Using Colour Mood Boards For Inspiration

There’s no end to the sources of inspiration when it comes to interior decor and design. Instagram and Pinterest are playgrounds for this kind of thing – there are endless designers, decorators, furniture makers, artists, architects, and design magazines who hunt down beautiful interiors from around the world.

But for colour palettes, we like to look beyond that and get a little creative.

Don’t limit yourself to what you see within four walls. We’ve been inspired by everything from colourful doors to peacocks to spring flowers to the dishes at a local cafe. Sometimes you find the most perfect shade of pink in the peony at the flower market or see the ocean and think that colour would look just right in your guest bedroom.

Doors in Paris, tiles in Morocco, high fashion heels, couture wedding cakes, even unusual gift wrapping, can all spark an idea that then leads to something beautiful.

One of the best ways to inspire ideas for your next room re-design is by putting together a colour mood board. Just gather the different images and colours that strike a chord with you and put them in one place so you can refer to it as you go along in the planning process. You might find that you’re particularly drawn to a certain tone as you look over all of the pieces you’ve gathered, or even discover an unexpectedly delightful colour combination!

And if you have a vague idea of what you want but aren’t quite sure how to shape it into something tangible that would translate well in your home and budget, consider hiring a professional interior designer/decorator. They can take the mood board you’ve created and elevate it to the next level with a variety of ideas, whether it’s noticing your preference for metals and suggesting copper penny tiles for the kitchen or seeing your love of moody blue tones and sourcing a beautiful velvet armchair in a perfect dark teal.

We’ve gathered some of our favourite colour inspirations and then some interiors to show how those colours have been worked in – take a peek!

Blue Inspiration

Blue Interiors

Green Inspiration

Green Interiors

Pink Inspiration

Pink Interiors

Metal Inspiration

Metal Interiors

Live in colour 🙂

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5 Tips For Choosing The Right Furniture For Your Home

At first, the thought of buying new furniture for your home seems exciting and full of possibilities. It’s a chance to create an environment that suits your personality and lifestyle and perhaps experiment with new colours or ideas that you’ve been gathering on Pinterest.

photo credit: Walnut Wallpaper
(credit: Walnut Wallpaper)

But that’s also when it becomes a daunting task. Unless you’re an experienced interior designer/decorator (or have loads of time to plan and research), this fun project can quickly go downhill and start to feel like a frustrating and time-consuming chore.

There are two ways you can go about this.

If you have the budget and would like to create an interior that will last for years to come, it’s well worth working with a professional interior designer. Not only will they help shape your ideas into something concrete, they can also open up new ideas you hadn’t considered and take the design concept to the next level. They’ll take a load off your plate by doing the legwork when it comes to sourcing items and an added bonus is that they have industry connections and knowledge to create what you want within set parameters.

(We’re fans of Edwards McCoy, a luxury interior design company that blends beautiful design aesthetics with function and comfort. They’re based in the UK but work globally for both residential and commercial projects.)

Of course, if you’re more of a DIY kind of person who likes to be hands-on and tackle the details, the home design and decor stores will be your playground. And if you approach this thoughtfully and with a plan, you’ll end up with pieces that you love and a cohesive look that pulls everything together.

But before you pull out your credit card, here are 5 things to think about when selecting new furniture for your home.

QUALITY

Buy the absolute best quality available within your budget. If it’s within your means to pay a bit extra for something that is clearly of higher quality and that you love, go for it instead of opting to save a few pennies. In the long run, you’ll end up saving money because there’s a good chance that poor quality furniture will start to show wear a lot sooner than you’d like and that you’ll toss it after a couple of years.

Amber & Ellis Bone Inlay Humbug Chest
Bone Inlay Humbug 3 Drawer Chest, available on amberandellis.com

Make sure that whatever you’re looking at—a sofa, armchair, console—is well-constructed and made from quality materials. If it’s a wood piece, check that it’s solid wood and not, for example, MDF (medium density fiberboard) or particleboard. You want your furniture to feel sturdy and heavy, especially for items that will see a lot of use.

SILHOUETTE

Is it modern or traditional? What is the general aesthetic of your home and what is your personal style? Do you lean towards classic shapes, love the vintage look of mid-century pieces, or have an affinity for clean, sharp lines? While it’s completely possible to mix and match styles, remember that your furniture should reflect who you are.

Also, if you’re looking at investment pieces, consider whether they will be able to withstand the test of time. Choose wisely and the pieces you buy now will be able to hold their own five or ten years down the road and not look completely dated.

Amber & Ellis STAINLESS STEEL CONSOLE TABLE WITH GLASS TOP
Stainless Steel Console Table With Glass Top, available on amberandellis.com

SIZE

The size of your furniture should be proportionate to the size of your room. If your lounge is on the cosier side, you might want to reconsider that large sectional you’ve had your eye on and think about scaling down. And as lovely as that little side table looks on that furniture website, it might get lost in a spacious bedroom with a king size bed.

FABRIC

We love beautifully upholstered pieces as much as the next person but we’ve also experienced the pains of removing marks on light fabrics and witnessing wear and tear on expensive chairs. Be practical in this consideration and take into account who will be using the furniture and your level of commitment to its maintenance.

An occasional chair that is used, well, occasionally, can be the perfect opportunity for indulging in a rich velvet or silk. But if you have children, pets, or like to enjoy a nightly glass of Syrah on the couch as you catch up on TV shows, a white linen sofa without a slipcover is an expensive headache waiting to happen.

Amber & Ellis GREY VELVET BUTTON BACK OCCASIONAL CHAIR
Grey Velvet Button Back Occasional Chair, available on amberandellis.com

Instead, consider darker fabrics that hide stains, materials like microfiber which are known for being kid-friendly, or classic leather which is tough but wears nicely.

If you’re just dying to splurge on a custom-made velvet tufted chaise, make sure you can dedicate the time to maintain it on a regular basis in between professional cleanings.

It’s also a great idea to gain inspiration from what’s on trend for the season. A lot of these “trends” will actually work long after if carefully planned. For example, right now we’d go for a sofa or armchair in a deep navy (which is having a moment right now) but choose a classic shape or fabric to balance it out and then brighten it up with a bit of blush pink (another popular coulor this season), perhaps in the form of a few accent pillows or a luxurious throw.

FORM AND FUNCTION

One of the toughest things is finding the perfect balance between how it looks and how it will be used.

Buy furniture that is aesthetically pleasing to you and has character, whether in the finish, the small details like nailheads, or an unexpected bit of colour. With so much variety these days, you’re no longer relegated to staid, boring pieces. But do think about the general style of your home. For example, those lucite dining room chairs look fantastic in an airy loft but they won’t have the same look or feel in your farmhouse-style home.

Amber & Ellis Grey Velvet Studded Occasional Chair
Grey Velvet Studded Occasional Chair, available on amberandellis.com

Also, don’t forget to test the comfort level of the furniture. It’s no use buying a beautiful designer sofa if it feels like sitting on a park bench. These are items that you’re going to be using on a regular basis—if it’s not comfortable, what’s the point?

BONUS: DECOR ACCENTS

If you decide to play it safe with your furniture, you can always have a bit of fun with the decor accents in the room to add character. We understand that it’s often easier to select a neutral palette and classic shapes in an effort to create a timeless look that won’t look dated after a year!

Pink Interior (The Room Alive)
Photo: The Room Alive

Use this opportunity to add some trendy accent pieces that can easily be swapped out when you decide to switch things up again. This year, in addition to navy blues and soft pinks, we’re seeing lots of vibrant greens, metals, and textures. Finish off your room with items like pillows, rugs, lamps, and side tables for these trends – they’re less of an investment and much easier to rotate around to create fresh new looks.

(Read more about 2017’s trends here.)