Shannon Fricke is an Australia interior designer, author, TV presenter, furniture and homewares designer, wife and mother. Describing herself as a “designer of energy”, Shannon believes her job, no matter what platform she is working on, is to create, give and/or help people achieve a harmonious, balanced home that has “a sense of lightness”.
Since moving to the leafy green suburb of Bangalow in Byron Bay, Shannon renovated an old farmhouse, turning it into a bright and peaceful environment. Hosting daily workshops at her home, Shannon shows her guests how to kick start their creativity and construct an interior that is a reflection of themselves and a space they will enjoy and be proud of.
Speaking at year’s Decoration+Design trade show, Shannon shared her tips on How to Decorate: Inspiring and Practical Tips. In her seminar, Shannon broke the process down into four stages – story, colour, moodboard and apply.
Explaining that decorating is a process of self expression, Shannon advises that the first step is to establish your story. Look at yourself, your living situation (eg children) and then think about what you love (colours, textures, themes), what you enjoy doing and how you want to live. As an easy starting point, in her workshops, Shannon has all her guests bring along something they love, sharing with the audience that her inspiration for her farmhouse makeover was a peacock that she had picked up from a children’s toy store in Brooklyn, New York, after falling in love with its calming blue, green and white feathers.
Once you have established your story, the next step is colour (probably the hardest part of the decorating process). Explaining that colour is everything in a room – the theoretical, practical and emotional – with the ability to “highlight, conceal, create, add energy or withdraw energy”, Shannon went through the various colours, identifying the unique personalities of each:
– Red = passionate, fiery, energetic
– Green = a breathe of fresh air, calm
– Yellow = optimistic, happy
– Orange = creativity, sometimes too frivolous to be taken seriously
– Pink = peacemaker
– Purple = commanding, wise, sophisticated
– Blue = a blessing, serenity, calm
– Brown = earth, grounding
– White = heaven, elevates us, life
– Grey = supporting colour, will complement any colour and take on other colours’ personalities
– Black = brave
Admitting that getting colour combinations right is tricky, Shannon says to not be frightened, making mistakes is OK, and advises that choosing one colour that you love first, asking yourself whether you can live with that colour, then pairing this with other colours of the same tonal value, is a good place to start. Also, using apps such as the Resene, Haymes or Dulux apps that allow you to convert a picture into a matching colour swatch, can be very helpful too.
The next step is creating a moodboard. In this stage you should be “like a child at play”, mixing and matching colours, textures and patterns to see what works and what doesn’t. Shannon says at this stage you should trust your intuition, “if it doesn’t feel right, try something else until it does”. You should also “refine, refine, refine”, always using your critical eye to judge whether the scheme flows or not.
The last and the easiest part of the decorating process, is applying your scheme to the space. An important tip that Shannon mentioned is to create a budget and deadline for yourself so that you have perimeters of which to work in. Also measuring each space, ensuring the scale of your chosen furniture and accessories will fit, and even use any design software you have available, like Google Sketch or Adobe, to create a virtual image of your space. Getting samples for every paint and fabric that you want to use will also let you ensure, for the final time, that every element of your scheme does work.
Providing a very comprehensive and overall extremely informative seminar, Shannon left the audience with a few final points that I want to share with you:
– Don’t be afraid of colour
– Different patterns need to be friends
– Lighting is a mood maker
– Accessories are the secret to individuality