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Know-How: Tips for styling your home like an interiors magazine

Ever wondered how the best magazine stylists decorate their own homes? Leading stylist and workshop host, Lucy Gough, shares some tips for achieving the look of your favourite interiors magazines.

Tip 1. Lucy, congratulations on your online interior styling courses; everyone seems to have a renovation or DIY project on the go right now. How have interior courses like yours made a difference?

People are getting sick of things like Netflix and have moved into this stage of wanting to learn something, and I think many people do have creativity in them. With lockdown, people started to want to enjoy their homes more and express their creativity and courses like mine have helped them leap.

Before the first lockdown, I was being approached all the time regarding my advice. My course and its video tutorials are easy to learn about interiors from through the lens of a professional stylist’s experience. The standard is higher but still accessible, so hopefully, participants can get great results from the workshops.

Tip 2. Your course has been running for over a year now - do you feel that participants are more informed and have the confidence to take on a home improvements project?

I think people just figured out that they wanted something different to what they had, and there's now this huge rush of people moving out, well, not just moving out of cities, but moving out of their current house. So, people are moving for all different kinds of reasons. Therefore, they will be using the tools that I am teaching them when they move into their new place. Now that more people will be focusing on a new house project, my tools and insights become useful to making their project a successful reality.

Photography credit: Bedroom styled by @style_by_lucy with pink and green wall @crownpaints shot by @jondayphotography

Tip 3. What key advice do your courses focus on in terms of creating that interiors magazine look?

My number one advice is to make their current home really work for them. So many people have been living with the same furniture for a long time, and that's how it was because they were using their house as a kind of base and going out every day.

But then, when we were locked in our homes these past 12 months, people realised that they've been living in the same place for so long, but none of it works together, and none of it matches.

I've been teaching them how to bring their room together using their existing furniture. And maybe upcycling something they already have to make it work better for them. So, it's not just about starting from scratch; it's about actually making what you've already got work for you.

Tip 4. Why do you think DIY and renovating has become so popular?

I think some people were looking at their rooms and realised they needed to make them work better. And rather than hiring an interior designer, they decided to invest in their own skills. Even beyond lockdown, people will still be at home using the tips and tricks to teach them to feel happier and inspired in their own space. But maybe just using existing stuff rather than completely starting from scratch. You know, my course is an interior design course. You can start from scratch, but most people want to use what they've already got and reinvent that to work for them.

Tip 5. Reusing, and repurposing have all become important, and that sourcing seems to be a skill in itself?

People are using platforms like Facebook the marketplace more than ever. A big portion of the population will want to save their pennies whilst also being more sustainable. So I think Facebook marketplace and eBay and Gumtree and all those places are becoming so much more popular, which is amazing. It's wonderful to think that that's the case. People are possibly embracing the upcycling thing a little more, especially with shows like The Repair Shop.

Tip 6. How important is mood boarding when starting your interiors journey?

One of the main things that people learn in my courses is about mood boarding, which sounds like a bit of fluff really, but you know, when you sit down and really start to think about what you want your room to look like and have to create a mood board around, it really kind of consolidates your thoughts and ideas.

Once you've got that kind of mood board roadmap, you can start thinking about sourcing things. And when you're buying secondhand, it is about patience and about waiting until you find that the perfect thing.

If you are patient, and you source things to fit the look, and the materials, and the fabrics and the colours, that you've consciously edited down into a nice palette, your home is going to feel so much more cohesive. It's much better to have some vintage things with the new stuff. And that comes down to planning with your mood board and just kind of being patient and keeping your eye out for interesting things.

To find out more about Lucy Gough's 5-star online interior styling courses, click here. We love how Lucy makes the interior design journey accessible and inspiring. Her courses are structured to allow learning at your own pace.

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