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The DIY Decorator

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A talented interior designer with an impressive social-media following, Zoe Gilpin of The DIY Decorator believes that anyone with any budget can create their dream home. Born with a love for all things home and interior related, Zoe says from a young age she drove her parents mad with DIY projects and a constant shuffle of her bedroom! This Perth-based wife, mother, stylist, visual merchandiser, e-designer, blogger and diploma-qualified interior designer with almost 15 years of experience shares with us her process and inspirations for creating stylish interiors.

How would you best describe your style?

I would say that I am a decorator who likes to match interior spaces with the use of repeated colour and texture. I like a home to flow from one room to the next so I like to carry a theme, whether it be via a particular colour palette or by the use of textures in a more neutral scheme. My own personal style is neutral and is a style I love to share with clients. However, I am open to working with all interior styles and adding my personal touch to them.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Before social media, I was always buying interior magazines and books. But these days, I get most of my inspiration via social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. From designers through to everyday home decorators sharing their homes, I am constantly being inspired by what I see. I also adore the work of designer Darren Palmer (The Block judge) – his style, passion and knowledge for all things interior related. I’m a huge fan, too, of photographer and stylist Paulina Arcklin, who creates the most amazing, natural spaces. She’s created her own signature style and continues to surprise and inspire with every photo she shares.

How do you begin a new room or project?

First, I go over the brief with the client and lock in a scheme suited to their budget. Then, I tend to start browsing for the larger furniture pieces for the space if needed. Next, I usually select the art work, which makes for a great starting point for selecting décor pieces and soft furnishings. I pull the colours and textures from the artwork and repeat them in items to create a cohesive space where the eye is led around the room.

What’s been your favourite project?

These days my work is all done online, so I don’t get to often physically see clients’ spaces or get to go shopping for items and then install them into homes. But I am currently working with a family member who has built an amazing new home overlooking the Swan River here in Perth. It’s been such a great home to work with and the clients are pretty great to work with too! I’ve had so much fun planning it out, sourcing and decorating the home with amazing pieces. I really enjoyed physically decorating again after focusing on e-design for the past four years.

What’s next for you?

I have some upcoming mood-board and affordable home-decorating workshops in the pipeline here in WA and hopefully over east as well. The workshops will explore and explain the world of digital mood boards and teach people how to create their own. I will also focus and talk about how affordable home decorating is such a big thing at the moment and how anyone with any budget can create their dream home. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and hopefully inspiring other home stylists and future decorators to go after their dreams and explore more avenues in interior decorating and design.

WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR WOULD-BE DIY DECORATORS?

Don’t be afraid to decorate in the style you love with the items you love. You don’t need to follow trends but instead be inspired by them when decorating your own home. When you find that style, stick to it. Don’t let another trend sway you halfway through your decorating project – or you could end up with a jumbled mess!

Quick quiz …

When I was young I wanted to beAn interior decorator or a flight attendant. Thankfully I was too short to qualify back then. 😉
Every home should haveA family heirloom or special gifted piece.
I would describe my style as … Ever evolving.
Number one tip for DIY decorators? Stay true to yourself and the initial style you went into the project loving.
If in doubtAdd another cushion!
My favourite room in the house isOur master bedroom. It’s light, bright, full of texture and greenery. Our own little sanctuary.
Comfort or style? Ooh, I think a little bit of both is the key to a perfect room.
If you loved the design tips from Zoe Gilpin of The DIY Decorator and want more inspiration, check out @thediydecorator to browse more of her transformed spaces.

(Images courtesy of @thediydecorator)

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