Published on May 24, 2020

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Courtesy of Create Academy

Rich colors in plush materials, walls lined with flea market finds, an expert mashup of aesthetics: These are the hallmarks of British style, most recently made Instagram-famous by the likes of Luke Edward Hall and Matilda Goad. And we recently discovered the UK has been hiding an in-depth master class in the design, courtesy of the Create Academy course taught by none other than Rita Konig

In the series, the designer breaks down her techniques and insider tips into 36 easily digestible video tutorials; think: how to pull together your dream color palette and a primer in picking the perfect rug for your space. We got a sneak peek at some of Konig’s expertise to help you kick-start your own home makeover.

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Courtesy of Create Academy

Work Inside Out

Konig’s pro tip for laying out a sitting room: Group all the main furniture into the middle of the room—sofa, coffee table, armchairs—and style your way out. “It’s all about creating spaces within spaces, and not having things clinging to the walls,” she tells us. Once you have your central pieces, stack tables and lamps behind them at different heights for visual interest. 

Make a Fake Instagram Account

The designer has two accounts: her main one, where she shares snapshots of her work and inspirations, and a private one, used solely for following antiques dealers. According to Konig, some of her best scores have come from the platform—her large kitchen table and a quirky stuffed pigeon, to name a few. “It’s such a useful way to shop without interruption,” she explains. Plus it makes it easier to support local businesses, which is always a bonus, no matter what country you live in.   

Have a Drinks Tray On Hand

Not because it’s cocktail hour 24-7 (though these days, it very well might be), but because it’s a no-fail way to make any room more comfortable. “When surroundings are organized, life feels luxurious,” says Konig. “A lovely drinks tray with everything you might want on it is a lifestyle hack.” Ditch the busy labels and random liqueurs in favorite of your sleekest bottles and go-to beverages; make it usable, above all. 

Don’t Bother Curating Your Books

“Lately, bookshelves have a way of feeling a bit contrived. Better to remember that these are your treasured things, not props,” says Konig. Forget about color-coordinating—the randomness is the best part.  

Always Visit Expensive Shops

Even if you can’t afford anything, these boutiques are rife with styling ideas. You never know what a quick browsing session will inspire: using an old quilt as a tablecloth on an entry table, for example, or layering a sculptural rattan placemat to make your tablescape stand out. Take lots of photos and write it off as an educational shopping trip. 

It’s hammer time: Follow @reno_notebook for easy rental updates, clever DIYs, and tips to nail your next project.

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