Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar
Under the influence
So, you “saw it on the ’gram” and now you want to apply the same approach to your own interiors. But how far is too far when it comes to taking inspiration?
“What you wanted to live amongst in your 20s is not what will get your senses singing in your 40s and 50s”
Social media has provided an unprecedented opportunity for aspiring DIY home enthusiasts to learn about different ways to work with interiors. Social media also prompts one of the most common questions I’m asked: “How do I ‘take inspiration’ without plagiarising someone else’s work?” Why – and when – copying is wrong. When a professional interior designer posts their latest creation on socials, it’s to inspire you, not to provide you with a shopping list. If you “emulate” a design exactly without acknowledging the original designer – and you stand to gain something (clients, marketing traction, Instagram likes) – you are stealing their intellectual property by claiming credit for their work. Of course, if you’re not planning to splash your finished rooms all over your socials you can just copy wholesale from an interiors expert’s Insta grid. But be warned: you will rob yourself of the opportunity to infuse your interiors with a little bit of you. So, how do you capture ’grammable interior looks you love? Create a mood board. The purpose of a mood board is to gather things you like into one simpatico collection.
It shouldn’t catalogue the exact fixtures, fittings and furnishings you saw in a photo, it should be a curation of elements you find inspiring and pieces that speak to your soul – from colours and textures to textiles and materials and specific pieces of furniture or homewares you love. Design styles vs individual flair. When you’re thinking interiors, there is a library of go-to design styles that connect people with specific eras (Art Deco, Mid-century Modern) or iconic locations (the Hamptons, Palm Beach) that have a specific look and feel. Anchor your interior in one or more of these design styles without fear of recrimination, then use your individual flair to make it your own. Find your own style. Style is heavily influenced by where you are in life – what you loved and wanted to live amongst in your 20s is almost certainly not what will get your senses singing in your 40s and 50s.
The only way to find out who you are design-wise is to keep drawing from life experiences and experimenting. Shaynna Blaze is an interior designer, a presenter on Foxtel’s Selling Houses Australia and a judge on the Nine Network’s The Block.