Take colour as a starting point.
When I was designing fashion collections, I would always start with a colour palette – and I take the same approach with interiors. Once I’ve established the key colour for a room, I then look at all hues and shades within the same family – then add “texture” with furniture, textiles, art, ceramics and lighting. Even a bookcase can be made into a work of art by sorting its volumes by colour.
Consider your home’s location.
Be careful about trying to recreate France in England or Italy in America. My favourite way to decorate is to pay homage to your location and the artisans within it. For example, Puglia to me is all about olive trees and dry-stone walls. For our 500-year-old farmhouse there, I carefully restored the stone – but added a modern touch by putting in a stainless-steel kitchen and using handmade Grottaglie tiles for the splashback.
Bring the outdoors inside when possible.
I love to have seasonal flora displayed in my homes all year round. On my kitchen table, for instance, I might have a branch freshly cut off a lemon tree, with a range of ceramic or pewter vases sourced from local antique markets, and filled with thyme, rosemary, mint and oregano. I also enjoy displays of reds and purples: an arrangement of red cabbages, aubergine, and purple artichokes, or a generous bowl of chillies and tomatoes alongside pots of basil on a kitchen bench.
Make it a priority to get your lighting right.
I always work out the light in a space first – and tend to give lighter rooms a cooler theme and darker rooms a warmer one. I never use “down” lights anywhere except bathrooms because their glare tends to be a little harsh. In contrast, having an array of lamps and sconces can totally change the mood in a room for the better. When it comes to keeping light out, on the other hand, I often line my curtains to help with darkness, sound-proofing, and insulation – which also gives a welcome feeling of cosiness.
Get creative when it comes to storage.
Having as much wardrobe space as possible is the key to maintaining a tidy home – and you can create extra storage behind bookcase “doors” or under sofas and banquettes. In bathrooms, meanwhile, I always put cabinets behind vanity mirrors and ensure there are lots of hooks and towel racks.
This article originally appeared on Vogue Living UK.