5 rules for a successful and unique interior

I first moved into an unfurnished flat in 2020. In my previous flats, the interiors were already furnished by the owners with more-or-less sublime taste.

 Suddenly I found myself having to furnish my new flat from scratch. How do I go about this? Due to my university obligations, I couldn't devote that much time to arranging my flat. Finances were also a problem. My budget was limited. However, I had a lot of enthusiasm and willingness in me, so I set to work! Unfortunately, I realised that I didn't have a clue how to go about it. I knew I didn't want an 'ikea' style interior, but I wanted it to reflect my personality. After reading a huge number of magazines, watching numerous films and having many discussions, I managed to discover five principles to guide my interior design.

1. Trust your own intuition and don't be driven by the desire to please others.

When we decorate our interiors, we often feel like copying trends seen on social media or in catalogues. We think that if we follow them, we won't commit any style faux pas. From a purely aesthetic point of view, this is true, as they have often been developed by professionals. In the end, our interior pleases others but does not suit us. When it comes to decorating, there is no such thing as 'sacred rules'. Christian Lacroix, the famous French designer, is a good example of this. He designed fabrics combining colours that, according to the colour rules, did not match at all, and yet the effect was harmonious. If something makes sense to you, it will also make sense to others.

2. Accept the blank space

The consumer society model encourages us to make quick decisions and buy without thinking. My father told me that he walked past a shop window for a year looking at a jumper he really liked until he finally decided to buy it. After a year! This was normal for him, whereas for us such behaviour is rather exceptional and sometimes even impossible due to changes in fashion and collections. Thoughtful shopping will prevent you from making many mistakes. Accept the fact of having an incomplete interior! When I moved into my flat in Katowice, I knew I wanted a vase for my shoe cupboard. My first thought was to buy it straight away, but I forced myself to wait. I made a list of criteria that the vase had to meet including: it had to be quite tall so it didn't look ridiculous, have a wide opening to accommodate the bouquet and be in an intense colour. This is the one I decided on:

3. Buy second-hand

I could write at length on this subject, but to summarise, I see three arguments in favour of buying second-hand items: ecology/ethics, originality of the items and considerable savings. Firstly, buying new items is a big source of environmental and social damage. The consumption of raw materials and energy is high and products are often made in Asia, in countries with low levels of worker protection. So by buying second-hand items, we do not negatively impact the environment and society. Secondly, in times of mass production, buying second-hand allows you to create your own unique interior. Thirdly, this form of shopping often saves money because the item is cheaper. For example, I bought this marble clock for €50 at a flea market in France. To produce a brass and marble clock today would cost several thousand euros. You will spend less or the same but for better quality.

4. Treat the flat you are living in temporarily as your own.

We often make the mistake of not paying much attention to an interior we do not intend to stay in for long (I also counted myself among this group). Nonetheless, it is worth addressing the subject. You will feel better in such an interior and you will learn more about how to decorate your flat. I wouldn't advise investing in a sideboard, for example, but I think buying lighting is a good start. You can find table lamps of all prices and styles everywhere. Such an item provides sidelight and gives the interior a warmer feel.

5. Have something handmade

When I came to Katowice, one of the things I brought back from France was a white vase. I really wanted to have a beautiful bouquet of dried flowers in it. I found a flower shop called 'W Korcu Maku' that sells such things. The florist Magda made a beautiful bouquet to decorate my flat (I'm not saying this because she asked me to, but really she does - see photo below). Then I discovered that she also offers workshops and shows how to make your own bouquets. That's when I decided I wanted to beautify my flat with things I would make myself. Why buy a candle holder if you can make the perfect one yourself? Why buy a painting if you can try to paint it yourself?

Try it and you will see that you will have a unique interior that you will be proud of.

Article courtesy of Michael Wollersheim


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