How to identify your style

Identify your own unique style

Love the idea of styling your own space but don’t know where to start? Do you regularly walk into interior stores and love a multitude of things but walk out with nothing because you can’t decide how to tie it all together? Or purchase things only to be disappointed once you arrive home and your space doesn’t look the way you expected? It’s super common and if I’m to be honest it happens to me at times. Fortunately I have a couple of super easy ways to narrow down your options, identify your style and create a plan to avoid this happening!!

Most of us are aware that gathering inspiration and doing a little research is an absolute necessity. So, you’ve gathered some tear sheets from your favourite mags and pinned some pins on Pinterest but have you actually identified your style? Nope, you need to delve a little deeper. Can you explain why you chose those images? Sometimes you know immediately that you love a space but you are not quite sure why…..

It is enormously beneficial to take note of the elements that attracted you to each image. Scribble down specifics; is it the colours, soft furnishings, artwork or furniture that you like? Or the configuration or mix of objects inside the room that is more appealing? Perhaps it’s more the vibe of the space rather than the actual patterns or finishes? By creating a list of the actual elements that drew your attention in the first place you are one step closer to actually identifying your style.

I have included some images that I adore and listed some specifics to provide an example:

Learning how to identify your style

Image source: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six.

With all these spaces my initial reaction was: Oh! I want to curl up and stay a while! I love the textures, typography, and the raw timber. I am drawn to grey, black and white mixed with warm and cosy. I adore aged leather and copper, touch me textures and a slight industrial vibe makes my heart race. And I think every room should have a vase of flowers or an indoor plant or three!!!

The next step on the path to identifying your style is to refine. You may have collected many images that reflect a multitude of styles, and while you can mix styles to a degree it is often not possible to combine all the things you love in one one space. Refine your colour palette; between three and five colours is the easiest to manage. Edit your patterns; fewer for a quiet effect or keep adding and make your space loud. Revisit the number of focal points or statement features you intend to include; rule of thumb is anywhere from 1-3 depending on room size and function and pay attention to lighting; are you a bright sunlight person or do you prefer some shadows?

Lastly you need to create a wish list to carry with you at all times, be it written or visual. Shopping without one is like grocery shopping without a meal plan. You wander aimlessly and end up with plenty that you don’t need often arriving home to discover you have forgotten the things you did need (or is that just me?). Beware the endless options and inspirational distractions. I swear the most difficult aspect is committing to your chosen style. But if you can remain steadfast, I promise that you can create a gorgeous space that is completely and uniquely yours. Whether it be installed as a weekend makeover or you take your time with a long term plan, you are assured a spectacular space that is distinctively your style!

Should you need a helping hand discovering your style please don’t hesitate to contact me :) Let me know how you go, I would love to hear from you!!


Small Spaces

Ideas to steal for Small Spaces

I love working with small spaces!! Not surprising really when you consider how much I love cozy and coziness comes easy in small spaces. However, everyones demands of a small space are different, so, depending on what you want to achieve, there are loads of different ways to go about styling your own small space. I’ve made a list of some clever planning ideas you can use to create a small space that is both beautiful and practical…..


Scale and Proportion

These are most likely the first things you need to consider. Space can be visual or actual; you can trick the eye into seeing more space than there actually is. To create a visually spacious room you need to have deliberate places for the eye to rest. The more your mind has to take in, the busier a room feels. Including too much furniture and decor drags your attention from piece to piece and can make a small space feel cluttered. So strangely, choosing larger but fewer items will generate more visual space.

Colour and Pattern

If floor space is minimal but you prefer a clean, spacious mood I suggest injecting large expanses of the same colour or pattern because again, the eye rests on these areas rather than darting around. I strongly disagree with the philosophy of keeping the wall colour light or white to increase the size of your space. Wait!! I can explain……. Dark colours do not always make a room look smaller, in fact, large expanses of dark colour often blur the lines and edges of walls and ceilings, softening the boundaries and increasing the feeling of spaciousness. Any artist will tell you that when creating dimension within an image, dark colours recede (shadows) and light colours advance (highlights). I have proof!! The most central and largest room in my house is has a dark paint finish covering both the walls and the ceiling. Several smaller rooms visible from the main room have the same dark wall colour but traditional white ceilings. I promise you that the vast majority of visitors to my home assume that the large room has a higher ceiling than the smaller rooms due to the fact that the darker colour recedes into the distance while the white ceilings advance. What I cannot argue though is that the rooms appear darker due to the fact that dark colours absorb the light rather than reflecting it back into the room like lighter colours do. So if light and bright is your preference go ahead with the white paint paint! My preference is dark and cozy so of course I choose darker colours for myself.


Keeping furniture low and wide so as not not to block your visual space is another trick. If you can see past, over and through the room it will automatically feel more spacious. Finer lines such as slender table legs and narrow arms on a sofa also lend to the feeling of spaciousness. Transparent furniture such as the classic ghost chair or a clear perspex coffee table take up no visual space while lifting things off the floor by using wall mounted consoles and shelving will also increase the visual space.

Storage and Organisation

Clutter is the killer of space be it visual or actual, so there is no avoiding the cull. Be ruthless in a small space and remove anything you no longer need, want or use. Storage is key and will be dependant on the function of the room. Work with your vertical space where possible rather than anchoring everything to the floor.


Using mirrors to make small spaces feel bigger is a well known strategy for obvious reasons. You can also create the same extra dimension using large scale artwork. Large landscapes or seascapes with a distant horizon will add depth to the walls increasing the sense of space. If the room has a large window steal the outside space by blurring the divide, add plants to the window sill or place something outside the window that cannot be ignored drawing the eye beyond the boundary.

I have well and truly blabbed for long enough so I will leave you to contemplate. Small spaces are about finding intelligent ideas and clever solutions. It can be a challenge I admit, but should you need a hand I am more than happy to help! Check out my design services, shoot me an email or see if my Pinterest board has any additional ideas to steal!!

Clever ways to configure small spaces

Images via: Pinterest

Winter Wondering

Oooooh its cold outside!! Translation; I cannot get motivated to do anything. It’s the perfect Winters day for curling up on the couch with coffee, a good read and your favourite furry friend to keep you warm. I am wondering what it would feel like from this room…………

Small beachside cottage situated in Annandale, NZ, designed in 2013 by Pattersons

With this view………….

Small beachside cottage situated in Annandale, NZ, designed in 2013 by Pattersons

Small beachside cottage situated in Annandale, NZ, designed in 2013 by Pattersons

Small beachside cottage situated in Annandale, NZ, designed in 2013 by Pattersons

Small beachside cottage situated in Annandale, NZ, designed in 2013 by Pattersons

Can you imagine……?

You can stay in this small beachside cottage situated in Annandale, NZ, designed by Pattersons. I will leave you to dream on this cold, Winter Saturday……

Why I divide my design services into options

If there is something I have discovered since setting out on this career path, it’s that everyones needs and pain points are different. I find that some of my clients just need a nudge; given some inspiration and direction they enjoy finding their own unique puzzle pieces to make their space whole.

Some are super happy to use my planning advice to make their own selections whilst some  require an exact shopping list and want all the decisions made for them.

Others are patient and happy to collect and implement a design over time, and of course there are those wanting an instant result.

For some clients it gets more specific, such as finish and colour advice, and then other times they require only furniture, art and object. I could go on but you get the idea.

These experiences have led me to separate the main design requirements into three options; Inspiration/Storyboards explained here, Floor plans and elevations detailed here and Concept boards explained below.

It is my hope that by dividing my design services into options, I am not only helping my clients to decide exactly what information they need to create their own designer space but to also understand exactly what they will be paying for. I know I hate being confused and am always grateful for clear explanations that I can understand.

For those of you that don’t have the time, confidence or resources, a concept board is invaluable. It is a collection of the specific details you need to style your room, essentially a visual shopping list of exact pieces.

Masterbed concept board for client


The process of designing a concept board sees me referring back to the fundamentals, questionnaire and inspiration board that I have each client complete as homework before I begin each job. I then spend time exploring the many options and refining my ideas, being always mindful of any boundaries or budget restrictions applicable to the design.

I experiment with adding more, then pairing back, adding height and anchoring pieces differently. By considering variations I aim to stumble upon unique combinations specific to the client whilst improving on the original idea.

Concept board for client living area

The most important part of this creative process is intention. It is essential to have a reason behind every decision not only to add meaning and purpose to the design but to make it easy when explaining the decisions to the client.

Do you have pain points that you would like solutions for? Or feedback on the way I have divided my design services? I would love to hear from you….. :)