A Beginner’s Guide to Interior Design

This post is in collaboration with BoConcept, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’d say I spend at least a few hours on Pinterest most days, but quite frankly my flat is a million miles away from the dreamy homes you see on there. I love interior design, but it’s definitely no surprise that I need some help! When the team at BoConcept asked me if I’d like to go along to one of their stores and interview an interior designer, I jumped at the chance.

BoConcept are a Danish company at heart, giving them a beautiful and distinctive look. Earlier this week, I went along to their new Buchanan Galleries store and met with Jennifer who is the Company Stylist for Scotland’s BoConcept stores. She was full of knowledge and I left feeling inspired to better my home!

FOR SOMEONE JUST STARTING TO CONSIDER INTERIOR DESIGN, IT CAN FEEL LIKE A BIT OF A MINEFIELD. IS THERE ANYTHING BOCONCEPT CAN DO TO MAKE THE PROCESS EASIER?

Everyone who works for BoConcept has a design background in some shape or form, so you can feel comfortable knowing you’re in safe hands. We’re not just a retail company. We offer a free interior service, and we’re here to help you achieve your dream home.

One of the best bits about the job is helping people realise what they need and want. Find the pieces you like the look of or feel inspired by, and we’ll help you pull it all together! We can work with anyone and everyone. Whether you’d like an at home visit or simply want to collect some samples from our store, we are flexible and will do our best to help.

TRENDS CAN QUICKLY GO IN AND OUT OF STYLE. WHAT IN YOUR EYES IS A TIMELESS TREND?

I wouldn’t say it’s strictly a trend, but it really is all about good design right now. People have more of an appreciation for good quality, rather than just mindless consumerism. People are now believing in good design and quality – that itself is becoming a timeless trend.

SHOULD YOU STICK TO A CERTAIN COLOUR SCHEME WHEN DECORATING YOUR HOME, OR CAN YOU USE EVERY COLOUR UNDER THE SUN?

If you love colour and want a rainbow in your home then who am I to judge? I do think that less is always more though. As a guide, we would generally say 3 to 4 colours. It doesn’t mean they have to be matching, they could be different tones of the same colour. You can mix things up with different patterns and textures, but there always needs to be a red thread between the pieces.

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MOVING INTO A NEW HOME AND HAVING A BLANK CANVAS CAN BE OVERWHELMING. WHERE DO YOU THINK IS THE EASIEST PLACE TO START?

Starting with things you love is the best and most honest way to deal with it. Everyone’s taste is different, so if you can find that one piece that grounds your whole style that’ll make it easier. Your home should be your sanctuary, so it needs to work for you. Think about who is going to use the space and make sure it’s personal to them. It will take some time, but pick the pieces you love and you can’t go wrong.

WHERE DO YOU GO FOR INTERIOR INSPIRATION?

Like most people these days, I’m a Pinterest junkie! However, there are loads of places here in Glasgow that you can seek out inspiration too. I’m addicted to danish and retro design so I love to look around Glasgow City Antiques.

You can find inspiration everywhere! Look at fashion shops, like Anthropologie, you might get inspiration from their store display. You can ever get inspiration from restaurants, perhaps you’ll see a colour that you’ve never thought of using before. All of the creative industries are linked, so don’t feel like you can only look to interior shops for inspiration!

HOW CAN YOU MAKE A HOUSE A HOME ON A SMALL BUDGET?

Prioritise your purchases. Never choose your curtain material before your sofa, what if they don’t match? You don’t want to waste your money. I’d say find your big pieces first, ask yourself what your necessities are. No one says you have to spend a fortune on them, but they are the bone of the space so figure them out first. Try shopping at second hand shops for your smaller pieces. You can upcycle and make things your own! As long as the pieces mean something to you then that is what makes a home.

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SHOULD WE AIM TO KEEP UP WITH THE CURRENT TRENDS AND INCORPORATE THEM INTO OUR HOME? OR WOULD YOU SAY IT’S MORE IMPORTANT TO FIND YOUR OWN UNIQUE STYLE?

I’d say a combination of both, but it’s really about what makes you happy. You need to consider what you want to come home to at the end of a long day.

Of course every design company will follow the trends, but I’d never say that’s what you have to do. Trends change quickly, so if you were following trends then you’d constantly be changing your home. Trends will come around again, so what’s to say that what you love won’t be the next hot thing in 2 months time?

The most important thing is to fill your home with things you know you’ll love for years to come. If you want to keep up with trends, you can make little changes. It doesn’t need to be an expensive overhaul every single time. It could be as simple as changing a lampshade!

ANY TOP TIPS FOR STYLING A SMALL SPACE TO MAKE IT FEEL BIGGER?

Every room is different! You always need to consider the size of the furniture compared to the size of your room. A high legged sofa can create airiness, or a small framed sofa could make the room feel bigger. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but use big mirrors to bounce the light around. Something like a glass table could also help bounce light around the room.

FROM RENTING MYSELF, I KNOW IT CAN BE HARD TO MAKE A PLACE YOUR OWN. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR INCORPORATING YOUR OWN STYLE INTO A RENTED SPACE?

If you’re not allowed to nail things to the wall, there are alternatives like an adhesive command hook. Adding your preferred style of artwork to the walls will definitely help. If the property is unfurnished, you’ll obviously have much more freedom as you’ll be choosing the furniture. However if you don’t, all of the little things can make a difference too! Try personalising the room with a rug or a throw.

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THE IDEA OF LIVING A MINIMALISTIC LIFESTYLE HAS BECOME VERY POPULAR. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR CREATING A CLUTTER FREE SPACE WHEN YOU’RE A MESSY PERSON OR STRUGGLE TO GET RID OF THINGS?

I’m a hoarder at heart, so I’m not sure I’ll be much help! What I would say is you need to pick the right furniture. You want multifunctional pieces, for example a coffee table with storage where you can hide your remotes.

To be minimalist it’s important to assess what you have and what you want to keep. You need to find the balance between what you keep hidden and what is on display. For example, an open bookshelf looks great but do you really want to have all your belongings on show?

LASTLY, WITH THE COLDER MONTHS FAST APPROACHING, WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO CREATE A COSY LIVING SPACE? 

You can’t go wrong with adding a rug. Mixing different textiles (sheepskin, velvet, knitted, etc) can create a cosy vibe too. Consider your lighting – using smaller ambient lights mixed with the odd functional one for nighttime will make a difference. Make sure you’re putting the lights in the right places though!

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If you’re local to Glasgow and are in need of some interior inspiration, BoConcept have two pop up stores that won’t disappoint. Conveniently located at Buchanan Galleries and Princes Square, it’s hard to resist going in and taking a peek!

Want to find out if there’s a BoConcept store near you? Take a look here!

*This post was kindly sponsored by BoConcept.* 

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6 Comments

  1. Clutter is where I fall down with making my house feel like a home. I’m just… chaotically messy, and never put things away. Currently typing this on the sofa, where I am perched between a pile of junk and a cat!

    Lots of good advice here though, I have a week off work coming up in which to ponder it all!

    x

    1. Hahaha it sounds like we have the same problem Lis! I’m such a messy person too, and I don’t seem to realise it until the house looks more like a junkyard than a home… Hope you manage to enjoy your week off and don’t do too much cleaning! x

  2. I love interior design as well but I lack any formal training. I rely on Pinterest for my daily dose of inspiration. I’m so happy to hear the recommendation to take time finding pieces you love! I feel like it takes me forever to fill my house but I guess that’s normal!

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