Lets talk about buying behaviour, what makes us buy furtniture where we buy it? I buy my furniture from where ever I see something I like! I do find that the best places to pick up unique pieces are abroad because the cultures are so different that you are bound to pick up one of a kind pieces. I have a lot of family in South Africa so whenever I go there I pick up another 'jungle looking' piece. Wooden animal pieces like giraffes are the nicest and they sit nicely against a neutral background and wooden floor to give it a little something extra. If I wasn’t so against animal skins and furs I'd pick up a Springbok rug as I think they look beautiful, but I wouldn’t buy fur.
The great thing about being an interior designer is that I always have so many ideas but I couldnt possibly redecorate my own house with every new idea, so I get to explore them with clients' projects. It always seems that the minute I finish decorating, I already have so many new ideas and would like to start all over again! My buying evolves by what is around me I guess, and what inspires me at the time. I was talking about nature inspired design in the last blog, and that is what inspired the bedroom of my last design. After studying Feng Shui, I did learn that having nature inspired design can ground you and is good for the bedroom which is why I decided on Cole and Son's Woods wallpaper. I also have a little water feature in my garden which I love! The way in which I shop always evolves because I am constantly finding new places to shop. I love finding new furniture or fabric shops and sometimes I'll go on a little road trip just to see a certain shop I've heard if it interests me.
I do think that the media have influenced our buying styles because I subscribe to a few of the Home magazines and if I see certain things I like in them I might go and have a look myself or check them out on the internet. The magazines and internet give me inspiration and teach me about new places that I may not have heard of. They also keep you up to date with exhibitions or design days that are good to know about.
I think the way you shop also changes depending on how much money you have. Most people buy the majority of their furniture at IKEA, and don’t get me wrong, you can do IKEA right if you try and they have some lovely pieces! But if you can afford to spend a bit more, not only can you travel more and pick up pieces abroad, you are also able to explore a bit further and look in shops you may not have looked at before - this definately makes a difference. Unfortunately, good furniture can be very expensive but there are ways of mixing new, expensive pieces with pieces from IKEA and old, antique or vintage finds. I still shop in flea markets and antique fairs and have found my most beautiful pieces from there. I like occasional chairs and like to buy them antique and re upholster them in a unique fabric, something like Designers Guild, Osborne & Little or Sanderson.