Interior Design – why you need a professional

JoEditor's Pick, Home & Garden, Lifestyle

Living room painted

A flair for interior design is something that many of us feel we have in ourselves somewhere. We know what we like and don’t, and can dabble with options. When it comes to our homes, the place where we spend most of our time outside of work, we can all throw colour on the wall and hang a few pictures, but is that quite enough?

When we moved house, we left a gorgeous 1835 build ex-dairy behind that we had only recently finished working on. Something about that house, our home, lent itself to the interior design. We had wide slate flagstones on the dining room floor, original floorboards in the master bedroom and a vaulted cellar that we had transformed into a cinema space. Moving to a 1960s build our creativity hit a block. We knew that we felt as though our belongings were parked in someone else’s house, but try as we might we couldn’t relax into the space and make it our own. And we did try. We changed the garden, digging up skip loads of concrete and replacing it with grass and wildflowers, but the interior still didn’t fit somehow.

It wasn’t until late last year, when I went to a craft fair, that I found the solution. The wonderful brilliant creative artist Silvia Boev. I was admiring Silvia’s work and got chatting to her. Somehow we got onto to the topic of interior design and within minutes she had sold my new home to me again. I came back enthused and reinvigorated, and so began a slow but determined course of redecoration that will conclude at some stage in the future with a house that is our home. A grown up space that is child friendly, rooms that glow with personality in a subtle manner, a place that we can relax in but also be proud of. I mention the future because this is not an overnight transformation, but with Silvia’s guiding hand we are slowly but surely creating the nicest living space that we have owned.

We started with a visit from Silvia who has a background in architecture and interior design, during which we walked around the entirety of our house explaining what we liked and what we didn’t. What our dreams for the space would be – carefully fitted bookshelves for example are high on the list for us all. We talked about our personalities and how the boys’ rooms would change as they grow up. That their individual space would need to be flexible to reflect their style now, but also be able to grow and accommodate their teenage interests. Silvia spent a lot of time carefully absorbing the light and space, thinking about how our family functions in it and some of the challenges of the building as a structure. She offered us advice for short term decoration as well as long term extension plans.

After further discussion and thinking through a timescale, we decided to start with our living room. This is a space that we all use, sometimes in different ways. It needs to be functional but relaxing. It is a large room but somewhat overcrowded and a bit thrown together. We have some nice pieces of furniture that will last for many more years to come, and others that have seen better days.

As with the rest of our house, we do not have the financial capacity to vacate the property whilst we are undertaking any work, so we need to carefully organise it around school holidays, various trips and weekend activities that might require use of the room. The key is in the planning, and Silvia was fantastic at keeping us on track and moving carefully but steadily in the right direction with this.

I have added a few photos and images below which help to explain the design process. It was entirely straight forward and panic free, with Silvia creating elevations and Pinterest boards for us to use and share inspiration. She has also accompanied us on shopping trips to pick out the best looking fire for our space, and the ideal mantlepiece. Carpet trips are on hold at the moment, but something for the future.

Living Room elevation Silvia Boev
Silvia’s elevation showing what our living room could look like
Living room before the work
Our living room before the work was bright and airy, but lacked definition and the TV stuck out and looked over-sized for the space
Living room renovation
Part of the work included replacing the ceiling and adding sound dampening boards
Living room painted
Work is still to be done, but with the definition between spaces and fresh paint all round the room already feels like a personal and relaxing place to be

The elevations that Silvia created really helped in visualising what the room would look like. We had wanted to change the colour behind the television, for example, but had thought a lighter colour might work well. Silvia explained that we should use a dark colour to blend the black of the TV into the room. We chose blue and she worked with us to encourage us to use the same colour on other walls in the room to create a sophisticated look throughout. At first we weren’t sure, but when we saw it in the designs with our own room layout we realised how well it would work. Now we have finished the painting stages we are thrilled with the result so far.

We’re progressing with sorting and organising the living room. Finishing touches will need to happen bit by bit (as and when social distancing measures allow) with the guidance of Silvia in helping to select final fixtures and fittings as we progress.

The end result? We are very pleased with the room so far. It isn’t finished as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, but it looks so much smarter and is feeling like home. With Silvia’s influence we have started to work on small touches elsewhere too, like a small storage stool in our hallway, and I have been working on upcycling and repurposing furniture that was looking worn. We definitely would not have achieved the look or result without her help, instead we would be floundering in the realms of ‘not quite right’.

We are so pleased, in fact, that when the living room is completed we will be engaging her service again to support the redesign of our bedroom from a thrown together laundry dumping ground, to a book lovers’ haven.

Have you used the services of an interior designer? Interested? Take a look at Silvia’s website here.

N.B. I have not received anything in exchange for this post, I am simply sharing our experience and delight! For more information, take a look at my disclosure page.