Luxury property design studio, Finchatton is renowned for their effortlessly elegant and contemporary designs that push boundaries. Their Design Director, Jiin Kim-Inoue shares her simple, transformative design tips to help completely revamp your home and talks adjustment and reflection over lockdown with us. Jiin reveals her journey of self-discovery, learning to relinquish control and create more time for herself, and her joy at the sense of togetherness with those around her.
How have you designed your workspace to boost creativity and productivity?
My office wasn’t so much of an office when lockdown began. It was a room that looked “pretty” and “designer-y” but served no real purpose (especially since my husband preferred to work in the kitchen because of my OCD nature!). Since it has become my office, I had to learn to embrace what I consider to be organised chaos. You can’t always have everything in its place, as much as we try. I now have all of my tools strewn around my desk and within an arm’s reach. This makes my office a proper working office. For creativity, I look at the sketches by my two-year old nephew who seems to have a complete disregard for symmetry which I find very liberating.
How are you staying positive whilst at home?
It’s not always easy to stay positive, but what helps me is seeing the genuine care and concern people have for one another. During this period, I have had more heartfelt conversations with people than ever before and knowing people care has kept my spirits up.
What changes have you made to your home environment to improve it and better suit you living there 24/7?
The first thing I bought was an iMac which has been a game changer. I don’t think I would have survived working on a laptop all these weeks. Since my husband also works from home, we both needed to invest in a pair of noise cancelling headphones! I also managed to pull out my old drawing board from storage and have been using it to lay out my schemes and do some good old-fashioned drawings. Since I never used the office before, I didn’t realise just how much sun it gets. I’m getting a new pair of curtains and have been religiously applying more sunblock!
Please can you share your top tips of how our readers can transform and refresh their homes during this period?
Despite not being able to make any major changes to our homes, there are a few DIY tricks that will quickly refresh your home. I find lighting is key in any room and simply changing the lampshades can transform the ambience. Many shops are still delivering so you can easily order new lampshades online. Otherwise simply changing around some of the lampshades you already have can often achieve the same result.
Another great way to transform a space is to create a gallery wall. I for one have a few pictures and postcards picked up over the years that are gathering dust in a drawer and now is a great time to frame them. Art is a fantastic way to breathe new life into a space.
I have also felt the need for having greenery around me. If you have a garden or even somewhere to put a few pots, I’d encourage getting your hands dirty and start growing a few plants. Not only does it enhance a space, it’s incredibly therapeutic!
How have you found lockdown and what have you learnt?
Surprisingly, isolation has given me a rare opportunity and insight into who I am as a person. It has been lonely and challenging at times, but it has also been a hugely enriching and humbling experience.
Are you reading anything recently that has inspired you?
When I was doing yoga teaching training in Bali back in 2018, I was recommended a book called the Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. I was hugely inspired by the book but unfortunately, as soon as I got back to my life in London, I put the book down and hadn’t had a chance to go back. Recently, I started reading the book again and, in this time of uncertainty, it has given me a place of respite from all those whirring thoughts and doubts in my head. It has also given me a sense of reassurance that it is okay to have all those thoughts in my head, as it is one more way to getting to know myself.
What is your lockdown indulgence?
My post-lunch walk in the park. My lunch used to be something that I needed to find time for in-between meetings. It was yet another task that required the utmost efficiency. During lockdown however, I have taken the time to go for a walk or a cycle after lunch. I always used to think it was an insurmountable task to find time during work hours to go for a walk, when I often struggle to find time to go and buy lunch. I now realise it was down to the choices I was making for myself and I hope to remember to afford myself this little indulgence even after we get back to the new normal.