The lovely people at Amara recently invited me to a swanky London loft apartment to spend the morning with them, talking all things interiors. I’ve mentioned before but we’ve recently purchased a new family home and we’re due to move in imminently. My days are spent flicking through interior magazines and scrolling through Pinterest looking for inspiration, so to attend an intimate event with a well respected brand like Amara couldn’t have been better timed.
Initially starting out as an interior design business in 2005, Amara’s aim is to bring designer style and expert knowledge to every home. Having began with a shop in Essex they soon saw a gap in the market and set up their online store, where you can buy a vast range of items, from lighting to loungers, not to mention a wide range of decorative home accessories.
The first session of the day was hosted by none other than Sam Hood, Creative Director and Founder of Amara. Sam talked us through her background, starting off in fashion and ultimately leading her to where she is now. She then went on to talk us through how she manages her interior design projects and her clients varying needs and requests. Sam also passed on some really helpful tips when it comes to planning your interior project, which were:
- set a budget…..and stick to it. Be realistic with what you can achieve with the funds that you have available, and keep track of your expenditure throughout your project
- live in your home for a few months before you put your own interior stamp on it. This time will allow you to truly get a feel for a room and will save you from making any snap decisions which you may end up regretting later on down the line
- buy your accessories last. It’s all too easy to get carried away and buy the little decorative items that make a house a home but you should really concentrate on the main elements of the room first. Once the bigger project is complete you can then visualise what accessories the room really needs
- create a mood board – this will help you to focus on the important details and keep all of your ideas in one place. You can add textures, colour swatches and images of any key pieces of furniture that you’d like to include in your project. Mood boards are also a great way for the designer to ‘get inside’ their clients mind as they show the intended vision and overall look of a room
The colour scheme I’m hoping to go for in our new living room is navy, blush and gold, so I’ve put my ideas together and created my own mood board below and it’s really helped me visualise how the room could end up looking.
Next up was the ‘how to style interiors for Instagram’ session with Elle Taylor, Amara’s very own stylist. Elle talked us through how to style photos for Instagram and set about styling a shelf ladder, talking us through what she was doing step by step. Here’s what I picked up from the session:
- pick a theme/colour scheme – and stick to it, incorporating four different shades that compliment each other
- work in odd numbers – group your accessories into 1’s, 3’s, 5’s etc. The rule is that items arranged in odd numbers are more appealing, memorable and effective than even-numbered groupings
- make the most out of the space you have – place larger items and artwork at the back and smaller items like candles at the front. Don’t be afraid to use the whole surface area available
- play with height – to keep the look balanced you should vary the size, scale and height of items.
- add plants – finish the look off with some house plants, either real or faux. They add a different texture and make a great addition to any area
The third and final session of the day was hosted by the fabulous Linda Duffin. Linda is a food writer over at Mrs Portly’s Kitchen and she came along to show us a few simple recipes using minimal ingredients. It was amazing to watch Linda cook so effortlessly and within no time she had produced not one, but two dishes. First up was a refreshing melon and mint salad, followed by a heavenly lemon risotto – both of which were delicious and were the perfect end to a really enjoyable day.
After the event Amara kindly gifted me with a goodie-bag of gorgeous items and challenged me to style them at home using some of the tips I picked up on the day, like using the rule of odds and sticking to certain shades in each set up.
So here’s my attempt at styling the lovely Marwood Vase, Handwoven Basket, Brass Prisma Photo Frame and Voluspa Candle……
I had great fun styling my products, although it’s much harder than I initially thought it would be. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you think I did?