English Living


The Definitive Guide to Creating a Home You Love

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Since the first national lockdown in March 2020, millions of us have redecorated our homes. With social activities limited and more free time on our hands, it was a perfect time to turn our homes into a place we love. 

For some of us, though, the thought of redecorating our homes was daunting. Where do we start? What if our paint clashed with the furniture, or our beautiful floor lamp didn’t match our chandelier? 

We caught up with Xander Shreenan and Connor Prestwood, Design Consultants from the Dowsing & Reynolds online interior design service, to get their top tips on how you can empower yourself to decorate in a way that truly lets your style and personality shine through.

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Mood boards uncover your true style


Perhaps the reason you’re struggling with your decorating confidence is that you’re not sure how your personal style translates to home décor. Connor Prestwood says: “Often, we find that people struggle when it comes to expressing themselves through their interior design. We’re bombarded with images of pristine homes on platforms like Instagram, and it puts pressure on us to have stylish homes that fit into a specific mould. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for us to put our own stamp on it.”

So what does Connor recommend to help you discover your personal décor style? “Mood boards, definitely. There’s no better way to spot trends and themes in the visuals you’re drawn to than to put them all together on a mood board. This will help uncover your true interior style personality – the colours, textures, and room layouts that are most suited to you.

"You can go old-school and use a physical pinboard, cutting images out of magazines and pinning them on. We also love Pinterest as a virtual mood board because you can have multiple boards to group together certain styles or separate your ideas by room."

If, like us, your Instagram feed is filled with gorgeous home inspiration, you can also bookmark Instagram posts and add them to specific collections. No more frantically searching for that stunning bedroom layout you want to recreate that you saw yesterday during your daily scroll.

Consider how you want your home to make you feel

Once we’ve got a feel for our aesthetic, it might seem logical to jump straight into decorating. But, according to Xander Shreenan, there’s a key element that many of us miss out on. Emotion. Xander elaborates: “It’s really important to get the aesthetic of our rooms right, but that can’t come at the expense of how the room should make us feel.













































“You might discover that you love bright colours from your mood board, but when it comes down to it, do you want these potentially overwhelming colours to be the base of the room you use for relaxation? Equally, you might favour a darker palette, but this could leave your home feeling a bit too moody. These hues could instead become your accent colours against a more neutral background and can inform your statement pieces, like rugs or ornaments.”

But colours aren’t the only determiner of how your home can make you feel. One of the best ways you can control the mood in your home is with your lighting. Implementing a dimmer switch to control your ceiling light means you can turn your living room from functional to relaxing within seconds. 

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Samples are your friend

So, now you’ve got an idea of how you want your home to look and feel. You’ve picked out colours, fabrics, and furniture style. But you’re still nervous about bringing it all together. Xander has a top tip: “One of the best ways you can feel more confident about your choices is to get some samples. 

“Whether it’s paint or textiles, bringing samples home and seeing them in real life can help you picture how everything will look once you’re finished. You can even incorporate these samples into your mood boards to see how they fit with your overall style!”

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Consider the finishing touches

When we think of redecorating our homes, it’s easy to jump into an entire renovation. But sometimes, letting your personality shine through your interiors or changing the way your home makes you feel comes in smaller ways. Equally, if you’ve ever found yourself looking around your newly decorated home but not feeling quite right, the answer may lie in those finishing details.

According to Connor: “What we tend to find with a lot of clients is that they love the general look and feel of their homes. But because we’re constantly faced with images of these perfect interiors, we can feel pressured to keep up with the virtual Joneses, and it doesn’t have to be that way. 

“Simple changes, like removing the plain white plug sockets that came with your home and replacing them with pieces that match the tone of your walls, can make a world of difference. It’s all about finding what works for you and your home.”

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Xander continues: “Equally, your mood board might show that you’ve got the palette of your home nailed already, but you need that statement piece to take it from fine to WOW. Jazzing up your home with a textured rug or a few feathered lamps can totally change the aesthetic and make it so much more ‘you’.”


We spend a lot of quality time in our homes, so we need it to be a place we really love. It should serve a number of purposes, from functional to relaxing, and it’s a fantastic way to reflect our personalities. If that’s not how your home feels right now, but you’re daunted by the prospect of redecorating, we hope these tips have given you the confidence to create a home that’s right for you.

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