Dark Rose Interiors, which you see pictured on these pages, is essentially my home.
My aesthetic can probably best be summarized by looking at my Instagram, @darkroseinteriors: Dark and wildly romantic. Gothic, Victorian, Renaissance. A touch of fairy tale and rock and roll!
My greatest inspiration, where I find all my ideas, are my greatest loves: books, stories, history, historical buildings, architecture, art, and music. My home decor draws heavily from my love for Amy Lee and Evanescence, for example.
My ideas for each room are based on senses and feelings; atmosphere is absolutely key. The most important consideration for me is really how I want the room to feel rather than how I want it to look. To let your true style and personality shine through, and to avoid copycat or cliché looks, I believe you have to try and embrace the abstract idea and go all out with your imagination. An example of what I mean might be the abstract concept of gothic. What does that mean to you? To some, it’s heavy black makeup, pumpkins, ghosts, spiderwebs, Dracula, etc., but to me, it is much more about haunted castles, ghost stories, a girl alone in a dark wood, eerie mists, dark Victorian London streets, trailing ivy. The imagery is the thing to hold on to and is definitely what I try to capture when decorating or buying things for our home.
In my opinion, creating a sanctuary is not simply decorating to suit a given style. It’s a fundamental way of life. It is absolutely necessary for my personal expression and well-being, for indulging and fueling my imagination, for allowing me to retreat from the mundane—my home lets me live inside a fairy tale. Expressing myself as I’ve done at home has fed into my overall confidence too. My dress sense, for example, has really been informed by what goes on at home. Your soul will thank you for manifesting it in such ways!
Some may look at my pictures and make judgments like, “You have to have a lot of money to create that.” We all know that money can be problematic in a world that almost demands that we be acquisitive. My advice is therefore twofold:
• Be patient. I’ve been collecting antiques and vintage items for almost thirty years (I’m forty-seven!), so what you see has taken a long time to manifest. I’ve always bought what I loved and have never considered whether I have space or whether something goes with anything else. If you buy on gut instinct, you can’t go wrong. I love to imagine the stories behind the items I buy too. That’s what makes your room or space interesting! Fad buying can leave you feeling a little empty, so it’s always worth waiting for just the right thing and pushing yourself for something special if you can afford to do so. Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, and antiques fairs have done well for me over the years. Let go of stuff that doesn’t bring you joy, and don’t be surprised when your tastes evolve—this is normal.
• Create atmosphere. Try candles, low lighting, and big plants that cast shadows in the lower lighting. When it comes to color palettes, darker, richer tones are far more intimate, and when it comes to positioning objects within the room, don’t forget to add things above eye level wherever possible. And don’t just put stuff around the edges of a room. Layering—objects, textiles, pictures—adds interest and texture. You want your room to really envelop you and delight you on every level … and to appeal to every one of your senses.
Corani is based near the beautiful, historic city of York, U.K. Find her on Instagram @darkroseinteriors.