I studied Interior Decoration for two years at Leeds College of Art and Design as an evening course (although it pretty much took over my life at the time). I graduated with a double grade Distinction HND.
Skills imparted during the course included: Upholstering chairs, creating soft furnishings (cushions, curtains, blinds), fabric design, digital and screen printing, colour theory, spatial planning, scale plans, budgets, computer rendering, historical and contemporary interiors and architecture.
In my own personal education (largely influenced by my very handy father), in addition to the requisite preparation and painting skills, I have learned how to wallpaper, tile, brick-lay, build a deck, build furniture and many other useful bits and bobs (although I often call in a tradesperson because they’re definitely quicker than me when it comes to tiling!)
I love collecting mid-century modern furniture, beautiful contemporary etheral lighting and I also paint, sketch, collage and make arty stuff when I have the time and inclination.
My own house (three bedroom Victorian terrace, all eight rooms, some twice!); my landlord’s house (four-storey Georgian terrace, all 10 rooms); Kitchen design for my parents and several friends; nursery/kids playrooms for three friends and neighbours and I’m currently working on a six-room flat in Metz, France for another ami.
Yogic Interior Decoration?
Everything has its own vibration, every colour, every object.
Everything seems to hold it’s own energy too. I generally do interiors projects for my friends, family and for myself, rather than as an occupation, but I do believe a yogic approach can play a large part in improving the feel of a space, for tangible and often intangible reasons.
Creating a calm, uncluttered space with a soothing, restful palette can help in getting those all important eight hours’ sleep.
If chakras are out of balance then I believe colours in the living environment can help to rebalance them. Green represents nature and the heart chakra, good for companionship, rest and sleep: red is a stimulation for digestive fire (agni), shades like black and white help neutralise transition spaces between rooms.
Surrounding ourselves with objects of nostalgia, beauty, creativity and artistic value, while, not the root of all happiness, as it’s just material stuff, can nevertheless have an impact on our overall wellbeing.
Office environments, whether at home or at work, can affect our ability to concentrate and create. Again, the introduction of natural colours and motifs can soothe our nomadic spirit.
Careful planning in advance with thorough analysis of who uses the space, when and what for, is essential when seeking to re-configure or re-design any room. It doesn’t take much, a couple of meetings, some shared inspiration gathering, scale plans, a budget and a sketch or two, plus a mood board and some samples, all serves to make a potentially stressful undertaking a pleasure during the process, as much as when the work is complete.