How to tackle THAT problem room - PART 2

So you’ve done your homework and have WRITTEN DOWN why you’re making the changes, what’s positive about the space, and what inspires you. This next step is where you safely get to unleash the creative beast inside - compiling the Moodboard, your blue print for design success. Whether it’s a folder, cork board, or a bunch of images in an electronic file on your computer or mobile device, the function of the mood board is the same. In short, it’s an inspiration portal.

Every Moodboard is unique and there is no right or wrong way to pull it all together, however here are a couple of tips that might help you with the process.

So, what inspires you? This is probably the best place to start - refer back to your homework and reread your list. Family, friends, experiences, places - what pieces, photos, articles do you have that represent these personal inspirations? How can they be incorporated into your space triggering warm memories and positive emotions? You don’t have to go into sensory overload and cram the room full of visual references, just pick a couple that make you shine inside. I found an old vintage chair, buried in a second hand store, that reminds me of one my Nanna used to have in her lounge room. I restored it and reupholstered it and it now sits happily in my lounge room. I love this chair not only because I revived it with my own two hands, but also because it reminds me of her, and this makes me smile. Pick a few select pieces that have a deeper meaning to you. Take some pics of your ‘inspiration pieces’ and ADD THEM TO YOUR MOODBOARD.

“But wait -” I hear you cry, “ - I have a collection of old glass bottles and a beautiful Danish sideboard and gorgeous Kilm rug that I bought on my travels, all of which make me blissfully happy, but I want a black and white minimalist style interior!” you really? By all means, collect images of styles you like and ADD THEM TO YOUR MOODBOARD, but more specifically, work out what it is about the style you like. I adore Art Deco interiors - I love the feel, the precision, the overt splendor and extravagance of this decorating style - but it’s not an interior style that I would choose to live in. However, my vintage chair has a fabulous deco inspired printed cushion on it that’s a subtle salute to the design style I love - the detailed and intricate pattern works beautifully with the simple lines of the chair and the tonal palette of the room. My advice here is this - before you immerse yourself in a design style that you are totally infatuated with, think about how you would feel if you were surrounded by it every day. Would being immersed in the crisp, clinical lines of the black and white minimalist style make you happy every day? Or after a while would you miss the colours of your Kilm rug, which you lugged out of that bustling market place in that little town with the unreal cliff-top bar where you first met your now loving partner? Take the stylistic elements you like and rework them - if you like the crisp lines of contemporary styling (hence the Danish sideboard) but you are also subconsciously drawn to colour and texture (hence the glass bottle collection and your rug) shake it up a bit. Take what you like about a particular design styles and use them to define your own style.

The next thing to think about is your colour palette... Have you ever stood in front of one of those huge colour blocked paint sample walls at the hardware store and felt like you were drowning in a surreal vortex of rainbow overload? Don’t despair - believe it or not, colour is your friend. So, how do you choose a colour that is right for your space? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say - trust your gut instinct. It’s not a very designer thing to advise but here’s the rough - we all have different reactions to colour. You are far better off choosing a colour which invokes a positive response than just going with the current trend pattern of the season which you are ambivalent about, or even worse, uncomfortable in. Are you drawn to green? Then take the plunge and grab some samples from the scary colour wall and leave them lying on your kitchen bench. Glance at them every now and then over then next couple of days and you’ll eventually whittle down the number to a final few which keep evoking the warm and fuzzies. Then, buy some test pots, paint a few A4 pages and blue tack them to the walls of your problem child room. During the course of the day you’ll see these colours change - sometimes dramatically - and you’ll be drawn to the ones that sit well in the space. This process goes for neutrals and vibrant colours alike… When the epiphany happens (cue the angels singing and beams of light descending from the heavens) grab these colour samples and ADD THEM TO YOUR MOODBOARD.

So, you have your key inspiration pieces, you are on your way to defining your design style, you’ve found the colour palette that makes you warm and fuzzy. From here you can start making informed design choices about additional pieces you may need to purchase, revamp or upcycle. You are SO on your way to reclaiming that happy space!

Tomorrow I’ll wrap up the series by offering some tips about room layouts and layering, but for now - how about starting your very own one stop inspiration portal today. Do you have a key piece, a couple of design styles, or a warm and fuzzy colour palette you’re drawn to? ADD IT TO YOUR MOODBOARD!

All pics are referenced from my what design style are you? Ideabook on the Houzz website :)