The Ordinary Lovely: Styled by Emily Henderson

Over the past two years, since we moved in, I've almost been in limbo regarding what to do with our home. Surrounded by magnolia walls and beige carpet, I knew there had to be a better way. But, what? And, how? I spent days, nights, weeks and months scouring blogs, magazines, websites and even RightMove for inspiration but only succeeded in overloading my brain and becoming even more confused.

Senses bombarded, I felt frozen. Why had it all become a bit too much? Was there so much choice, and were there so many pretty things out there, that my own personal taste and aesthetic had become clouded? Somewhere along the way, I'd fallen in love with so many styles and so many rooms that I'd forgotten what worked for me and the kind of home which I'm ... well ... at home in.

I'd pop over to Swoonworthy and be immediately convinced that I needed more boho glam in my life; I'd read Capture by Lucy and knew that my home would be infinitely better if I filled it with eclectic finds and florals; and then Kate had me thinking that I needed to paint every surface grey ... floors, walls and ceilings! 

Whereas last year, I loved copper, interior design gurus told me that in 2016, I should switch to gold. Pantone recently turned its back on marsala so, of course, it's no longer a colour which I covet and instead all my accessories must be rose quartz and serenity blue. I almost felt like a chameleon crawling through other people's homes, settling amongst their style and finding that I quite liked it and should immediately adopt it for myself. 

But that doesn't really work, does it? It just leads to confusion and a sense of not quite belonging when you try to take on someone else's personality. You end up with a pretty home which doesn't really feel like it belongs to you. You walk in to a room, and while it looks lovely, it's not one you want to kick off your shoes and curl up in. And that's hardly surprising, really, is it?

Drowning under wallpaper samples, paint charts and fabric swatches, I'd almost given up and convinced myself that magnolia and beige weren't so bad after all. But then, a shiny, new book arrived at my door, Styled by Emily Henderson, and provided me with the common sense approach I'd been missing.

Much as I'd suspected, Emily says, 'Before you can style your space, you need to get to know what you love'. That's right. What you love. Nobody else. However, that's easier said than done when you seem to fall for pretty much everything out there interior design-wise. But here's the best bit ... the book contains a style quiz. A comprehensive quiz that digs deep in to your subconscious and covers questions about your personality and how you live your life, not just your supposed decor preferences.

When you get your final score, it takes you to one of twelve styles ranging from Scandinavian to traditional through contemporary and bohemian, and it was quite a revelation, although, maybe not surprising. My style fell smack bang between Scandinavian and minimalist but with a bit of a Seventies vibe going on.


This. Is. So. True.

Despite being like a magpie for different styles and trends, I am always, ALWAYS, more at home in uncluttered, unfussy spaces ... rooms which are light and celebrate white and wood but with warm, colourful accents (hello to my favourite colour to have around the home ... orange!). Throw in a few curved lines and eclectic prints from the decade I was born, and that Scandi-Seventies mix sets my heart a-fluttering. It's a style which I get quite excited about as opposed to simply admiring.

It seems odd to say a book changed my life, particularly one which could be seen as quite superficial by many. But then, if you aren't happy with your home, there's little hope that you're going to find that feeling of immense wellbeing, comfort and belonging anywhere else, right? 

Seriously, if you've found yourself in a bit of a home style rut recently and are looking for a common sense but inspirational approach, this is the book for you. And Emily also has lots of tips for arranging rooms and styling shelves (my guilty pleasure?). Check it out! Oh, and she also has an amazing blog, too.

And now I can continue with my decorating plans with a whole lot more assurance that I'm heading in the right direction. Result!

The Ordinary Lovely: Styled by Emily Henderson
The Ordinary Lovely: Styled by Emily Henderson
The Ordinary Lovely: Styled by Emily Henderson
The Ordinary Lovely: Styled by Emily Henderson