What sets really great designers and design ideas out from the crowd is that they’re driven from within rather than from without. This is the case with all great art of any form, but it’s perhaps more important in the home environment than in any other aspect of our lives. That isn’t to say that we can’t draw inspiration from the great works of others, or take time to appreciate them – merely that the starting point should always be the self.
All originality, by definition, comes from within the self. All human beings are truly unique and our innermost thoughts are what truly set us apart. In this way, then, all our ideals are different. In setting your ideals about interior decoration, it’s essential to truly know yourself free of all external influences.
There are various routes to achieving this knowledge, including taking time out to travel and reflect on your life, or through meditation, or deep relaxation techniques. In such ways, we find ourselves without trying too hard and free our conscious minds to let the true self tell us what it is we already instinctively know. In other words, we need to remove the “white noise” of life, remove the thoughts and desires of others and of the societies in which we live, switch off the ego and let our true instincts be or guide.
This may sound wishy-washy, but it’s the kind of technique all great artists have used throughout the ages – as free as it’s ever possible to be from the influence of others. So why not employ the same techniques in designing your own living space?
Try to imagine you had no preconceived ideas about your home; what things would you include in it? How would it feel? What colours do you see in your mind’s eye? What materials surround you?
Once you’ve freed your mind to come up with its own (subconscious…) design ideas in this way, then it’s certainly a good idea to temper things with a little practical reality. What’s out there as an overall design approach that’s workable for you? And within that overall theme, the, what products and decorative ideas exist that come really close to your ideal?
It is through such a technique that I decided my home should include as much wood with my bedroom furniture choices as possible –as well as other natural materials, such as white cotton, plants, jute and sisal etc.