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London Build

30 Aug 2019

Doing up the dream: the importance of having your own ideas for interiors

Doing up the dream: the importance of having your own ideas for interiors

'It's the same in every field: art, writing, music, design, interior design' it's about finding your own unique voice rather than a Pinterest board of other people's ideas.' I'm sitting in interior designer turned hotelier David Carter's east London kitchen listening to him.

He has clearly always done his own thing because the kitchen walls around us are based on a Renaissance painting ' the stove seems ready to warm the bare legs of a classically robed figure, while a cherub looks on.

'Those following trends are simply walking in someone else's footsteps. As designers it's your job to take people with you,' he'says.

As someone who has always enjoyed doing my own interiors thing, this is encouraging to hear. And yet, so many articles encourage readers to do the exact opposite.

Fashionable interiors vs a much-loved home

'Why maximalism is the new minimalism', one recently declared. I start to imagine a person who always wants their home to be in fashion: when they think minimalism is the latest trend, they go about binning all their accumulated objects ' old family paintings (this sort of person must have these!), holiday mementos, university memorabilia, much-loved but little-read books, all just thrown on the scrap heap.

interior designer turned hotelier David Carter's eclectic interiors'Then a few years later they might pick up the recent'New York Times'article about those turning their backs on such 'disciplined minimalism' and instead championing 'England's long-held preference for colour, wit and wackiness'. What would this person do then? Buy a load of stuff to fill up their house again? It sounds incredibly wasteful, tiring, and unlikely to happen.

I didn't start my project with a preconceived plan for exactly how it would look at the end. I wanted to respond gradually to my new living space. There is no set colour palette to tie every room in the house together. It's been spontaneous, reactive to what I found.

The vintage wallpaper, the way the old Victorian distemper paintwork scraped away, the original details, these have impacted on how I decorated each room. The only consistent theme is the white-stained wood'floor.

What if I end up with a hodgepodge of ideas?

Of course, there have been doubts. I have wondered if what I will end up creating will just be a hodgepodge of different ideas and lack a thread that pulls it all'together.

I know my concern is rooted in the fact that many interior designers and architects are incredibly disciplined, using set colour palettes, themes that travel through the house. Each piece is part of a whole.

Perhaps I'm lucky that a less disciplined approach, full of colours, is supposedly back in trend. I know, however, that this is what I would have done regardless. I love history and it would always have been important to weave the bits I found into whatever I created new. The same applies to flashes of bold colour, and applying concepts I have seen in art installations and sculptures to make features.

As I walk around David's home I realise he hasn't followed a consistent theme either. The entrance hall is a dark black, the kitchen like a Venetian church. The living room has large fluffy balls hanging down from the ceiling like a Versailles party.

Maximalism and minimalism

If minimalism's motto is 'less is more', maximalism's is 'more is more'.

Maximalism celebrates richness and excess, it's the aesthetics of sensual decoration, luxury and fantasy. Imagine the colour-saturated worlds of Wes Anderson or the Italian palazzo feel of Call Me By Your Name.

A Maximalist look by Maximalist look by

It can encompass a broad spectrum of bright neon colours to Victorian-esq rooms with patterns set against different patterns, and lots of collected stuff.

The concept of minimalism that arose in the 50/60s across sculpture, painting and music also influenced design. It's is about simplifying form and colour palettes, reducing the number of things in a space, and removing excess.

In architecture it's highly influenced by traditional Japanese design and the Bauhaus movement, with prominent advocates such as Mies Van Der Rohe, Luis Barrag'n, and John Pawson.

Not worrying about rules, trends or colour palettes

He has simply had fun with his spaces and experimented in each room. He hasn't worried about rules, conventions, trends, or colour palettes. He created this place more than a decade ago, so it hardly seems new that British interior designers are championing something a little off the wall, fun, and unique. Indeed, David's quirky designs not gone unnoticed: they have long been catching the eye of national newspapers and magazines.

A bit of research might be inspiring, but the most important thing is to react to what you have, explore your most outlandish ideas and create a home that has fun with them. My house and David's will look nothing alike, but I hope they will have this in common.

Source: i news

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