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2021 Refresh: Chaos to Calm - tips to refresh your home

With the last 12 months having been spent mostly cooped up at home staring at the same four walls, it's no wonder we're all a bit interiors obsessed at the moment! This week, we are SO excited to have the fabulous Izzy from Isabel Kimbell Design here to share her top tips for taking your home from Chaos to Calm. Warning: you might want to go all DIY SOS after reading this!


Hello lovely Oberon blog readers! My name is Izzy and I am founder of Isabel Kimbell Design, an independent textile company that creates patterned fabrics for interiors. I also work part time as an interior designer.

Well, it’s the 1-year anniversary of COVID-19 putting a big fat pause on our normal lives. I have found myself looking back and marvelling at what life was like before all of this happened. For me, it felt non-stop busy. I was living in South East London and going into my third term of a full time year-long intensive course studying Interior Design. The course was LOTS of hard work, with many hours spent trying to get my head around things like the construction of a partition wall and technical drawing conventions.

As well as this I was keeping my little textile design business ticking over and planning our big wedding, which was supposed to be in May. Plus, constantly travelling around the city on public transport, going out for drinks and meals out and seeing friends all the time. It’s no wonder I constantly looked grey and washed out (as my mum liked to point out, thanks mum!). As well as this, the house we were living in with 2 lovely housemates, was a constant mess. A chaotic mash up of 4 people’s things and always a battle to keep tidy.

Roll on a year later, it was not our plan to have moved permanently back to Shropshire but its total bliss. We got married but didn’t get the big wedding we had so carefully planned, which is still very sad (my beautiful wedding dress remains unworn – a little stab to the heart every time I think about this!) But we did get to put the money we saved up for the wedding towards making the little house we bought in Shrewsbury into our dream home. Which lets be honest, all worked out pretty well considering we have all been at home so much this year.

So, after my long introduction, I want to share with you my thought process behind the refresh we did on our house. It might inspire you to do the same too!

1: Let the sun shine!

The house we bought is a Victorian terrace house, and the previous owners had built this beautiful sky light. The thing was, the sky light had been boxed into a room all on its own, stopping any of that glorious South facing light coming through to the rest of the interior. So, we hired a structural engineer to make sure the whole house wasn’t going to crumble down, and some builders and basically made a huge dusty mess. But wow, even through the chaos the light pouring into the whole room was transformational!

2: Let the space dictate the colour

Don’t get me wrong, I love colour, from my training as a textile and interior designer I know how important and powerful colour is. Some advice I was given, and have stuck to, is, if it’s a big space keep it feeling big. Don’t box it in with dark oppressive colour, celebrate the light airiness of the space. If it’s a small space, celebrate the cosiness of it and choose something that makes it into a little colourful jewel of a room.

3: Be a copy-cat

If you’re feeling a bit stuck and uninspired about what you want to do with a room in your house, then look no further than Pinterest, magazines or books. There are so many great ideas out there. Our ‘art wall’ was an idea nabbed from a gorgeous book. And yes, the ‘art wall’ was put up by my husband and me, and yes, the ‘art wall’ is ever so slightly wonky, but who’s going to notice once all the pretty art is up there! It has livened the interior up and made it feel much more like home.

From happy but chaotic London life to calm Shropshire homely-ness I hope my 2021 refresh tips might inspire you to refresh your home too!


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