It’s one thing to gaze longingly at beautifully styled homes on the pages of glossy magazines and to know the type of home we aspire to. But for many people translating those dreams into a real-life space is overwhelming.
When it comes to building a new home or renovating an existing property, there is plenty of information available to help people create the right plans and make the necessary selections.
Making the transition from finished project to lived-in and much-loved abode is especially difficult for those who feel creativity and expression is not their strong suit.
Interiors expert Jane Ledger of Jane Ledger Interiors says it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
“A common problem for home decorators is there are too many choices available,” she says. “There is a huge range of furniture and homewares available today and people can feel overwhelmed with the choices and they don’t know where to start.
“There’s a lot to consider in creating an interior, furniture such as dining, lounge, bedroom, outdoor and occasional furniture, rugs, lighting, art, cabinetry, curtaining and styling – it’s easy to see how it can be daunting to bring all these elements together successfully.”
Jane, who gave up a career in law to pursue her passion for creativity, says another big mistake that people make is playing it safe.
“It can be too hard and time-consuming to sort through all the options and possibilities available so it is easier to just pick one or two colours, usually neutrals, and buy all key pieces in that tone and that results in a flat lifeless interior that lacks contrast and interest,” she says.
Sometimes people also feel that everything has to match so they use exactly the same timbers and tones.
“I’d love people to think more freely and expressively about their home. Overcoming old rules from the past and pre-conceived ideas about what ‘should’ be in an interior can be incredibly liberating.”
Jane says another mistake is buying pieces to recreate a certain look without properly considering the style and architecture and existing palette of the home.
“I prefer not to stage interiors to a theme but rather source from a range of Australian and European suppliers, seeking the most beautiful, relevant pieces for each client,” she says.
“The result is a seamless outcome that blends the build with the interiors.”
Jane says it’s a good idea to get an interiors expert in to help after a build or renovation is finished.
“Building a new home or extension can be stressful and expensive,” she says. “People often run out of breath when they get to the end. As important as it is to create a beautiful structure, for me it is equally important to create a beautiful interior because these are the things you will look at, touch, feel and experience every day.
“The interior of a home makes a huge difference to how you experience the space. It can also make or break the design of your architect or building designer.”
Why work with an interiors expert?
“My main goal is to save time, money and heartache for my clients,” Jane says.
“I want them to experience joy and a sense of excitement in the pieces they are investing in. Being in the industry means I know what’s available, what combination of fabrics, shapes, colours and finishes will work best for you and your home and, best of all, I do all the running around for you.
“I find that clients have much greater confidence in decision-making when presented with a few carefully thought-out and considered options, delivered in a coherent way. Yes, I’m inspired by social media imagery as much as the next person but my interiors are all about you, your home and what I believe to be the most beautiful and functional options for you.
“Using a designer is also value for money. When you engage me, not only are you getting the benefit of my design expertise and skill, but also the benefit of trade pricing. It ends up being a very cost-effective service.”
Top Tips: Jane shares some interiors planning suggestions for your home
“Like everything else associated with your build, it’s important to plan and budget for your interiors,” Jane says.
“Things like driveways and pools can suck big chunks out of your budget, so make sure you set aside budget for interior furnishings and window treatments in advance. A sofa will become one of the most important and most-loved pieces in your home.”
The best interiors are developed over time, with a focus on quality and longevity. Buy less and hold off on purchases until you can afford to buy something truly worthwhile.
Stick to what you love and invest in classic pieces.