Here at La Reserva Club, we’re dedicated to beauty, architecture and creating stunning properties for modern family living and we know our members and followers are too. So, we asked Interior Designer and CEO of Egue & Seta, Felipe Araujo, to join us for our LRC Private Workshops, to give us his ten tips for great interiors as well as answering your questions.
Egue & Seta are interior designers with offices in Barcelona, Madrid and A Coruña. They design stunning spaces for businesses and individuals, led by the clients’ wishes and needs. They add creativity, passion and teamwork to transform their ideas and dreams into reality.
To begin, he answered the question about what was the most common mistake that people made when decorating their home. He replied that more than anything it was lacking the thought and planning process of what we need to do with our spaces and how we will use them now and in the future. He explained that we’re bombarded with different design images and ideas, but often we don’t think about how these designs that we like so much will work with our lifestyles, needs and the restrictions of the space we have available to us.
He then moved on to his ten top tips of things to think about before you start an interior design project in your home.
1. Choose the right professional to support you in creating the space you’re dreaming of
When choosing an interior design partner, you need to ensure they have the experience and skills to be able to turn your dream into a reality. They also need to be open and receptive to what you want and help you to interpret your ideas. Your home must reflect your style and your way of living, not simply a particular trend or the tastes of others, so it’s key to select an interior design partner who will help you to reflect your style and create the right space for you and your family, not simply the style, but also the functionality of the space. He said that taking the DIY approach can waste a lot of time and money as we make mistakes while we learn and don’t get the results we want or deserve.
2. Forget about the names of the styles you are trying to get to
Felipe advises us to forget the buzz words such as “Shabby Chic”, “Nordic” and “Minimalist”. The best place to start is to imagine a space where you can feel comfortable, at home and happy and try to define that.
3. Write down a list of adjectives, colours, sensations and ideas
Take this imaginary space and start to try to describe it, putting a list of attributes down on paper. Write down anything that sums up your vision, no matter how small, whether it’s a feeling, an item, or description. This will help your designer to visualise that space, rather than get hung up on styles, and design something that best fits you.
4. Also add to this list the functions that the space needs to deliver
Many people make the mistake of just thinking about the style, but your home must work for you and good interior design helps us to live better in our spaces, making the most of all the areas. Felipe recommends that you list the requirements that you have during the course of a day in the first instance, to show your daily needs. Then add the less frequent uses of the room, such as parties, or perhaps a celebration dinner, to make sure you and your designer understand what is necessary in this space allowing them to come up with clever solutions to your needs.
5. Rather than a mood board, tell or show the designer things you hate
Massive collections of images or Pinterest boards can be confusing and limiting for a designer. So Felipe explains that for him, it’s better to see a visual representation of the things the client hates and doesn’t want to see featured in their project, rather than the things they love. This is very clear, yet also enlightening and will give your interior designer maximum creative freedom.
6. Think about the distribution of your things in the space
Felipe recommends moving your things around the space and seeing how they work the best. By doing this you will see and feel what really works, rather than simply thinking or visualising. Physically moving the pieces around and trying different variations gives you a very clear picture of how it looks and what makes the space look bigger, makes it feel more comfortable and more than anything is practical with the way you live your life. Focus on three or four key pieces which are central to the use and the style of your room. Try a bunch of options and see which one you like the most! As well as the individual rooms, Felipe reminds us not to forget the whole property. Think about how spaces integrate with each other around the home. Make sure that one room can flow to another without jarring and also think about how you can integrate interior and exterior space and bring the outside in.
7. Bear in mind the structure of the house
We need to work within the confines of our property, we’re not going to be able to fundamentally change the property with interior design, so we’re better to work with what we have and make the best of them, rather than try and hide the reality with fancy tricks.
8. Don’t fight against the style of the building
It can clash if you try and incorporate a highly contemporary style into an old building or vice versa. However, you can be subtle, and play with the period and have freedom within the decoration, as long as it is not completely at odds with the exterior.
9. Ensure that your space reflects you and give yourself a chance to grow into the property
Show your designer pieces that are important to you to feature, whether that be a rug from your old home, or a family heirloom. Also think about what might be added in the future. You can leave a wall blank for next year’s holiday pictures, or space on the shelves for mementos or special things you find over the years. Don’t fill every surface straight away, give yourself space and options to add new things and memories. Allow your space to evolve with you, so it can become completely unique.
10. Try to be neutral with the key pieces or “hardware” in your property
Our houses are investments for the long term, so your styling needs to be relevant and not look too dated over the next 5-10 years. He recommends that the fundamental elements should be neutral so that they can stand the test of time and can take changes in style that you may make. This allows you to make alterations and have fun with the design to stay up -to-date, without having to make big changes to the major elements in the home.