Designing your first own home can be an exciting journey and yet understandably overwhelming with so many choices out there. We've always loved the works of Stacey Leong Interiors, and we are incredibly honoured to have a chat with Stacey, as she shares her insights on interior design. Read on for useful tips on how to find your own style, what are some interesting ways to add personality to your space, and more!
Q: How do you usually approach an interior design project for a new client?
The practice has a distinctly holistic process and each project is collaborative and based on reality. A significant amount of time and effort is dedicated to distilling the concept, finding the flow, visualising how people move in spaces or how they find stillness.
Although a big part of what we do is creating functional spaces, I like to build on these desires and extend them, drawing out the concept and seeing how far we can go with each project. Regardless, there needs to be beauty with colour, layers, texture, scale & volume.
My curiosity in the way people live, their hopes and dreams, and how they like to feel in a space informs a lot of design decisions. It’s the reason why we concentrate on residential homes because families feel familiar to me. It’s what I had set out doing when I built my own home. Creating spaces where memories are made, where moments are shared and enjoyed, this is what drives me daily.
Q: What is your advice for new homeowners who are unsure of what their style is?
Find inspiration outside of social media
With a flurry of interior design content on social media at your disposal, practise discernment and find inspiration in other areas besides your phone.
A thoughtful and inspired space with personality is always in style.
Avoid meaningless labels like Scandi-modern
Train your eyes and be curious about the elements that speak to you, and also be critical of what doesn't.
An example would be examining wood finishes. Instead of focusing on just the colour, research about the grain, cut, texture, and finish.
Forgo trends that look odd or hollow without the right context or environment
If you have to insert a key trend (e.g. arch doorways), always consider the materiality, proportions, balance, and detailing.
Q: What are some of your favourite ways to add personality to a home?
The best spaces evoke emotions and there is no set formula for injecting personality. Be playful, break some rules, and don’t take the design too seriously.
- Opt for interesting silhouettes on chairs.
- Mix the metals because everyone else is matching their brushed nickel finishes meticulously.
- Consider vintage objects and lighting fixtures with patina
- Be bold with proportions like an oversized artwork or smaller-than-usual frames.
Design is meant to be really fun and even weird and often unexplainable.
Q: What are your top 3 favourite go-to brands for home decor items?
- For authentic design classics, vintage art and objects, I like to browse 1stDibs.
- Locally, I rely on Aratamete for exquisite rugs and linen window coverings.
- I consistently find beautiful lighting from Made & Make and upholstered fabrics from Blafink.
Q: How do you decide whether to install wallpaper in a particular space?
Wallpaper elicits an emotional response, that feeling of excitement and surprise that naturally propels us to find that special piece. Clients are infinitely bolder and more daring these days!
Whilst nothing transforms your 4 walls more dramatically than a large scale mural, many clients can also easily identify with subtly tactile wallpapers that connect them to their memories or experiences.
In terms of application, the studio has installed wallpaper in powder rooms, kitchens, behind library bookshelves, framed with moulding, above headboards, and even on ceilings.
We hope you feel as inspired as us after reading Stacey's pearls of wisdom on creating a space that feels like your own. Do check out her beautiful works over at Stacey Leong Interiors!
Note: All images courtesy of Stacey Leong Interiors