Welcome to The Director’s Cut, an interactive column featuring fashion, beauty and career advice from RGNN Director and Founder, @isabelevabohrer.
Fashion, beauty and career advice – that was the focus when I first launched this column, “The Director’s Cut.” Today’s column is still about fashion, but it is also taking a foray into one of my most recent passions: interior design. In fact, I am not the only one whose home decor goes hand in hand with my fashion style. From Fendi Casa to Zara Home, so many fashion brands now sell interior design products, and IG feeds like Rosie HW’s are just another attest to how a home can be so much more than a backdrop for some gorgeous photos. And while I know that many of our students at RGNN are still living in dorms, even those reflect their utmost form of self-expression.
So, if you are unsure of how to decorate your space, or pick out your outfit in the morning, here are so of my go-to tips.
Tip #1. Start with the big pieces
When I first started decorating our Madrid home, I was overwhelmed by all the Pinterest inspo. Time has told me that, instead of focusing on details such as a vase or a cool coffee table book, start with the big pieces. That is, the sofa(s), the bed(s), the table(s).
The same for outfits. Yes, I have, at times, picked out a heel first and then planned my outfit around that. But, especially if you are in a rush, go for the big pieces first: a dress, a suit, a winter coat – or even a color (black is the easiest!). Then add the accessories, it will make your life so much easier.
Tip #2. Listen to your home (and your body)
Your mind might tell you that you need to decorate everything when you first move in to a new home. But my recommendation is to take it slow (if you can!). Your home will eventually tell you what you need. For example, as time went by, we realized that we needed a bench to sit down in our entrance hall, something that I had not seen as essential at the outset.
The same goes for your outfit – listen to your body. You can plan out outfits in advance (and should, if you are traveling, for example). But leave some wiggle room for listening to your body. Do you feel like wearing something more comfortable? Pack that as well.
Tip #3. When in doubt, stick to neutrals
For the general decor of our Madrid home, I decided to stick to beiges, whites, ochres, grays, with a mix of both gold and silver hardware. (I know, mixing and matching gold and silver can be a controversial topic also in fashion, but even with clothes, bags and jewelry, I do both).
As for outfits, when in doubt I always go for neutrals, and specifically, black. You can never go wrong in a professional setting with an all black outfit. It just elevates everything.
Tip #4. It’s all in the details
Once you have situated the big pieces covered in point #1, start looking at the details. One of my highlight pieces – this umbrella stand. In fact, I never thought I would spend so much time thinking about an umbrella stand, but it was so worth it and the coloring brings such joy to our entrance hall.
For clothes, details, to me, usually means the accessories. A great statement earring, for example. In fact, I tend to go for statement earrings (as opposed to statement necklaces or bracelets, which I use more sparsely, just because I think they are too chunky on my small frame). But a great pair of earrings (loving asymmetrical pieces lately, too), can add such sparkle to an updo, for example.
Tip #5. Light it up and give it some glow
Basic lighting will be necessary if you just moved in and need to see where you are in a home. Putting in actual lamps, e.g. coffee table lamps, however, can be done after moving in. My latest souvenir from Avignon: these beautiful plexiglass lamps with silk strings from top to bottom. They are a handmade piece of art by Claire Pontonnier, who has exhibited at the Lyon Biennale. The colorful avant-garde touch completely contrasts with our Parisian columns and Spanish marble tables – love it.
When it comes to outfits, that means adding the right makeup and glow to match. Year-round, blush can make such a difference. And during summer, I love adding some extra bronzer and highlighter (especially when wearing gold earrings, for example!).
Tip #6. Trim is like a good haircut
Ever wonder why supermodels look so good off-duty? The haircut makes such a difference. So, go get a trim and a haircut (and color) that suits you and makes you feel your best.
For a home, I guess the equivalent for me is adding trim and crown molding. Even if your home is not in a Parisian neighborhood, the right trim can make such an aesthetic difference. I tend to see a lot of white trim on white walls on IG these days, but adding different colors will make your home stand out – for example, our living room walls are ochre and the trim white, which adds such a nice contrast.
Tip #7: Wallpaper…
I don’t really have a fashion equivalent for this one as I don’t really wear clothes with a lot of prints, so bear with me. Wallpaper can really make a room pop, give it a try, you can always change it up again later on. Here are some photos of the angel and flower wallpapers in our master and guest bathrooms, respectively.
Tip #8 (and #9): Patience, and functionality
All in all, arm yourself with patience. Don’t try to buy everything at once. Finding your home and fashion style (and the pieces that go along with it) takes time.
One book I would specifically recommend if you are looking to hone in on your personal fashion style is Anuschka Rees’ The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe. It includes a list of questions, for example, to ask yourself before buying something new.
This list can also be useful when it comes to decorating your home. For example, think about whether something is functional (not just pretty) before you buy it. Especially with fast fashion, discarding a piece of clothing has become so normal if it just doesn’t really fit your style. With home decor, repainting a wall, or getting rid of a huge sofa, is much more difficult. Let’s learn a little from this fact and buy things that we will wear over and over again. The planet will thank you.
Enjoy the process – it is so much fun!
Questions or comments? Follow me on IG @isabelevabohrer and say hi! See you soon!