03 Nov 2015

How to create a personalised interior design

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Since appearing on Series 10 of TV Series ‘The Apprentice’, Ella Jade has launched her own interior design brand. Here, Ella Jade shares her top tips for making a house a home.

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Ella Jade Interiors was launched into Harrods during this year’s London Fashion Week. After a successful launch, Ella Jade presented a masterclass at Grand Designs Live advising keen self-builders and renovators on key colour trends and space awareness. i-build spoke to Ella Jade about how to go approach a new home’s interior design.

What inspired you to become an interior designer?

When I think of interior design, I think of self-expression. In a similar way to fashion, it provides a creative outlet to showcase your personality and style. There’s so much freedom to be creative and to develop a design that becomes the physical embodiment of a person’s character.

How should a self-builder approach deciding what kind of interior design scheme is right for them?

A good starting point is to understand your style preference – whether that be traditional, modern, simplistic or art deco – then I suggest you visit interior design showrooms to get an idea of sizes and prices. Create a mood board of colour schemes, furniture and materials that you like to give a clear overview. In our showrooms, we showcase full lifestyle displays of kitchens, bedroom, bathrooms and living rooms to give clients ideas.

Where can homeowners seek inspiration and ideas?

Overall, it’s about choosing a colour scheme that feels right for you and adds to your mood when you get home. Have a think about what colours make you happy – think back over favourite holidays or memories as you might associate certain colours with these.

Social media resources, such as Instagram, are absolutely incredible when it comes to inspiration – I always have a good look through social media to see what the trends are. Have a look online and as soon as you see a design you like, use it as a platform to work from.

What do you believe to be the most important aspect of creating a homely environment?

The most important aspect has to relate to being comfortable – when a person is comfortable, they are relaxed and feel at home. I believe that the foundation to creating a comfortable home is in choosing your ideal colour scheme – usually involving natural colours and adding a splash of colour when necessary.

Secondly, designs that are neat and tidy are most pleasing to the eye. Overcrowding with too many details can make spaces look messy, which can overcomplicate. It doesn’t matter whether the style is traditional or modern, the design should serve a purpose in order to create a homely environment.

Thirdly, comfortable furniture such as sofas and chairs can instantly create that welcoming feel. It’s also important to ensure all the senses are catered for – visual appeal, welcoming smell and good temperature.

What is the key to creating a personalised home interior?

A lot of clients take inspiration from their cultures when designing, which can be the basis of beautiful sentimental designs. Again, I feel it’s so important to use interior design as self-expression to create a personalised design. It’s good to understand trends and what works in terms of materials, but it’s also key to be honest when choosing colour schemes, materials and styles to ensure the space represents who you are.

What is your favourite room to design and why?

Where the kitchen and living room are spaces that need to be welcoming to guests, the bedroom is a place of serenity, relaxation and revitalisation. The bedroom is the one room in the house that is completely personal to each individual. Colour can significantly affect our emotions – it impacts mood, feelings and behaviour – therefore adding the right colour to our bedrooms can actually help us create a comfortable and relaxing space to sleep. When I look at bedrooms designed by Ella Jade Interiors, particular colours that work best involve a neutral palette with a hint of warm colours. Reflecting soft colours found in nature is another way of creating a relaxing environment.

How would you define your signature style?

Timeless elegance with a hint of art deco. Classic grandeur using quality materials, colour themes and unique styles of lighting to create a signature style. I also love taking inspiration from Spain, Morocco and Brazil – the designs turn out very vibrant and breathtaking.

What current palettes and styles do you deem most on-trend?

Mixing natural warm shades of wood with lighter stone materials and splashes of colours in the accessories. For example, using a Wenge wood for the cabinets and then a white Corian worktop in the kitchen can create a clean contrast and a natural look.

What interior items do you believe to be the most important investments – for example, on a limited budget, what items should homeowners not skimp on?

There are a range of materials you can use for furniture, worktops, tiles, wallpapers and accessories. In terms of kitchen cabinets, you can start off with a lower cost option of laminate wood – veneered, lacquered and solid might cost more. If these cabinets come from a good manufacturer, any of the above should be a suitable quality option. I would definitely suggest not skimping on worktops in the bathroom and kitchen. These worktops are some of the most used areas in the house, so it’s important to choose a quality and long lasting material, such as Corian or Quartz.

What colours/style/products have you chosen to decorate your own home with?

My home is a traditional take on art deco. There is a lot of statement furniture with classic styles and neutral colours, with some nice furry rugs to throw over armchairs and beds to give it a relaxing feel.

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