The perfect bedroom is no longer a place in which to merely sleep. The humble bedroom has morphed into one of the most important private spaces in a home.
The modern perfect bedroom now reflects the personalities and lifestyles of the occupants. Even guest bedrooms are not spared from chic options, creature comforts and bursts of style.
New Rule #1: Consider the
What can you see from the window? Which rooms are adjacent? Are there
privacy or noise issues? How does the air flow through the room? Are there any
interesting architectural features? Does the room have good natural light?
Depending on the answers to these questions, your perfect bedroom design decisions may take a different direction from what you may have first envisaged.
New Rule #2: Function before
The functionality of your bedroom must work FIRST. You could have the most stylish bedroom in the world. However, if it doesn’t perform the function of a bedroom you will soon be frustrated and dissatisfied.
For example, you may love sheer curtains but if they don’t provide the privacy you require then they are not functional. OR, if your home is near a railway line or noisy neighbours then maybe double-glazing IS an option worth considering.
Measure spaces for all furniture, rugs and wall art; DON’T wing it. I recently redesigned a master suite for clients when it became obvious their architectural plans would not fit a Queen-size bed. True story.
New Rule #3: Layering is the
Start with the biggest items first; floor, walls and ceiling. Decide on a neutral colour palette in whites, taupes, greys or a pastel – cool blues and greens or warm pinks. Then co-ordinate your bedding. This provides the biggest opportunity for impact in terms of colour and texture.
The new rules love a mixture of tones and textures with linen, cotton,
faux fur, velvet, patterns and block colours being mixed with different sized
pillows and cushions. Don’t match; MIX… on the bed at least.
If you don’t want a colourful bed then opt for accessories, such as cushions and throws, with lots of texture but a narrow colour palette – for example, all white, all beige, all cream, all grey.
Amp up the style with knotty wool, tassels, self-patterning and embossed fabrics. High-quality bed and plush accessories add interest without overcrowding the room.
It may seem odd that I’m writing about having a real or authentic home. I mean, it’s YOUR home so it’s totally authentic, right? So why do homeowners hire an interior designer?
Many people hire a decorator or interior designer for different reasons. Often they have no time to do it themselves, even though they want an authentic home that’s personal to them.
However the most common reason for hiring an interior designer is because most people don’t trust their own instincts and ideas. Of course, I don’t want to do myself out of a job because I LOVE what I do.
However, I also discuss with my clients the importance of having a home THEY love. It’s not my role to tell clients what to do. Moreover, my role is to interpret what a client wants in the most functional and stylish ways. And maybe break a few design rules along the way.
Getting Your Authentic Home
The atmosphere or feeling of a room is very important. In addition, this translates to the style and theme of the whole house.
For example, it would seem a little strange to have a minimalist living space but a kitchen that is rustic country or Hamptons inspired.. Instead, aim for interiors, and exteriors, that convey YOUR loves and lifestyle.
Tapping Into Your Neighbourhood
In order to create a real or authentic home, pay attention to the architecture of your home both inside and outside. Take photos of your home, its garden and your immediate neighbourhood.
Walk around your neighbourhood to take in the ‘flavour’ of where you live. Make notes that describe how you feel about what you are seeing. It’s very likely you purchased the home because of the style it’s style, the land and views, or the neighbourhood.
Can you take some of those exterior concepts indoors? This will create another level of authenticity in your home.
Authentic Homes Live
Don’t be afraid to mix styles. For example, if you live in a heritage home don’t feel you have to be a slave to the period. You can acknowledge the heritage whilst creating your own wonderful juxtaposition of styles.
This not only creates a personality-filled home but it’s also very authentic to your loves and lifestyles. As always, love where you live.
One of the hardest interior design elements with which homeowners grapple is in the area of colour. Most people don’t want to live with a riot of colour.
However, most people don’t want to live with cool and boring interiors either. So where is the balance? Right here.
See some unexpected colour combinations that will excite and inspire you on our Colour Combo Pinterest board
#1 The 60/30/10
As a guide for beginners, divide your colours into 60%
primary or dominant colour, 30% a secondary colour and 10% an accent color.
This enables you to use colour without a room appearing unbalanced.
Tap in to the emotional connection you have with a
space. Cool colours are calming and warm colours are more active. What colours
truly appeal to you? Find a connection and be confident with your choices.
Colours for Vibrancy
These are the colours opposite each other on a colour wheel – yellow + purple, red + green, blue + orange – they are strong yet they work together.
So if you love one, try bringing in the other one but at different levels – one dominant and the other secondary. Use black as the accent colour to tone it all down.
These are good neighbours on the colour wheel. They
are similar so they look good together providing a cohesive and casual feel.
They can be bold or pastel, thing yellow with green or blue with violet. You
choose the intensity.
Small room? Choose a bright colour and paint the floor
and walls in the same colour. The connection between wall and floor is blurred
giving the illusion of a bigger space.
Cool colours recede and warm colours come towards you.
To make a small room seem bigger, use cool colours. To make a large room feel
cosier, use warm colours.
#7 Add Black
When using bright or bold colours, black will inject
some sophistication. When using pastel colours, black will stop a room feeling
too childish (unless it’s a child’s room)
#8 Warm Up /
Create warmth with red, orange and yellow (although
not too much in a bedroom) and cool a room down with greens and blues to create
a fresh palette.
#9 Neutrals Are
You can create impact with neutrals but they don’t
have to be white and beige. Consider warm golds, rich caramels, and relaxing
pastels in green, pink, blue, mint and grey.
Use colours from your past as inspiration. Live with what you love. Embrace colour that’s meaningful.
Grab HEAPS of cool ideas with colour and paint on our Pinterest board dedicated to Paint .
Home styling tips don’t require a renovation or hours spent with an interior designer. Whilst interior designers have an expert eye and can save you from making expensive mistakes, with a few styling tips you can personalize any room.
You could say that ‘styling’ is the art of arranging of objects so they are pleasing to the eye. A home should never be ‘perfect’. A home should be relaxed, stylish, surprising, entertaining.
So having items off-centre or injecting a surprising colour is a fun way to showcase your personality. The home styling tips shown here are not exhaustive but they are easy to execute.
Home Styling Tips for Your Living Room:
– if you have different table lamps then keep the side
tables uniform to show cohesion
– inject curves into an angular room with rug patterns, a round ottoman, or a curved arm to a chair
– if you have matching furniture then mix up the colours and
patterns in the cushions
– use a rug to ‘ground’ the conversation area
– inject a bold colour even in a small way, such as a vase
or the trim on a cushion
Home Styling Tips for Your Bedroom
– keep the bedroom restful but personality packed
– use fun and quirky items that have no place in another room. This is your private space so let your hair down
– have a calming tonal palette but use pattern and texture
to liven things up
– in a small bedroom don’t use large-scale fabric prints as they will make the room feel smaller
– fresh flowers are never out of place in a bedroom
Home Styling Tips for Your Kitchen
– have a beautiful tray laid with a jug of lemon and mint
infused water and gorgeous glasses
– add the warmth of wood, natural fibres and ceramics to a
black and white kitchen
– place your stylish soap dispenser and hand cream on a hand
thrown pottery plate
– create a vignette using an upright wooden chopping board,
a mix of fruits, a plate stand, artisan bread and interesting old cutlery
– buy a fabulous copper pot and display it on the cooktop
I’ve never been one to play by the rules (just ask my Mother) so I do like to break a few design rules in my interior design work too. If you want to create edgier décor, then be open to breaking a few design rules… just like these.
#1 Art Should Always Be Hung
At Eye Level
The question here is at whose eye level should art be hung? People with
differing heights usually populate homes. Moreover, we don’t stand around looking
at the walls. We lie on the floor, sit on chairs, lounge on sofas, and relax on
Try placing a large artwork on the floor (secure it if you have children). Hang an artwork high up on a flight of stairs to draw the eye up and be a point of difference. Play with size and scale by mixing up the prints and frames for an eclectic effect.
#2 Always Match Timbers
As an interior designer, I am never a fan of matchy-matchy anything let alone timbers. When faced with timber floors, wooden kitchen cupboards, wooden furniture and wooden doors homeowners can panic about matching all the woods. Natural timbers are warm with a unique personality.
Timber works fabulously with almost anything including concrete, stone, metals, tiles, etc. This is one of the silly design rules you shouldn’t be afraid to break. However, don’t mix more than 3 or 4 timbers and choose woods with similar undertones (warm or cool).
#3 Never Mix Metals
Again, matchy-matchy usually breeds boring interiors. Mixing metals adds character and depth to interiors especially in wet areas. The trick is to mix cool metals – stainless steel, chrome, silver – with warm metals – copper, brass, rose gold, gold.
I am obsessed with black metal windows, as they don’t ‘frame’ the view they blend it and seem to disappear. So if you choose black metal frames for window or art, mix with warm copper lights or other warm metals.
#4 Paint Your Ceilings White
Why? I often recommend painting a ceiling in quarter strength of the wall colour. This creates a cosy room with an intimate feel.
Painting a ceiling in a darker colour will draw the eye down so you can focus on the view or another feature. Even wallpaper a ceiling for drama or a calming effect.
#5 Paint Small Spaces White
This is the worst ‘rule’ ever. Absolutely break this silliest of design rules. A tiny powder room wallpapered in a bold print looks amazing. Dark colours in a small room can make it look bigger because it blurs the wall lines, especially if it has great natural light.
Natural light will help a darkly decorated room feel warm. Add reflective surfaces and mirrors to expand the space.
If you’re thinking of renovating, then please check out more expert design tips on this blog including expert renovation advice you may not have considered and renovation preparation before you start.