When it comes to interior styling, we might have lots of guidelines, but there are definitely no rules. You should never feel like you need to limit your choice of furniture, textiles or homewares just because your house is a certain style.
Even if your space is more modern or minimal, you can always mix things up! Minimal doesn’t need to mean stark or bare. I love injecting some hand-crafted pieces to add warmth to a space and make it feel more like home. This is so important when styling a property to sell – but also when you’re trying to make your mark on a new property of your own. I try to follow the less is more rule here but I can’t. Am I a holder? I just think we need to inject our personality into our homes somehow. You know what I mean!
In this Surry Hills warehouse project, I added this gorgeous natural wood table to an otherwise very minimal and contemporary room. I love the contrast it creates and it really just pulled the whole room together and gave it some personality. Those beautiful windows helped me too!
As with minimal homes, one risk with industrial style can be making the space feel too stark or clinical. Whatever theme you are sticking to, a home should always have a sense of comfort. We spend a lot of time here (especially lately), so we want it to feel accommodating. Adding some furniture, art or accessories with a hand-made feel can instantly warm up a room. Take these vintage trunks, for example; they instantly help this warehouse apartment feel more lives-in (and they make for great storage too – ideal for small spaces).
Artisan style can look right at home in more traditional houses too, especially statement furniture or interesting accessories. I love to showcase pieces like these in social areas like the living or dining room; they are great conversation starters!
The other huge benefit of opting for handmade or custom furniture is that you make ‘awkward’ spaces more functional. This room shown below was in a terrace home I styled recently. It was difficult to use as the room was so long and narrow. No traditional furniture was going to work in this space but I was determined not to leave it as a useless room. So, I went for this gorgeous wooden bench-style table with some bar stools to create a breakfast bar. Far from a useless space now!
Artisan pieces are a match made in heaven for coastal homes. Look for anything that fits with a light, neutral colour palette, as well as natural fibres and materials. Think cane, wicker or wood pieces either with intricate carving or a natural finish.
You might not think handcrafted treasures would work in homes like these but you should definitely think again! In my Roseberry Penthouse project, I used custom textiles to create cushions for the master bed, and added a custom black macrame throw. That’s right, macrame is much more versatile than you probably thought! It’s a really unexpected touch which is why I loved it in this room.
This style was made for rustic and artisan style, so you can go wild! If you want to embrace this style without your space feeling overly cluttered or crowded, I do have one major design tip; just keep it functional. Avoid going overboard on ornamental pieces and invest in statement furniture instead.
Design has never just been about making things look good, it’s about making things functional too. So as an interior designer, it’s so satisfying to find furniture that ticks both of these boxes. An interesting chair to lounge in or sideboard to store things, will bring a unique sense of style to your space without crowding it.