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Creating a Home with Soul

Have you ever walked into a home and found it warm, creative and inviting? What makes this type of home stand out from the rest? Making your house a home is a personal endeavour. As a designer, not only do I like to create a nest for others; I like a home to reflect who lives there. In a way your home should reflect parts of who you are.. an expression of your heart and soul.


A house provides us with an emotional security blanket, a haven from the world, a place where we express ourselves creatively – and where we can welcome and enjoy the company of others.

A home with soul is authentic, nourishing and inviting


You can spend alot of money in decorating your home with the latest fads, styles and decorating items or the latest 'style'..Industrial, Hamptons, Scandinavian......however to me, an authentic home requires alot of soul searching to align with who lives there; what makes you tick? How do you like to live your life? Are you busy people? Do you entertain alot? Are there people coming and going? Does there need to be various zones- for a home office/business/family/ children/elderly parents/teenager? Does the interior reflect your personality, your interests, your passions and your soul?

Homes with soul do not follow fads...they follow your own heart. Start with what excites it certain colours? Items collected from travels to far way places? Certain architectual styles? Spaces- cosy/open? Views over the ocean, forest, courtyard or fields? Then allow the creative juices within to extend to filling your home with certain items that ignite your spirit and nurture your soul.

Indian Summer Home comes from the belief that entering a home is about telling a story. Interesting pieces collected from your history, various textures and finishes that enrich the space within, are used to create a story about your life.

Now I understand that some of you might not like the clutter of what such a home might bring. I agree...a soulful home can at times seem over cluttered...clear the clutter and keep only those pieces that resonate with you. I like to use a blank canvas when beginning design projects. If this is not possible, always start a makeover with new eyes and a clear space. Have a declutter day/weekend before you start your makeover. Dig deep within to keep only those pieces that really mean something to you.

Collect pictures from magazines that ignite your soul...start to make a vision board of your ideas. My rule of thumb is to invest in signature pieces such as beds, sofas, dining tables and sideboards...and then decorate around these. Look for one or two 'quirky' pieces that add interest to your room, such as an ornate mirror, a vintage cabinet, an oversized piece of art or an old claw foot bath. The process of adding heart and soul is to keep drawing on those things that ignite your it a blue/white colour scheme? Or an amazing piece of art you have collected? Or a vintage sideboard passed down from your nan? Or an interesting fabric you have sourced...for soft furnishings. You can mix modern with old too....make sure you get the balance right!

'Layering' is a design principal which you can use to design your soulful room. As mentioned, start with a blank canvas, add the investment pieces as described above, add the 'quirky/interesting' pieces to to room...then source interesting fabrics for soft furnishings...and finally I add the rug, art work and lighting/lamps and decorating pieces. Balance and spatial planning are other design principals to consider, when putting your collection and colour scheme together.

If a whole house redesign project is too overwhelming to start with...start with your bedroom. I always ask my clients what is it that they would like the room to 'feel' like? ( Not 'look' like). Is it cosy, warm, clear of clutter, romantic, luxurious, exotic, Hollywood, organised, pretty, bohemium? These describing words will resonate with your heart and soul...use them as a guide to your design project and are a good starting place to centre your choices around. Allow you partner, child, teenager to have some input into their own spaces too...the outdoor space, the shed, the activity room, the workshop, the home office, the kitchen, the child's bedroom... allow for creative expression of all individuals who live there.

Finally tying a scheme together involves choosing a design element and making it connect throughout the home or room. It could be a colour, a pattern, a texture or an architectural element such as glass, timber, metal, brick or stone.



All photos @ Indian Summer HOME

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