home stories: angie barron, creating wellbeing at home
Welcome to the first in my home stories series. I am fascinated by the stories behind peoples homes, how they craft their interiors to reflect their style and find creative comfort and wellbeing at home through design. I will use this space in my journal to share some of my favourite homes that inspire me, ones which have a clear passion for design, colour, pattern, texture and of course those those inspired by nature.
Home has never been as important as it is right now. I hope you enjoy reading these home stories as much as I do sharing them and that they may offer little sparks of inspiration for your home.
For the first in my series I am welcoming Angie Baron, who will share with us how she has created wellbeing in her home. I love Angie's style not only because it is bold and sophisticated but because she has consciously created her home with wellbeing at the forefront of all her considered design choices. Angie has a love affair with blue which connects her to nature reminding her of blue skies and oceans. Over to Angie to tell us how she created her home...
Hi I’m Angie – freelance interior designer and stylist based in the North West of England. I run the instagram interiors and wellbeing home account -@somethingbluehome. It’s a real mix of interiors, lifestyle and wellbeing content.
On colour and pattern
My home is a burst of colour, patterns and print but I like to keep things cohesive and refined by restricting the colour palette. I love to mix the house’s Edwardian period heritage with bold colour, beautiful artwork and traditional elements.
My favourite colour is blue, that’s my base colour and I mix it with pops of accent colours.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to blue, it reminds me a lot of nature, deep blue seas, the skies and I find it quite inspiring. I also like to wear a lot of navy blue. I wear navy like most people wear black. There’s just something very uplifting and alluring about the colour Blue.
On using blue in my home
More commonly people tend to design each room in their home with different colour palettes, but I have boldly stuck to a beautiful, cohesive colour palette throughout my entire home. For me, I believe that there’s a lovely restfulness that comes from adhering to the same colour palette throughout the house. I think it works very well if you love one particular colour and you can add variety by going up and down the saturation/ hue in the same colour.
For example, my front door is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Railings, which is a deep
rich gloss blue-black colour. The lounge is in Hicks Blue, a warm rich and inky blue and the kitchen cabinets are in Hague Blue. The colours I use in my home are all within the same saturation level and I prefer to use paints with natural pigments.
On creating a home that looks elegant and timeless, and won’t go out of style as
trends come and go.
My top tip for pulling this off –I think the biggest tip is to go for what you love because it will never go out of style. I do believe that style changes as your home evolves and I do change things around from time to time. It’s about listening and trusting yourself that you and
only you, know what’s right for your home.
For example, with the hallway, I chose to paint the banisters yellow, as I like the idea of having something unusual and unexpected in a space. I do that a lot with colour and I think it a great and fun way to experiment with your decor! I believe that if it’s something that YOU love, it will never go out of style!
On finding your own style
To find your own true style when it comes to decorating your home. Yes, it’s ok to get inspiration from others and mix styles but it is important to create a home that is unique, personal and one that tells the story that makes you feel good. There is not shortcut for this, you will have to go through your own process and journey of finding out what that is and it will evolve at some point. Let it happen.
On quotes to live by
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful! - William Morris
"The weakest version of the real you is stronger than the best imitation of someone else.” ― Joanna Davidson Politano, Finding Lady Enderly
On creating a space that nurtures me at home and work
My home is my sanctuary and safe place so it’s important that I feel comfortable and I choose colours and features that make me happy. I spend a lot of time with ensuring that the place is kept tidy and in order. I de-clutter once a week and it’s a bit of a ritual for me but I find it so therapeutic. Lighting is key also, you could have the most beautifully designed space in the whole world, but if it’s not lit properly then its never going to be comfortable or nurturing. I put all the ceiling and wall lights on dimmers and I use lamps to create a homely atmosphere that I feel relaxed and content in.
On tackling DIY challenges
I find DIY and creating things with my hands to be very therapeutic. Getting creative can make you happier, according to a BBC survey of almost 50,000 people published in May 2019. Over three quarters of respondents in the BBC Arts Great British Creativity Test said creativity could help block out stress and anxiety, with almost a quarter naming some kind of making or craft practice as their favourite activity. For example, my IKEA Hack / Kallax unit was left here by the previous owners and my plan was to turn in into something more stylish and impactful. It’s now one of my favourite pieces in the home. I think with DIY you should go into it with an open mind and give it your best shot. If it works out, it works out! It takes the pressure off and makes it a lot more of an enjoyable process.
I believe that regular de-cluttering is an essential factor in creating a home that is calming and nurturing for me to live in. My biggest tip on de-cluttering is to start small: A corner of a table, a shelf in the hall, a bedside table. Choose something contained and manageable. Starting with just one corner and committing to that area will create confidence. It will reduce your anxiety about the task and you won’t feel so overwhelmed. You can download my free kitchen de-cluttering checklist here.
The importance of Biophilia ( meaning love of nature ) and why plants are a must – have for creating a calm, nurturing home. It’s common knowledge that nature has a positive effect on our mood by helping us to alleviate stress, anxiety and depression. For example, simply adding a few houseplants and fresh flowers in considered areas of your home such as by your kitchen windowsill, the dining table and even in your office or bedside table. These strategic placements bring a sense of calm and beauty to your day to day activities — and by triggering a response in your brain that makes you feel happy! Think about how you feel when you’re given a big beautiful bunch of flowers, or when you see a lush garden with glistening flowers and plants, it’s the same concept and you can utilise it within your home to increase the feeling of calm, positivity, and beauty.
Infusing my home spaces with natural essential oils and perfumery is a transformative and subtle way I use to boost my mood and activate the powerful olfactory system. I have different scents that I use around the house that I utilise for different purposes. For example, to boost energy and productivity when working from home, I love to use lemon essential oils in my office. Did you know people working with computers have shown to make 54% fewer typing errors when working with a lemon scent.
For sleep, I use cedarwood, lavender and eucalyptus scents on my pillow and bed linens. I find that these help to drift off to sleep.
I hope you have found some of these tips helpful.
Thank you Angie for sharing the story of your beautiful home. There will be more inspiring home stories coming up in this series soon.