Interior inspiration from real homes

It's easy to swoon over the beautiful rooms in interior design magazines, dribble over perfectly styled images by designers on Instagram, and fall in love with professional decorating projects on Pinterest. However, recreating even the most simple interior design project can be difficult to achieve in your own home...

You’ll have room layout challenges to deal with, be possibly working in smaller-sized rooms and even the light in your home will be different and make that gorgeous paint colour you’ve been coveting appear too dark for your space. So I’ve been checking out ‘real homes’ this week for my interior design inspiration and here’s what I’ve come up with…

Image credit Damian Bramley for Natalia Willmott

This stunning work space has inspired me this week. This room resembles a loft-style gallery, with the white walls and clean lines, but it is actually the personal shop (and home!) of Natalia Willmott. It feels really large and that’s down to three factors; firstly, the bright white walls bounces light around the space; secondly, keeping furniture to a minimum maximises the floor space; and finally, laying small-plank flooring gives the impression of a wider space. I’d love to recreate this look for an office or studio room as I love how much light comes into this small space and having lots of storage where ‘everything has its place’ keeps the room uncluttered and clean. This lack of mess and distractions, combined with the gorgeous artwork on the walls, makes this a work room where ideas can flow and inspiration can strike!

A trend that I particularly love for next spring/summer is the beach-house look and I found this real-life beach house image on I love the cosiness of this room and it looks like the sort of place that I’d like to put my feet up! The colours are great: the tropical blue is warmed up by the sandy tones of the sofa and the warm flooring so neither tone is ‘too much’ for this small space. I believe that bamboo will be a big deal this year and I’ve just bought a small bamboo side-table for myself so I’ll be taking inspiration from the design of this room and am now considering adding a lick of bright paint to my own table.

One of my favourite trends for this time of year is ‘rustic lodge’ and I found a couple of homes that include elements of this look, including Katharina’s cosy lodge in Germany. Of course, this autumn/winter trend always includes layers of fluffy blankets and cosy cushions for warmth, along with some feature pieces such as the antlers above and the apothecary drawers below. Lighting a fire in the winter and adding plants in the summer, combined with year-round up-lighting, helps to warm up the cool tones of these two rooms and ensures that the grey floors make the rooms look spacious and cosy rather than clinical.

This inspired me because I’d love to include wood floors in my home to help combat allergens in my home. I’ve been reading up on the effect of pets on the air quality in a home which inspired me to make the switch to wood floors. Not only do any pet odours absorb into carpets (eww!) but it’s harder to keep the air free of their allergens and, as my sister has an allergy to pet hair, it makes sense to try to improve the air quality in my home so that she can continue to visit me and I can keep living with my cats!

Let me know if you’ve seen any ‘real homes’ that have inspired you to make a difference to your own home and I’d love to see photos of your favourite spaces in your home so please tweet me your pics to Cassiefairy or leave me a comment below.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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