So here we are at the penultimate episode of the fourth series of The Great Indoors and a big thank you to Topps Tiles for sponsoring this latest series, it’s been the best yet! If you haven’t already (ahem), you can listen to the full show here and here’s the snivelling bit that Kate hates so much, if you are listening to us on apple podcasts, please tap, rate and leave us a review. It all helps other lovely interiors obsessed listeners find us in the podcast wilderness.
On today’s show, we review some recent and really rather good interior book launches. We debate the jostle between minimalism and maximalism interior design styles and get a quick update on Kate’s brilliant ‘Do Less Harm’ directory. And of course, the odd design crime is thrown in to boot! So here are the notes, links and visuals to support the podcast.
First up, we were so pleased to see that interior design books are having a bit of a revival recently. It seems to have come full circle – we saw a dip in popularity probably due to the rise of interior magazines and then we had Pinterest and Instagram etc although now maybe people just the want the calm and clarity that comes with having inspiration, advice, and information neatly curated all in one place!
Little book of Colour
Firstly, a book and indeed a lady, right up my colour alley, Karen Haller’s Little Book of Colour: How to Use the Psychology of Colour to Transform Your Life. Karen is an expert in Colour Psychology and has been an industry expert in this field for many years. Regular readers of this blog will know I use this colour psychology as a framework for my workshops and interior design methods, so it’s a topic I already know well. It’s great to see such an in-depth and comprehensive look in such a pocket-sized book! It’s almost information overload – she starts off talking about the history and evolution of colour and how we see colour which is all fascinating stuff. While it is light on the pretty pictures it is heavy on the text and a valuable tome on anyone with a passion or indeed interest in colour and its effects.
The interesting point we picked up on was that as we have touched on before – when decorating a room choose a colour for how it makes you feel whereas Karen says to choose colours to support the behaviour you want to see in that room. In particular, this could be relevant to children’s bedrooms, so if you want them to be calm in their bedroom choose calming tones. She touches on the personalities identified by psychologist Angela Wright and how we fall into particular personalities and how we can find a colour palette that we’re drawn to. This can be a mind-boggling subject but Karen deftly makes it an easy-to-follow guide cleverly broken down into bite-sized chunks!
Home Sweet Rented Home
Next up, in the very useful Home Sweet Rented Home: Transform Your Home Without Losing Your Deposit by blogger and Instagrammer (@grillodesigns) Medina Grillo. This book tackles the tiresome issues faced by renters who desperately want to update a space but are restricted by landlord rules and regulations. Medina showcases her knowledge from her hands-on DIY experience from all her rented properties. With more and more people renting this is a much-needed book and should be on any bookshelf of anyone starting out in rented accommodation.
I particularly love how Medina writes in such a personable way that reflects her own personal experience and is the charm of the blogger. The book is broken down into easy-to-follow bullet points, how-to’s and is jam-packed with inspirational ideas complete with illustrations. While it’s a must-read for renters, anyone who wants to update their schemes easily and affordably should have a flick. Not just surface stuff, offering updates with the odd rug or accessory, this is cleverly making over awful floors, walls and ceilings that can really frustrate renters. There seems to be no end of resourceful, affordable and creative ideas and one thing I have never come across before (in my many years in this game) is wallpapering the floor – who knew!
Finally, on to the lady behind the fabulous fashion and textile brand Cabbages & Roses, Christina Strutt. Green Housekeeping: Recipes and Solutions for a Cleaner, More Sustainable Home is not just another lavender bag making book as I originally may have thought. It’s packed full of useful, no-nonsense, often traditional methods that have been tried and tested and, I trust work! You can just tell she’s living this life and doing all these things because she cares about her family and the environment. I found it inspiring stuff.
One of our favourite chapters was the alternative to cleaning chemicals, we’ve all heard the cleaning power of vinegar but she has some extra tips and some other brilliant alternatives. There’s also a really helpful directory including energy supplies – speaking of which we recently switched to Good Energy which the book claims is the UK’s only 100% renewable energy company. Since the podcast recording, I’ve noted this isn’t true. We’ve just signed my Mum up to Bulb here in Sussex so I’m sure this is an area where there are more and they will continue to multiply. That aside there are great resources for all areas of sustainability within the home – not just the cleaning! You can dip into beauty top tips, allotment growing, medicinal herbs to name a few, so it’s a really comprehensive guide and there are gorgeous images too. Really, what more could you ask?
This all makes a great segue way into Kates recent project. A while ago we discussed the huge subject of sustainability within interiors and Kate revealed that she wanted to compile a resource directory on what companies are doing – whether they have good packaging, a good recycling policy or made from sustainable materials etc. in order to help us weigh everything up before making those all-important purchases.
The Do Less Harm campaign was launched in July and you can read all about here. Kate is continually updating the directory, which is an ongoing mission which you can see here. Her extensive research, plus contributions from readers and listeners, have discovered that you can buy paint, flooring, underlay, rugs, bedding and mattresses, radiators and kitchens that all leave a lighter footprint on the planet in some way. The list will hopefully only get bigger and Kate has been in touch with many of the high street brands too who can make a big difference, so watch this space!
We’ve heard the term maximalism bandied around in the Interior designer chattersphere for a while now and I wanted to delve a bit deeper into what it actually is, how it works and why we love it and then look at the other end of the spectrum – minimalism, which I fear is creeping back into vogue! When I hear maximalism I more often than not think full-on floral patterns, plenty of clash and colour adorned on all walls, ceiling and floors too. It’s touted as a ‘trend’ but could it be more than that? Kate speculates it is coming back full circle as we are getting bored of the greys and simplicity of Scandi style interiors (not me I’ve always been a maximalist) and now swinging back to maximalism. So could it be more of a lifestyle choice or personality rather than a trend? We don’t find a conclusion on this subject and I think it’s probably down to your taste and personality. What do you make of the Kardashians new LA mansion though….weird!
So there we have it! The final episode will be a home tour with the fabulous Laura Jackson, so look out for that! Don’t forget, we have set up a Facebook group for like-minded people to discuss all things interiors, so do check it out and have your say there!
See you in the Great Indoors!
Featured compiled by Luisa Ferdenzi-Rouse