While we know it’s tempting (and exciting) to dive straight into choosing colours and laying out furniture, press pause for a moment – a little forward planning can make all the difference. Don’t worry, it doesn’t necessarily need to be extensive. As our co-founder John and his wife, interior designer Emma Sims-Hilditch, shared in their interview, it can be as simple as taking a step back and having a good think about how you want your home to feel. From there, it’s much easier to make individual decisions based on whether they harmonise with this vision or not. Blogger, journalist and author of ‘101 Interior Design Answers’, Kate Watson-Smyth also advocates forethought before you jump in, and in this blog, she’s given us six questions – who, what, when, why, where and how – that you can use to bring clarity to every aspect, from storage to budget to where you’re going to shop.
Starting to dive in a bit deeper, in this post, former Livingetc editor Suzanne Imre offers wisdom on how to really get to know your room’s proportions and features. This is as simple as recognising whether your room is small or big, tall or short-ceilinged, but also includes looking at skirting, picture rails and dados to decide how you want to approach these (in terms of whether they look right for the room or not, and how you’ll paint them). She also talks about taking into consideration focal points and fireplaces, storage and even window treatments in relation to your room’s scale and layout.
If you feel that your project needs some real sit down time before you can begin, then our definitive guide to planning might just help. Put together with Neptune store designer Fred, we’ve broken these early stages down into five steps – from getting to know your room to gathering around you an expert team of tradespeople – as well as discussing things like whether you need to involve a professional designer.
Finally (and probably everyone’s favourite part of the planning process), we’re talking all things moodboards in this post with a handful of our Home Designers. So, if you’re wondering how to create a moodboard, at what point you should make yours, and whether, in fact, you actually need one, this is the article to head to.
Demystifying the design process with John and Emma Sims-Hilditch
Planning a project: our guide to getting started
How to make a moodboard and when to use one