We love interiors with soul. A 'collected' interior or a space filled with pieces that tell a story resonate the most with us and are the type of rooms that really have that 'wow' factor. Of course I can also appreciate an interior full of the latest and greatest, modern, expensive finishes and materials, but do these spaces have soul? I don't know about you, but I'm sick of seeing the same style presented over and over again on 'The Block' - sure, they are beautifully presented rooms, but they always look the same, and are exactly what we are expecting! Clinical, 'now' and 'on trend'... Rooms that will need updating in another 5 years because everything will be out out of fashion! When is somebody going to challenge this concept? When will we be able to 'expect the unexpected'? What gives an interior soul and brings meaning to our spaces?
If you're anything like me, you'd spend a good deal of time trawling through image galleries of inspirational interiors on instagram, pinterest and a variety of blogs, obsessing over spaces from faraway places and dreaming about planning your next trip overseas! You are bombarded with the most amazing and inspiring interiors, and your mind goes into a spin thinking about how you can incorporate parts of these into your own home or interior. Most of the time, it involves a complete renovation and a lot of money, so it never happens, but there are ways of bringing that 'travel inspired' feel into your own home without breaking the bank (or having to knock down gyprock walls and replace them with old stone!).
I won't lie to you and tell you that this look will come 'cheap'. You definitely need to invest in a few key pieces to tie your room together, but once you have those you will have them forever (buy once, buy right), and everything else comes together pretty easily. You don't need to spend much on the 'everyday' pieces or items that you may feel like changing every few years, such as cushions and smaller accessories... that way, you can change them every so often if you feel like a change.
Some of you may be thinking that this look may not suit your home, as your house is modern or even fairly plain looking... but that's the beauty of introducing one-of-a-kind pieces into your scheme - they will add a punch of personality in an instant and immediately warm your space.
Kitchens are often the most challenging, but to be honest require the least amount of work! Here are a couple of examples...
This kitchen is the definition of 'modern' but has been styled with personality... A large old Chinese tofu bowl sits upon the island bench piled with coconuts and greenery - simple but so effective! Can you imagine this kitchen without that small detail? Still amazingly impressive, but not quite as warm.
I love this image. Such a simple idea. The addition of an old vintage desk to replace an island bench - a simple, yet seriously effective solution to creating bench space - and something you can add to a rental property if more bench space is what you are looking for - what's even better is it's yours to take with you when you leave!
This example is a little more complicated and involves careful planning from the building or renovating stage... actually incorporating old doors or shutters into your kitchen to use as pantry or cupboard doors... definitely a point of difference.
Bathrooms are a little more involved... Most of the time, the most effective results come from actually 'building' in your one of a kind features - such as stone basins, unique tap ware etc, or by using an old Chinese sideboard or cabinet as a vanity...
But then, there are a few simple things you can add to create that warm or personal touch, such as rugs for colour, or an old Chinese workers stool for a rustic element... even a freestanding bone inlay or ornate mirror or console (if you have room)...
Bedrooms are where you can really make a statement using only 1 piece if that's all your budget allows... a unique headboard is sure to draw attention and will dominate any room, so all other elements can be kept simple and to a minimum... This can be anything, from a set of old Indian doors, to old garden gates, carved wall panels... let your imagination run wild! Have fun with it! Alternatively, if you prefer your bed to be simple, add an extra feature with the rest of your bedroom furniture - an old chest of drawers or sideboard, or a extravagant mirror will always do the trick!
The best way to approach your living and dining areas is to add one off 'elements' and not too many. Mix and match old and new with modern sofas and lighting, rustic coffee tables, textured rugs and cushions, and get the most value for money in some of your large pieces such as big old rustic dining tables and big moroccan or turkish rugs that will live with you forever. Decorate your walls with hand made art, woven baskets or anything textural. These things can all tie back with modern pieces of art. You don't want to overdo the rustic look, as this will take away from each piece becoming a 'feature'.
Feeling inspired? I hope so! Once you start incorporating these pieces into your interior scheme, it gets quite addictive and is really a satisfying experience. You will always know that your interior is unique to you - you have built a collection of pieces that nobody else will ever have... a timeless interior full of pieces that will never date, that you can keep forever. Now that's what I call soul!
All images sourced from Pinterest...