Connoisseurs say that looking, looking, and more looking, is the key to learning about anything visual, whether it is great rooms, gardens, art or architecture. Looking around also means you’ll get a chance to absorb the multitude of influences from just about everywhere and still be able to edit, filter and boil it down to what makes the most aesthetic sense to you.

The thing about putting places together is that it’s often difficult to translate what’s in our minds into the physical space, a great idea is only as good as its execution right? What really helps with execution is having a good grasp of the basics (which is precisely what this amazing book will give you). So I thought it would be a good idea to share a portion of Domino’s Great 8 step guide to getting started



Vintage typewriter was a steal on Ebay / TV console provides a focal point and ample storage / Fabric letters perfume bottles and a mirror from morocco / Monocle and Miu Miu / French settee gets an update with colorful throw pillows from Anthro

1. Find Inspiration (and file it!)

2. Determine your style (look for recurring themes among the images you’ve amassed in step #1 and edit it down till you find something that works completely for you – my room has a neutral palate with bold, exuberant elements)

3. Consider how you’ll use the room (this is SO important! Please think about your lifestyle when putting your living spaces together, you want it to be fabulous but functional as well)

4. Assess your stuff (reuse-reduce-recycle what you already have! There’s a huge gilded gold mirror in my bedroom that I use to check my appearance before I waltz out the door that used to hang horizontally in the dining room – I never would have thought it would work but it does!)

5. Draw up a floor plan (determine a focal point and draw up multiple arrangements around it to see what works best)…

Now you’ll have to go buy the book if you’ll want the remainder of the 8 greats as well as a full run down of all the basics of doing up a space and creating a room that makes you happy. Another thing I’ve learned from my genius stepmom C is that decorating is a process – it never has to end!

Every Chinese New Year, C updates the living room by changing the pillow cases and adding some decorative pieces to the mix (like a huge brightly-coloured vase with ornamental flowers). It works wonders and works well because the room has a very neutral base colour that is easily adaptable with the addition of a few bold elements.

At home, we’re constantly moving furniture around, swapping things from room-to-room, and editing the spaces by adding new pieces and putting old ones into storage for a while. A fresh coat of paint can do amazing things for a stale space, changing the bed spread can give your room a whole new look, and a well-positioned piece of art can change the focal point without having to move anything around.

So if you’re doing up your home, don’t fret. Remember that it’s okay to collect slowly over time (this I learned from C who collected things for years for our new place! You have to remember that you’re putting together a home, so you’ll want it to be just right, rather than simply okay), that you must ensure a room not only looks fabulous but is 110% functional (the huge oak table in the family room really brings the room together and has us gathered around it for good food in fabulous company), and that doing it up is a process and you should enjoy the evolution!

In the event you need a little more design inspiration, I truly enjoy gawking at these places over the WWW:
http://dwellinggawker.com/
http://decor8blog.com/
http://www.dwell.com/
http://cocokelley.blogspot.com/
http://www.thedecorista.com/

Once again, buy the book!

And isn’t this bookshelf (from a very old issue of Domino) just delightful?

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