During the time of year when we all tend to spend more time together in the comfort of our home, pondering just what home means seems like quite an apt question. What is it about our surroundings that helps create a sense of home and how can we promote that through design?
A little while ago we were lucky enough to meet the very lovely Clare Nolan who is an experienced interiors stylist and lifestyle editor and has written a book on this very topic. Her book Making a House Your Home explores the idea of expressing your family’s personality and needs through design. Clare was kind enough to share some of the tips and tricks she’s learnt through her profession, more of which can be found in her book.
The family together, enjoying their Anglian Conservatory
Clare’s first tip was to approach design projects as an interior designer would by considering the needs of you and your family.
“Think about what your hobbies are, what your interests are, how your family likes to spend time together and try and accommodate all of these in your home,” she advised.
She added: “Aim high and pull together what I call a lust list and a must list.”
It can be very easy to get carried away when you are decorating, to fall in love with products without considering how your budget will accommodate wants and needs. With this in mind, Clare suggests ticking off all of the really basic practical things first. This might mean prioritising new plumbing or looking at lighting in the living room where you spend a lot of time together.
Another priority is creating something you feel comfortable in, your property may look out of this world when it’s finished, but as Clare notes, “if a home doesn’t feel right it’s never going to be one that you love.”
Making it feel right for you may involve succumbing to a particular type of styling. Clare explains there are four key families – modernist, bohemian, minimalist and traditionalist and both taste and behaviours need to match with your chosen style. You may find yourself drawn to the appearance of a minimalist home, but if you and your brood don’t have tidy tendencies, a minimalist feel is unlikely to ever be achievable.
Whatever your styling choice, Clare urges you to look beyond the high street to stimulate ideas and creativity. She said: “You get inspiration from absolutely everywhere and sometimes in places that you don’t really expect. “
Of course, we couldn’t let Clare slip away without giving us her advice for creating the perfect Den space. Here’s what she had to say:
“Within a small space, whether it’s a Den or any other room, it really pays to invest in bespoke storage because you can use every single centimetre of space. It also tailors the storage to your particular needs.”