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Playing with swatches, colours, pattern and dreaming of a new room.

This week I’ve started planning my new bedroom scheme, and I’m happily musing different paints, furniture, bits and bobs and of course the fabric and wallpaper (I think we're going for soft green, I want the sense of calm). It's one of the last rooms in the house to do properly (the strange colour we splashed onto the walls a week before the littlest Willis was born doesn't count. Panic decorating, whilst nesting and imminently in labour is never a good idea!). I need a grown up, relaxing and beautiful sanctuary. We've been in this house for 2 years now and I can't live with the mismatch furniture (not in a good way), faded curtains and strange aforementioned paint colour any longer.

I have a lovely handbag size book I squirrel my thoughts away in. I tuck in swatches, stick in pictures and add blobs of colour. Not terribly hi-tech I know but it’s my preferred way. I like it because I can pop the book in my bag, carry it around with me, bring it out when I’m shopping and have a gaze at it when I’m on the train/ in a coffee shop / suffering soft play (I have small children!)

This way I have all my thoughts in one place and I can see a scheme coming together. It also means I can view and feel the textures alongside each other, and can overlap designs to mix in patterns. This is something that I just can’t do online.

If I’m feeling grown up and interior designer-ish I might go on to do a mood board but that is something that has to stay at home and so the mood book invariably wins every time.

I love fabric, lots of fabrics not just ours, but ask any fabric lover and it’s not just the designs we love, it’s the texture. The feel of the velvet, the drape of the silk or the character of the linen. Gorgeous. My little book can cope with this. (Bedroom planning may well involve linen and velvet) I also have a special compartment in my purse that houses little bits of fabric for when I’m really travelling light. It also houses a few buttons for good measure too. But that’s beside the point.

So whether you prefer a folder, a coffee table scattering, a mood board or an inspiration mood book like mine, it doesn’t matter. But if you are planning a new room, or a refresh and you want it to feel unified and to avoid any costly mistakes, it is a good idea to bring your colours, patterns and textures together in one place to check they all harmonise to create a look you can live with and enjoy.

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