We finally made it to our new home! Moved in last week, and it’s glorious. I can’t express how relieved I am to have the move over with – I was a high-stress/anxious mess the last few weeks. I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. Now, that we’re unpacked (almost), we’ll be focusing more on the fun stuff…designing our home, room by room.
Leo and I both have an appreciation for the interiors at Soho House. We’ve been to several clubs around the world, and are impressed time and time again by the beautiful, welcoming spaces they create. Leo discovered that Soho House actually has a book, Eat Drink Nap, all about interiors, along with their tips & tricks on designing awesome spaces. We now have the book sitting on our coffee table, and it’s been quite helpful over the last month as we decided paint colors and started thinking about what furniture we wanted to buy for our new home. The book is jam packed with photographs of the gorgeous Soho Houses around the world, along with tips on how to mix old and new furniture, eBay rules for purchasing vintage items, how to purchase the right sofa, how to grow your own herb garden, where to buy art, recipes from the Soho House chef’s & so much more!
The part of the book I want to share with you today is in the very beginning – how to start a room from scratch. The rules are unbelievably simple…
First things first, evaluate your space. Pay attention to details – the crowning on the ceiling, the flooring, wood paneling etc. Also, try to think outside of the box. Can you maybe paint the floors instead of staining? Can you keep the old wood fireplace & re-stain/repaint it? There were a few things that totally stuck out to me in our place (like our vintage banister in the entryway), but other things I completely missed and wished I would have done a little differently. It’s important to note these things early on as they will set the tone for your space.
Think about whether you want the paint to set the mood of the room, or your furniture. If you are leaning towards darker, more dramatic paints, stick with simple furniture. If you’re leaning towards statement pieces for furniture, select neutral paint colors. We decided to go with neutral paints and a more natural hardwood floor stain, with the intention of adding character through furniture and accents like throws, light fixtures, etc.
We didn’t do this, and ended up having to measure everything a million times as a result. I HIGHLY recommend laying out floor plans by room, so you have an idea of how much you can actually fit and where to put it. Apartment Therapy has a roundup of their favorite floor plan tools. I also really like RoomSketcher – simple, easy to use and gets the job done.
Don’t make all of your purchases at once. It’s impossible to properly decorate and have the room be functional without actually spending time in it. Spend some time in the space and think about how you use it. Do you tend to read a lot in the living room? Maybe it makes sense to get a reading chair and/or create a little nook library. Another important thing they mentioned in the book – natural light. Pay attention to where it falls in the room at different times of day as this may influence your layout and the kind of furniture you buy.
This is so much easier said than done – I’m trying really really hard to wait on things myself. Designing your space doesn’t happen overnight. Take the time you need to find that perfect piece that has both form and function. Don’t settle. What’s the rush after all? The end result will be so much more satisfying if you take the time to be thoughtful about every piece you introduce into your home. I know, it sounds exhausting, but it can also be tremendous fun.
Shop some of the pieces I’ve been eyeing below: