniture. Can items be used as seating when you have a lot of guests?
8. And finally, don’t always fall into the trap of having all your furniture against the walls.
Just to add, I’ve always laid tape or string on the floor before I buy furniture. It’s good to know how big things are before you commit.
It was a fascinating day and it motivated me to reorganise my office. I’ve removed the guest bed and replaced it with some drawers to house my equipment. It has made a huge difference to the space.