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Your Closet as Inspiration for Decor

While enjoying the past weekend in the city I was reminded that inspiration is truly everywhere but did you ever think of looking within? In addition to asking all the right questions and getting to know my clients personally, one of my favourite ways to understand their style is to look at their closets. I’ve always felt if you can put an outfit together you can design a great room.

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Even if you struggle with both your closet says a lot about who you are and what you like. Here are nine cues you can take from your closet when in need of inspiration for your home:

STYLE – Do you have a go to outfit? Something that’s uniquely you or that you always feel great in? If not, pick some of your favourite items and put them together. What materials, colours, textures and patterns are common or repeated? Just as you would with an outfit, it’s important to stay away from trends for your main investment pieces – think of designer jeans as your sofa in that they’re neutral and one of the more expensive elements of your outfit or room. Feel free to inject trends in other small ways. Your ties, jewelry and shoes are a great way to inspire less expensive items like textiles and accessories in your décor.

LAYERING – This is a huge trend for 2014 into 2015 – the main difference being that more is more when it comes to layering next year. The best outfits and rooms tend to layer a lot of different textures, colours, patterns and materials. Think of mixing metals with organic woods and solid leather with patterned textiles. Mixing different time periods like modern with vintage can also add a distinctive layered look with additional character.

QUALITY – Stick to a few high quality, high impact pieces and you’ll never fall out of love with your wardrobe or your home. Less is definitely more in this regard. Personally, I tend to like a mix of designer and value items when it comes to my wardrobe and my designs. For instance I’m a big fan of pairing a designer bag or shoes with an outfit from Joe Fresh or H&M. The right high quality items can elevate a look without breaking the bank on an overly extravagant outfit or home.

PRINTS – Are you drawn to prints or solids? In my experience I’ve found people usually tend towards one or the other. If you look in my closet you’ll see there are very few prints but as a designer, I’ve learned when and how to incorporate them more. The important thing to remember is balance. Similar to an outfit, prints can help accentuate your favourite aspects of a space, pull a room together or detract from other less aesthetically pleasing areas when used with balance in mind.

COLOUR – What’s the most prevalent colour in your wardrobe? Chances are it’s your favourite and one you wear most often. Contrary to what you might expect, I rarely recommend predominantly decorating in this colour family. Instead, I suggest googling basic colour theory and finding its complimentary or analogous colour(s) to ensure you always look and feel fabulous in your home. If you’re one of many people who gravitate towards black, grey or tan in your wardrobe be sure to inject colour in small ways or better yet, mix in texture and pattern for a truly sophisticated look & feel.

FUNCTION – No matter how many designer pieces you own or invest in, very little beats blue jeans and a white tee – a personal favourite and classic looks for both men and women in terms of comfort and style. Unless you’re going for a very formal space, it’s equally as important to remember comfort and function when designing your home. Like the uncomfortable shoes you grin and bear wearing for purely aesthetic reasons, you want to limit uncomfortable minimalist or overly modern pieces that look great but you inevitably regret buying long term.

TAILORING – Do you gravitate towards architectural and streamlined clothing or more lose fitting, blowsy pieces? What you like to wear often reflects the kind of space you feel most comfortable in. If you’re one of those people that like both, mix and match the two for a more eclectic, unique look.

TRAVEL – As an avid traveler, I always pick up clothing, accessories, antiques, artwork and other items while exploring the world to remind me of my travels when I’m home. These items reflect our adventures, memories, romances and the stories of our lives. As such, I always try to incorporate clients travel finds in small ways when finishing a space to reflect who they are.

CUSTOMIZATION – This is an area I plan to spend more time on in the future. When willing to think outside the box and customize upholstery, furniture, rugs etc. you truly open up the realm of possibilities. The trade off is often cost, since these items tend to be more expensive, so it’s important to prioritize accordingly and be choosy in how and where you customize. Be sure to also incorporate favourite fashion items in unique, unexpected ways. If you love patent leather, think of it as a lacquered paint colour instead of shiny hardwood floors.

The most important thing to remember when putting together a standout outfit or room is to take risks but never over complicate things. What works in your closet can absolutely work in your home making it a fantastic jumping off point to inspire your decor.

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