Sunday, 29 March 2015

Ideal homeshow 2015

  + a Q&A with Julia Kendell

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the Ideal home show, as a VIP guest of Hammonds furniture with the opportunity to meet and interview Julia Kendell , the Interior designer from TV shows such as DIY SOS and 60 minute makeover. Read on to see what she had to say, but first I want to tell you a little about my experience at the Ideal Home show exhibition:

This was my first visit to the ideal home show, and I must say that it surprised me!
There was something for everyone:
The ideal home show is NOT the place for discovering new designers and the latest in is however a place that makes interiors and design more accessible to people!

Of course there was lots of beautifully designed furniture, like the sofas, above, and I truly enjoyed the Ideal shopping market bit of the exhibition:

With loads of small stalls displaying a wide array of products, there was a lot of things that had no appeal to me, but in-between there was a few little gem's, like these colourful candlesticks and lampshades, above, and these wire chairs with woven plastic, below:

And I regret not treating myself to one of these cool monochrome mugs:

Or one of these colourful ceramic vases (Not that I haven't got enough vases already! LOL)

But after a little snooping around, I headed to the Ideal Super theatre to see Julia Kendell speak about how to avoid bland interiors, a subject that , if you've been reading Nostalgiecat for a while, you'll know I take particular interest in!

And during her talk it struck me that The Ideal Homeshow is the perfect venue for bringing Interior design to the forefront of peoples thinking: 

Julia talked about how interiors should match the personality of the home-owner and be an expression of who lived there. She further delved into the psychology of styles: 

-How expressive people often decorate with bold colours and big statement pieces creating spaces that have a huge impact, and advised people of this nature to focus a little more on the details of their homes to bring the look more together.
-Amiable people often create homely and welcoming interiors full of memories and keepsakes, but risk being bland and cluttered because of their tendencies to want to be inoffensive. Her advice to Amiable personalities was to improve their homes by thinking more about storage solutions.
-The more analytical person often lives in homes that seem formal and Neat, and Julia urged them to try and loosen up their interiors by adding more energy and texture to inject some personality into their homes!
Julia's last personality group, she called the Drivers, and these people have a tendency to create very functional spaces, often very organised and filled with gadgets and status symbols...her advice to The drivers was to add some more organic elements to their interiors, like plants, to avoid their spaces looking too impersonal.

Of course Julia emphasised that most people are a mixture of these sort of personalities, and that everyone's homes should be what they want it to be (If you love beige and bland, that's fine) but if you give your interiors a little more consideration, stretch your imagination and look at things a bit differently ,there are some easy way's to improve the feeling and emotion of your homes:

She recommended taking the time to plan ahead, using pinterest to create mood boards and building your confidence to use more colour in your interiors. 
Taking inspiration for a new colour palette from a rug or piece of art you love is a great way to start combining colours that will work in your home. This doesn't necessarily mean painting your walls in bright colours, but to lift the colours in a room using accessories and textures, like wool and metallics! It's all in the details!

Julia's talk gave me some food for thought, as I realized that her mission, similar to mine, is to bring the joys of successful interior design and home-improvement to the public..
I was really looking forward to meeting Julia face to face a little later for a short Q&A session.

But first there was a little time to have a look around the show-homes, and THE FUTURE PROOF HOME  by trivsel hus was, design wise, the highlight of the day for me:

Drawing inspiration from Scandinavian style in line with the beautiful clean lines of it's Swedish architecture.

With it's open space floor plan down stairs, it was also bang on trend, filled with carefully curated Scandinavian design pieces, with a slight hint to Mid century modern...

There was a calm and relaxed feel due to its neutral and monochromatic colour palette, supplemented with textures in the form of fur and a mix of timber...

As well as modern design pieces in ceramics and metallics....and like Julia had just advised, they really lifted the space!

It really is all in the details!

Q&A with Julia Kendell

Firstly, I must say: I was very nervous, although I tried not to show it, to be interviewing such a prominent interior designer, and I was lucky to have the help of my Interior designer and blogger friend Claire Garner. Still; this was my first ever "real" interview, and I really was winging it here (LOL), but I think Julia's lovely nature and media experience helped set me at ease, and once we'd sat down surrounded by the beautiful fitted bedroom design from Hammonds, conversation just flowed:

 As a self taught interior designer, at what point in your career did you feel like you'd made it?
Having had a passion for interior design since I was a child it felt inevitable that it was going to be my profession. But it did take a long time , some steely determination and  a lot of hard work, taking little interior courses here an there to build my confidence, before I felt ready to start my own business at the age of 28. 

How would you describe your "house style"?
My personal style is quite masculine, and I have a penchant for industrial interiors with lots of natural elements, like timber, leather and wool.
I find that my clients approach me because they love my style, but obviously every assignment is tailored to the clients personalities. 

You are a self-proclaimed advocate for empowering women to DIY and improve their homes, why is this so important to you?
There are a lot of single mums, like myself, out there that would benefit from up-skillig to create a more comfortable life and home environment for themselves and their children. Knowing how and what tools to use can help you do this for less. This doesn't just apply to women, but having a happy home that looks beautiful and is functional should be accessible to everyone, not just the rich and famous....and a basic knowledge of DIY makes this more achievable for people with little money! 
If having the right tools for the job is not in your budget, then consider tool-sharing with a group of friends! 

Do you think Interior design has become more important to the British public over the last 10 years?
I think the British' is more aware of the benefits of good interior design than ever. It started with "Changing rooms" and the interest is still growing due to shows like DIY SOS and 60 minute makeover...The success of the ideal homeshow is a testament to the growing popularity of home improvements, having run for over 100 years....People are now doing up their homes for themselves, to their own tastes, as opposed to doing up to sell, which was how it used to be!

Are there any current Interior trends you would avoid?
No, actually, at the moment I am very happy with the trends for interiors: I am really pleased that grays have taken over from beige's as the neutral colour of choice, as grey tones lends themselves very well as a backdrop to almost any colour palette!
The Scandinavian influences are definitely here to stay, as they provide such a relaxed, yet modern feel to interiors. It also makes me very happy to see that quality Mid century modern furniture is no longer headed for the skips, but are now being reused and upcycled! And I have been predicting the raw industrial look for years, and am so pleased that it's now here, as this is also a very accessible and affordable style.

What would you put into design room 101?
Cheap, fluorescent and ugly LED light bulbs!
I will probably think of more things later, but good lighting is so important to a successful interior design, and should be used to highlight the best features of a room, not just kill any ambiance with a glaring overhead light! Creating level lighting can really make a room, and investing in dimmers and pretty light bulbs will help set the atmosphere.

Julia will be back on our telly's this autumn with her new show REBUILD OUR HOME, along with Nicky Campbell on ITV.
It was so lovely to chat to Julia, and I think she made some great points... In hind-sight I could think of a million more things to ask her but all in all, I am happy with the interview! How do you think I did?? What would you ask Julia Kendell if you had a chance to meet her?
And what would YOU put in design room 101??

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