interior design advice

Preparing for Your Home Décor Project: Expert Advice from Jennifer Kay

You know your home needs a refresh, but where do you begin? Do you have to follow every single trend in the magazines? What if you want your home to be cosy rather than minimalist but you hate floral prints and doilies?

And if you desperately want colour in your home, but you always end up settling for white because you haven’t got the confidence to explore new trends?

Well, lucky for us, help is at hand – We’ve called in an actual expert in to reassure us and tell us what to do.

Jennifer Kay is an interior designer with a difference. Instead of coming to your house and doing the decorating for you, she works with her clients remotely to consult on the home décor that’s right for them.

Her “Mini Interior Design Company” is a lifeline for busy professionals who haven’t got the time to research styles, trends and products, yet they want to retain creative control over their home environment. It’s the perfect bridge between DIY and hiring a designer to do the work for you.

Jennifer believes that “More than ever, we have to love where we live. Our homes need to be somewhere we enjoy being over anywhere else so make the most of them.” 

We’ve included four of Jennifer’s top decorating tips to get you thinking about your next home project:

Don’t blindly follow trends

Following trends is not the be-all and end-all. If you hate granny chic and earthy browns, then you can still have a stylish home.

“Although I like to make customers aware of current trends if relevant, I do stress that homes need to be a reflection of those who live there most importantly. I would advise people not to get too hung up on trends unless they feel entirely comfortable with them.”

What’s more important than fashions that date very quickly is creating a home look that lasts for a few years at least:

“Make your décor stand the test of time to avoid the inconvenience of having to redecorate. If the look is something you truly love, more often than not, you won’t be changing your mind about it the following year anyway.”

Don’t shy away from colour

If you’ve been dreaming of a colourful feature wall for a while, but fall back on old reliable magnolia, all is not lost. Jennifer’s advice when selecting colours is to “Gather as much inspiration on that colour scheme as you can to help envisage it in your own home. Many people like the idea of bright colours but shy away out of fear that it won’t look good in their space. If it works in other people’s homes, there is no reason it can’t work in yours, done in the right way of course.”

If you’ve spent years doubting your design prowess, you can build up your colours gradually:

“Use the desired colour through less permanent products like soft furnishings and accessories. Test it out that way and then add more as you get braver.”

Don’t buy cheap

While it’s tempting to try to save money on your design project, you’ll only be replacing them more often. Instead, go for products that will last a long time. Choose materials that will be practical and easy to maintain, especially if you have a house full of kids:

“When decorating initially, choose durable, hard-wearing products and surfaces so they last. Ensure walls have cleanable paint/wallpaper so it can keep looking fresh and doesn’t need recovering too soon. Make sure products and furniture can be wiped down easily to avoid being ruined. If you bear these points in mind, these things should remain in good condition for longer. If you feel like updating the room at any point – you could then get away with new accessories only to give the look a refresh.”

Let your home tell your story

Homes are meant to be lived in, not merely observed like a showhouse, so keep your things and makes sure your home reflects you: “I like a home to tell a story with its contents, but to be stylish at the same time of course.”

Include elements from your lifestyle, interests and of course, make sure the space can be used in a way that serves you.


What troubles you about your home décor? Leave us a comment on our Facebook Post.

Jennifer Kay is the founder of The Mini Interior Design Company, an easy and affordable online interior design service aimed at those who need help with home décor ideas.

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