My London Design Festival week got off to an unexpectedly early start today. After a reflexology appointment in London Bridge, I took myself over to the Tate Modern for a little afternoon of art. Instead of a quiet gallery, I was met by a sea of fashionistas, writers, bloggers, and the Christopher Kane show. Christopher Kane is one of my favourite British designers, so I was one happy girl. Even if I was very, VERY underdressed.
My love for design started with fashion when I was much younger and still living in Iowa. Over the years, that expanded to include interiors and I love how the two influence one another. So having seen the show in person, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite looks, with some ideas on how I would translate them into a home. Photos are from British Vogue
Looking at the shape of the dress above, it’s straight-talking classic shift style serves as the perfect canvas for the amazing clash of texture and pattern. Anything too over the top or complicated would risk overwhelming the eye and distracting from the detail of the craftsmanship. How would you translate this into interiors? Look for a simple sofa or chair that has a wild fabric. Or stay tonally consistent, but clash pattern and texture through a mix of cushions.
The top half of this look would feel at home in a vintage Chanel collection. Pair it with a knee length skirt, pearls and heels and you’re ready for tea with granny. But taking the classic twinset, using fabric with a vibrant, tactile pattern, and then throwing some leather trousers into the mix makes it feel young, relaxed and modern. So if your style is more traditional but you want to add an unexpected bit of personality to your home, look for modern materials. For instance, throw a luxe leather pillow on a couch with a more traditional tweed fabric. Or frame unexpected, humourous artwork in an over-the-top ornate gold frame. Think Victorian meets Punk and you’re on your way.
After grunge and industrial styles making a comeback, it’s nice to see some soft, sophisticated dresses back in the mix. To bring this into your home, look for fabrics that flow through your fingers and move with ease, rich jewel tones, and flowing lines. Silks, satins and soft chiffons are less practical for upholstery on furniture, but amazing for curtains, bed linens and accessories. Especially when layered against something heavier for contrast.
This look may be the same colour from head-to-toe, but it definitely isn’t monotone because of the way he’s used leather, silk, and tulle to add interest and form. If you are not big on contrasting colour, look for ways to break up a room by sticking to the same hue, but using different fabrics and materials to add interest.
Use unique detailing to make your home memorable
A little black dress with a difference. Even from where I stood, I could still see the gorgeous detailing that makes this piece really special. So lesson to take away here? If you’re sticking to the tried and tested, look for pieces with a touch of personality to make it feel less ordinary. Seaming on furniture, unique inlaid patterns in the fabric, a hand-carved detail on a chest of drawers, a traditional tile that’s oversized, a classic chair in a punchy colour – anything that suggests ‘this was designed’ and not ‘this was mass-manufactured’. Ikea is great at this – so rather than opting for their standard wares have a look at their limited editions. Or buy one of their timeless basics, and look for ways to personalise it. There are thousands of Ikea hacks out there if you want a bit of inspiration.
So next time you’re stuck and looking for inspiration, have a flip through a fashion magazine or take yourself off clothes shopping. Think about what you like, and what you don’t, and challenge yourself to translate it into an idea for your home. You’ll be surprised at what you come up with.
Any fashion designers that have inspired your home interiors? Where do you go for inspiration when styling up a room? Wishing you a great start to the week!