15 Interior Styling Tips for the Creative Soul
Make it YOU
Find your unique style, and let your space tell your story! Your home is a reflection of who you are, where you’ve come from and what you love. Make it your happy place by consciously choosing what you put in it. I love telling my story through the way I style my home - pieces of art from my travels around the world, a beautiful hand-woven throw from my home country, a hand-painted piece of furniture, a rug that reminds me of the ocean, bright coffee table books about things I love… be authentic in the way you design your home, and it’ll always be beautiful!
If you’d like to make your home personal and beautiful in simple ways, Big Blue Trunk offers different levels of space styling services to help with just that.
Don’t be afraid of colour
Gone are the days of soft beiges and dull greys… the last year has seen design take a turn towards the bold and bright - colour blocking, neon pops and dramatic colour surprises are trending everywhere. Don’t be afraid to add colour to your interiors, whether in the form of art, painted furniture, a feature wall, rugs, accessories or any other way. White walls and floors provide the perfect backdrop for coloured pieces to make an impression.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® lets you do just that! What makes the paint unique is its ability to go over any surface – old and new wood, metal, plastic, cement, bricks, leather, fabric, etc. – all with no preparation needed. It’s never been easier to add colour to your home! Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® range is available to purchase at Big Blue Trunk.
Mix it up!
A cocktail of bold colours, pattern on pattern and rich textures are going mainstream - eclectic interiors are replacing the ‘matchy-matchy’ concept that dominated the previous decade. We’re seeing a more daring design style of juxtapositions such as modern interiors with a vintage statement piece, or calm cool colours with a pop of neon. A mix of trends from different design styles and eras is giving spaces an interesting and fun twist. So, be brave - get that white & pink Beni Ouarain Moroccan rug, a marble coffee table with rose gold legs and that deep blue velvet couch. Have fun with your home and mix it up a bit!
(Image from @house_of_chester)
Learn from Nature
Nature will never go out of style! Bringing the green indoors is a beautiful way to decorate any space. Hanging gardens, terrariums, green walls and potted plants instantly make a space come alive. However, our little plant friends do require daily care and take time and attention to maintain. A less fussy way of going green is bringing in botanical prints - in the form of artwork, soft furnishings, botanical themed furniture or wallpaper. These transform your space instantly and are so easy to do!
Try Lucy Tiffney Wallpaper. An award winning Design Studio established in 2016, the brand has evolved from an ambition to make unique, fresh, colourful and happy designs for everyone. Lucy’s original, large scale, bold murals and beautiful wallpapers showcase her signature hand painterly style and unique interpretation of the natural world. Big Blue Trunk is proud to present Lucy's Wallpaper Collection for the first time in Asia. Lucy Tiffney Wallpaper range is available to purchase at Big Blue Trunk.
Do you have a well-loved piece of furniture that doesn't fit with your decor anymore and needs a facelift? Or a precious antique piece that’s too dark for our tropical climate and could do with a makeover? Don’t throw it out - upcycle it! A little bit of paint and some love can transform old and used furniture and ornaments into beautiful pieces that fit the style of your home. Upcycling is a great way to revitalise old pieces and at the same time add a personal unique touch to your home.
Big Blue Trunk offers a range of creative workshops that teach how to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® and Wax to upcycle furniture & decorative objects. These workshops are designed to be fun & relaxing for everyone, irrespective of artistic experience. Stop by the Studio for some colour inspiration - discover your style, upcycle and feel good about your home!
Creative Workshops Menu hosted at Big Blue Trunk.
Bling it on with Metallic Accents
Lovin’ the rose gold, but don’t know how to bring it home without risking tackiness? Don’t stress, metallic accents are all the rage, Pantone even highlighted it as an up-and-coming trend last year. Bling it on yes, but be sparing in how you use metallics - light fixtures, metallic highlights on art, shimmering fabrics, small ornaments are all easy and delicate ways of adding a bit of sparkle to any room. Hand-painted metallic shimmer on furniture, fabric or ornaments instantly add an artistic flair to any room. And you don’t have to stick to one metallic tone for a room - rose gold, copper, gold and silver - mix them up if you’d like!
Add a metallic touch to your furniture, art or ornaments with Annie Sloan Gilding Waxes available in warm gold, bright gold, copper, dark silver and bright silver. Apply to ornate carvings to enhance texture and detailing, apply on fabric or canvas, or use with Annie Sloan Stencils to create gilded shapes, lines and designs. Metallic Gilding Waxes by Annie Sloan available at Big Blue Trunk.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Mirrors are a beautiful, eclectic and easy way to spruce up any space. They make your space seem brighter and lighter, and take the glamour quotient up a notch. The great thing about mirrors is that they come in so many shapes, finishes, frames and sizes that they are fun to play with - I’m currently loving foxed, mottled and antiqued mirrors with all their mystery and intrigue. The other thing with mirrors is that they don’t always need to be practical - if you love it, get it!
There are a range of mirrors available at Big Blue Trunk including some carved beauties. Big Blue Trunk is also able to repaint old mirrors to give them a different finish or look. Visit Big Blue Trunk at Cluny Court to see more.
Create a Gallery Wall
Let your home tell your story through a uniquely personal set of art that you curate! A gallery wall is today’s feature wall, but much more fun, individual and easy to do. Every gallery wall is different because its a personal selection of art, memorable events, travels, and relationships. It tells a story - where you come from, what you value, your passions, who inspires you…. A wall that will always bring a smile to your face.
First step is to choose the wall you’ll feature, then start collecting art that you love - it can be anything from original artwork, art prints, to macrame plant hangers, fabric hoop art, neon signs, postcards, inspirational quotes, mirrors, clocks and the list is endless. Once you’ve got a good selection of pieces, plan the layout and do a mock up if possible. Happy with the way it’s looking? Go ahead and put it up on your wall!
Big Blue Trunk has a range of original artwork and art prints that you can choose from for your gallery wall. Featured artists and brands include Sister Zozo, Natasha Barnes, House of Neon, Rainbow Carousel, Jane Foster Designs, Meri Meri and Rifle Paper Co. Visit the Big Blue Trunk website or Studio to browse the range.
(Image of a gallery wall by @projecthomedesign featuring @houseonneon art print)
Add a Touch of Whimsy
Whimsical styling is all about adding a touch of the unexpected to your decor - clever and creative ideas that bring a fun and joyous element to a space. Throw caution to the wind for a moment and let your inner child free! Think about how you’d like to make your home feel more playful and adventurous? After all, who likes to live in a space that reminds them of a hotel room! Start by collecting things that make you smile or objects that bring happy memories - a pink flamingo head, bird cages filled with twinkling lights, a spruced up vintage typewriter, juju hats… figure out how you will place these objects in the room, keeping in mind the functional design and shape of the space.
Big Blue Trunk has a fun collection of antique wooden birdcages in a variety of sizes and shapes, and takes custom orders to paint them in any colour and finish. The painted piece comes with a set of twinkling fairy lights on copper wire. Place it on your bedside table, hang it up in your balcony or in the corner of your entryway to add a whimsy and magical element to your space. Visit the Big Blue Trunk Studio to browse the range.
Dress those floors
A rug brings it all together - it can dramatically change the look and feel of a room. Use a rug as an anchor point in your space to tie in your furniture, art and lighting. Scale, size, colour and texture are the four things to consider when selecting a rug. For a grand effect, go for a wall to wall rug and place all your furniture on top of it. For a more eclectic look, layer your rugs and use different shapes and sizes. A rug is a great way to introduce texture and colour to your space. The most important tip I have is to treat your rug as an investment - be practical, get a rug that’s high quality and fits your needs, something that will last you for years to come.
Floors, walls, doors, furniture, fabric, windows - transform anything with some paint and a stencil! Tired of looking at your plain old bathroom tiles? Or have a balcony wall you’d like to make more interesting? Try stenciling! Its a quick, easy and affordable way to transform any space. All you need is a stencil, paint and a brush or roller. Doing-It-Yourself makes it unique and personal - maybe a weekend family project?
Royal Design Studio Stencils has been a leading designer of stencils since 1994. All their stencils are reusable, cut from the highest quality durable mylar plastic, and allow you to create custom designs for any surface including floors, walls, doors, etc. Their products are designed and manufactured in San Diego, USA. Big Blue Trunk stocks Royal Design Studio stencils online and in store.
The Magic of Light
Lighting is everything! It is THE most impactful element in any space and can immediately set the mood - from depressing and dark or harsh and bright, to soft and beautiful. To start off, take advantage of whatever natural light you have in your space. Instead of heavy curtains, go for thin gauzy materials that allow filtered light into your room even when drawn. Next, add as much soft lighting as you can - table lamps, candle votives, lanterns, bird cages with fairy lights, neon light signs….not only do these balance out ceiling lights, but they also add a softer more romantic touch to a room. And finally, if you’re a bit eclectic like me - use your lighting fixtures to make a statement as art pieces, or to add that metallic shine to your space!
The Power of Negative Space
A fermata in music, the lull before a storm, an eloquent pause in a speech - an absence can make a lasting impression. The concept of negative space in interior design is just that, it is breathing space. It frames the objects you use to decorate your room, and gives them the space to shine. So, resist the urge to fill each and every wall and surface of your space. Embrace blankness and allow it to frame the objects that you want eyes to focus on. Take a step back and view your room from where it’s most frequently looked at - then start an elimination exercise. Move things around, or remove something that isn’t really needed and see if it helps you achieve a more harmonious visual effect. Sometimes it’s not about what you include, but what you choose to leave out.
A beautifully styled home is always a work in progress - it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes planning, effort and ongoing upgrades. As your story evolves and your family changes, so does the way your home is styled. I’m constantly making improvements to our home and I always have a list of at least 10 things I need to work on for different spaces. It takes time, and that’s OK! Have fun with your home, move things around, experiment! It’s as much about the process as the end result.
Make it Beautiful and functional
Often when we have visitors they ask - how do you keep your home looking so beautiful especially with a toddler running around? Yes, my toddler throws all the cushions on the carpet to make a house, she drops food everywhere and wipes her chocolatey fingers on my upholstery - and that’s OK! Things can be cleaned, fixed and replaced. Make your home beautiful as well as practical and easy to live in. Ideally, if you choose everything you own with care and love, to make sure they are pretty and functional then styling your home becomes a whole lot easier. But always remember, you own the things, the things don’t own you!
By Deepti Chadda
- Creative Director at Big Blue Trunk