Learning the theory

Having gone whole-heartedly for a Scandinavian approach to decorating and furnishing the flat it became slightly easier to stop myself from over-buying at the respective Home versions of Zara, H&M and Urban Outfitters. If you’re a home furnishings fan like me and haven’t been there, GO TO H&M HOME IMMEDIATELY. The best one is on Oxford Street and they sell such beautiful stuff (online too). I found my favourite pink bed sheets in the sale there for £15! Urban Outfitters is somewhere I usually find overpriced but they put some decent home stuff in their sales every now and then so keep an eye out (I got my sad rabbit/cat mugs from there).

The reason it’s been easier to stop myself going vase/cushion/plant pot mad is because the Scandi/minimalist design is simple, pure and clean with natural light and easy space – minimalist design actually comes from Japanese traditional Zen philosophy. Therefore it bring with it the challenge of not filling the spaces with bits and bobs just because it’s a space. I frequently find myself staring at a blank wall in the lounge thinking about what could go there when in true Scandi/minimalist style, it’d look better with nothing there. This brings me to the topic of this post which is about what I’ve learned from the interesting little online course I’ve started.

Because I want to keep clutter down I just switch these pictures around a bit rather than buy new stuff


I recently began the online Interior Design and Home Styling course I found on Groupon (my old friend). I thought that if I’m going to do this decorating and styling properly I ought to learn the theory behind it so I can talk about it credibly. Also I like learning and making mood boards/scrap books so thought it’d involve some of that too! You get 60 days to complete the 12 modules and I should just about finish on time because I’ve taken my time with it and like to write everything down and practice sketching etc. I’ve actually enjoyed it even more than I expected; I’ve taken my laptop and notepads to the pub with the dog to do a module, I’ve set up a little office in the lounge and spent a few hours on a Saturday morning doing it and it’s just been so much fun. At the end I’ll be accredited in International Council for Online Educational Standards. I really don’t want it to end now because I can’t find another course that would be the next stage up and I don’t want to spend hundreds of pounds on it because it’s not my profession so really I’m only doing it to learn something new and because it’s fun.

The sort of things I’ve learned include some well-known design theories, for example Parisian, Classic, Shabby Chic, New York, Minimalist and Scandinavian. It taught me how best to create a balanced feature wall, how to decorate a bedroom compared to a living area and how you can live in one huge room and create zones to make it more flexible. The problem is I now want to live in an industrial ex-warehouse loft in New York with exposed pipes, grey wooden floors and black Crittall-style glazed windows. Why is nothing ever good enough?

The NYC loft I’d sell a kidney for


Since I started the course and bored my friends by telling them all about it a few have asked me for ideas about how to decorate their bedroom/garden/whole house – luckily I’m at that age where my friends are moving around the country and starting to buy houses etc. so everyone’s talking about palettes, gardens and ottomans. So I’m going to start making some mood boards and see what it takes to bring an idea to reality for other people, rather than just in my own head for my own flat. It was a mood board that brought my attention to feathers and how they’re creeping their way into home styling everywhere. Here’s my attempt at involving feathers in my bedroom design (note the lampshade):


I’ll share a few pictures of my mood boards when I’ve got some under my belt and will also talk next time about my visit to Clerkenwell Design Week in May which I’m really excited about 🙂


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