Updating your Interior with Textiles : On Budget Ways to Change and Create Mood

July 19, 2017

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Image: Design Soda

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Those of us that look at design regularly probably identify with the pull of seeing endlessly different and equally alluring images that have nailed something beautiful. Obviously it isn’t practical to redecorate our homes each time we see a seductive photoshoot, but if you keep your base reasonably neutral, then textiles are a great way of injecting layers of style into a space and making them feel fresh. It’s becoming quite a bone of contention in our household (just please nobody ask Dan how he feels about the number of cushions we own!) but I’m a big convert to using textiles as a quick way to change the feel of a space. From blankets and throws, to bedding, rugs and cushions, It’s something I often put in my Interiors tips in interviews, and a tip that requires little money or effort. No committing to a new paint colour or furniture pieces that you’ll have to live with for years, and contrary to first instinct it doesn’t have to mean disposable consumerism either (as I’ll explain later, I don’t get rid of my cushions, I just have a good storage system for rotating them!). 

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Image: Design Soda

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I live for colour in the home, using it to create mood and speak to individual styles, but I’m not one for massively heavy themes or overpowering colours. I like my rooms a bit more layered, bohemian maybe (Jenny from Seasons In Colour blog recently dubbed my style Scandi-hemian which tickled me, she’s also someone who’s monitoring my cushion habit!), if you use colours that please you and are reasonably neutral about themes it means that you can mix up the vibe in a room really quickly and easily with great versatility. One month a room may look Scandi, the next Art Deco or modern geometric. Likewise a staple of textiles means transitioning seasons can be reflected in the feel of the fabrics you choose to suit the climate and purpose. And not just swapping heavy throws in winter for light linens in summer but within colour and pattern too, I tend to use more acid tones in Summer and muted ones for autumn, winter often means monotones to me and spring pastels (of course!). 

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Image: Design Soda

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I’ve selected pictures of my bedroom over the last year to illustrate what I’m talking about here because, like kitchens, bedrooms tend to be pretty neutral spaces. I guess this is because bedrooms are places we want to feel calm (and kitchens we need to have longevity) my bedroom is a mix of white and light grey on the walls and a dark black on the floor, this neutrality allows for more fun with textiles. I tend to go for fairly neutral window dressing as I like to think the views of the outside world are what matter here. But on the bed itself my textiles are rarely bland. From bold geometrics to mustard coloured mid-century via luxurious grey linen and finally spots and crosses, I love using pattern and colour here. If you have a plain duvet set (though always chosen carefully in a colour that makes your heart sing) then that means you can really go to town with cushion and blanket choices and play with combinations that really pop. 

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using textiles to create mood in an interior scheme, scandinavian geometric decor, greys and yellow, linen

Image: Design Soda

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I also like to pay keen attention to the sheet that covers your mattress, it feels like a secret design choice, don’t you think? I loved Joa Studholme’s (Colour Consultant at Farrow & Ball) advice at a talk on colour I went to in the Spring that if you are a little afraid of colour, why not paint the insides of your cupboards to bring some joy, well similarly why not under your duvet on the mattress? Julian Charles put these fitted sheets on my radar this week, which I really like for their array of colours and great price point. We have a few patterned designs too, these little moments like pulling back a duvet cover to reveal a flourish of something that you love are one of the simple pleasures in life that add to our joy.

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Image: Design Soda

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So cushions! Well, these are one of my favourite things to buy. There’s that cliche about cushions and interior design, people drowning in a sea of cushions, particularly on beds where it can be de-rigeur to swathe up to 15 in some kind of mountain that surely only acts as a challenge to any small child (it would to mine!). I’m not advocating that at all. But, you know, we have vacuum pack bags these days where you can store spare or odd shaped cushion inserts. I should think we own somewhere in the region of about 30-40 cushions in the house, but most of the time you will find cushion covers folded in the cupboard with the bed linen and spare inserts vacuum packed under the bed. I love opening the cupboard door to my textile shelf and choosing new combinations that mean I never tire of a scheme. It’s a simple pleasure but a good one. What tips do you have for changing up the design of a room with minimal effort? 

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Images: Design Soda

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This post is a collaboration with Julian Charles.  Thank you for continuing to support the brands that support me.

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2 thoughts on “Updating your Interior with Textiles : On Budget Ways to Change and Create Mood

  1. Juan Sandiego

    I don’t have that many cushions… yet! You’re right, sometimes there are too many of them on the bed. Putting them away and then back on the next morning just takes too much time.

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