One of the most talked about chapters in my new book, Design Secrets, is ‘Creativity at Home’, so this week I have collated some of my ideas on how a bit of creativity can spice up your life…
Make the frame an art form in itself. By doing so, the artwork will look more striking and stand its ground in a room. Use patterns, paint, embellishments, framing within a frame, witty decorations such as buttons, dominoes or playing cards. Take cues from the colours, details and textures of the artwork to spark ideas and make sure the frame works in harmony with the artwork.
Take inspiration from Victorian paper puzzles that would traditionally have been sent as Valentine’s Day cards. I love how each fold opens to reveal a detail, message or complete a pattern. These personal models can be architectural. Play with the scale, types of paper or card and method of folding. Decorate or embellish to your personal style. Will yours be frivolous, minimal, graphic or bold?
Evoking memories of collecting pebbles on a beach and the sound of waves gently crashing against the shore, use shells as a fun and ornate way to give a generic surface, piece of furniture or mirror a bespoke meaning.
Potato Block Printing
NOTE: Not as simple as it seems, but such fun!
Don’t try to be perfect. Embrace the irregularities and handmade quality of the potato block print. Experiment with different cutting utensils, printing surfaces, thickness of paint… and don’t be afraid to touch up with a paint brush.
It’s amazing how simple additions to a room can instantly create an uplifting atmosphere. A personalised lampshade, glowing when lit, can be just the ticket! Take into consideration the size and shape of the lampshade. The material will affect how strong the light will be. Play with painting, patch working and embellishing the shade. You can even perforate the shade and play with the idea of making shadows.
No matter how large or small, your own treasure box will tell a story. Take inspiration from the Bloomsbury Group’s hand painted furniture, characters from folk art or details from your favourite wallpaper. Consider the finish you choose because a matt wax or a shiny varnish will change the character of the box immediately.
Embroidery and Applique
Use these techniques to bring life to a plain fabric, cushion, or even clothing. Again, don’t worry about perfect technique. Combine intricate stitching with bolder applique silhouettes. You are limited only by your imagination.
Create your own miniature set design from shapes and patterns you have found, collected or composed. It is like bringing 2D photoshop to life and making it 3D.
Create a plinth for your candles in conversation on a dining table or mantelpiece. The design can pick out details from a fabric in a room or give them personality with a mythical character.
We have long been inspired by the colourful and creative pursuits of the Bloomsbury Group and we were delighted to stumble upon this collection of lamp stands shared by The Charleston Trust.
These wonderful hand-painted stands reveal the Omega Workshops’ preoccupation with form and colour. Composed of hand-painted card or silk shade with wooden stands you could buy a lamp at the Omega Workshops from £1.
We like to think of ourselves as following in their footsteps with our own hand-painted forms. We certainly feel inspired by the abstract patterns and illustrative designs of British designers Hubert Waley, Winifred Gill and Nina Hamnett, who are believed to be some of the artists behind these creations.