Embarking on any interior design project can be daunting. Whether you’re planning on renovating your whole property, re-decorating just one room or wishing to add a few simple updates to freshen up your décor it can be hard to know where to start. Here professional Interior Designer, Elanna Le Roux, offers her expert advice on how to approach an interior design project as well as her top tips on what’s hot for 2017 and where to shop.
1) Where should people start when first considering an interior design project?
Firstly, set your budget. Secondly, draw up a priority list of requirements including style and colour. Should your project involve internal layout changes or just updating your current interior an Interior Designer can listen to your desires and make professional suggestions that suit your budget. Through this process you will very quickly get a feel of costs and a refined list of next steps and priorities to work towards your new interior.
Pantone Colour of the Year 2017 Denim Driftwood and Colour of the Year Palette
2) What are your top three insider tips when re-decorating a room?
Make a list of what you like and do not like about the current room. Think colour, daylight, positioning, layout, function of the room, budget and time scale.
Create a focal point for the room. This could be a new ceiling pendant, large mirror, interesting colourful table lamps, new cushions or display your family memories by printing photos and framing them in matching black or white frames (depending on your wall colour) for an instant gallery and eye catching effect.
Kitchens can be economically and easily updated by enlisting the services of a professional to paint the existing units and add new handles.
3) How can do you strike the right balance between contemporary and traditional in a period property?
Keep the basic elements of a traditional interior, for example internal doors, skirting and architrave profiles, ironmongery and stairs and combine these with modern lighting, furniture, rugs and colour schemes. This approach enhances modern living and adds a fun effect, but preserves the traditional core of the home.
4) What should somebody consider if they are thinking about employing the services of a professional interior designer and what are the benefits?
An interior designer can help with new layout suggestions, providing cohesive design plans and identifying a budget whilst overseeing the whole implementation process. Most independent interior designers will work within your budget, requirements and style guide to help achieve a look which suits your lifestyle, accompanied by layout drawings and product specific information. They will take your style preferences and refine that style whilst helping with a shopping list and providing professional and expert advice where needed. Using an interior designer can also save you money in the long run with a well thought through design plan and the sharing of exclusive trade discounts.
5) How do you go about choosing the right window dressing?
Window dressings are once again very personal to style, daylight and existing wall colours and furnishings. Determine your budget and the function of the window dressing - will it be the focal point of the room, dress curtains, hold out the cold or add softness to the room? Made-to-measure curtains and blinds are well made to fit your exact requirements and you can choose a specific pattern and colour to suit your interior, whilst ready-made curtains and blinds are mostly available in fixed colours and in most cases less expensive.
Window dressing and cushions from Vanessa Arbuthnott
6) Where is your favourite place to shop for home furnishings?
High Street and online shops, Independents on Etsy for unique pieces and local craftspeople - ; ; www.swooneditions.com; I also love introducing independents to clients like ; ; and . Marks and Spencer Home is another favourite.
Zabel Sideboard, £599
7) What quick updates will refresh a room without undertaking a full re-decoration?
Decide on a focal point within your space. This might be a striking ceiling pendant, oversized or ornate mirror, piece of art, new cushions, or table lamps with striking lampshades. Alternatively, simply re-arranging pictures on the walls or organising clutter into storage solutions can be transformative.
8) Finally, what’s hot for 2017?
The trend now is for individuality, back to basics and grounded. 2017’s colour palette is dominated by blues and greens. This video from paint brand, Dulux, provides a quick overview of these trends and the colours for the year:
House plants are also in, bringing us back to nature!
Elanna Le Roux is an Interior Designer based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. Originally from South Africa, she graduated as an Interior Designer in 1995 before moving to Amsterdam and then Hertfordshire. She works on various residential projects providing a wide range of innovative design services including complete design and renovation, technical layout plans, visual sketches, lighting schemes, mood and sample boards, styling and shopping lists. Elanna’s approach is a personal one, placing her client’s requirements at the heart of the process, balancing creativity with practical solutions for their lifestyle.