How often have you set out on a journey to redecorate a room inspired by a hotel bar/ holiday apartment/ magazine spread only to find that it just doesn't work in your own home? Frustrated, and a little embarrassed, you throw out half of your expensive purchases and start over. Or worse still, live with something that just doesn't feel right. Tell me it isn't just me?
I'm a total magpie when it comes to homes and love to scour blogs, magazine and Pinterest boards for inspiration. I'll fall head over heels with a cosy woodland cottage packed floor to ceiling with books and dusty antiques only to have my eye pulled in the opposite direction by a beautiful, light-filled studio style home bursting with pops of pattern and colour. Tasteful, serene spaces layered with lots of lovely soft greys and muted, delicate colours also catch my eye as do seriously cool, directional and high end spaces. In fact, if it's beautifully designed and well styled I'll probably love it. And that can make decorating a home pretty tricky.
I think many of us that aren't professional interior designers can fall into the same trap. We fall in love with the idea of a lifestyle, or the image of what we should be doing with our homes rather than creating spaces that will make us feel happy and reflect who we are as people. It becomes confusing, disjointed and we often make decorating decisions that we later come to regret.
Over the years my husband and I have renovated several houses and recently I've been using the principles of colour psychology to help me make better and more congruent design decisions. It's a process I've used for many years to create distinctive brand identities and websites for small businesses but the principles apply just as well for your home. And most importantly, once you crack it, you'll find that you can make better decisions about how you design your home (or your clients' homes)
By identifying which seasonal personality best reflects you and the people that live in your home you can create a space that really supports you as people and enables you to express your personalities. You'll find that your home flows better because rather than 'theming' every room you're responding to a consistent brief and just adapting the design depending on how you want to feel in each, very specific, space.
There are four main seasonal personalities and I go into them in more detail on my blog but essentially Spring personalities are spontaneous, creative, forward thinking and expressive. If you're a Spring personality you should bring as much light and touches of sparkle into your home as possible. You'll use light, bright and clear colours and will be very drawn to clean, clutter free and simple spaces.
If you're a Summer personality you'll be organised, efficient, elegant and romantic. Soft, delicate and muted colours will make you feel at home: you'll put together tasteful room schemes that have a calm, flowing and classic feel. Quality is really important to you and anything cheap will make you shudder. Faded florals or smart stripes will work well and you'll love the beach cottage look.
Autumn personalities are earthy, organic, passionate and lifelong learners. You'll respond well to warm, muted and intense tones and natural textures. Exposed wood, natural stone and rustic linens will feel authentic for you and feed your need for substance and cosiness. It'll be important to you that your home feels warm and inviting so an open fire and plenty of books, as well as a strong connection to the outdoors will make you feel right at home.
If you're a Winter personality you'll love drama. You might be very grounded, understated and unfussy or you may be all about the bling: loving a high end look with plenty of sparkle, statement lighting and as much impact as possible. Whichever type of Winter personality you are, one thing is for sure: you'll want your home to make a statement. Use bold, intense and cool colours; dramatic textures and clean lines. Avoid clutter at all costs and go for statement pieces that are as big as your personality.
So which seasonal personality best reflects you and the people who live in your home? And how have you managed to pull together a space that feels right for you? I'd love to hear!
If you'd like to find out more about how you can make this fascinating subject work for your business or your own creative process I'm running a Colour Psychology for Creatives workshop on 30th September in London and I would love to see you there!