Maybe you haven’t given too much consideration to choosing the right dining table. After all, a table is a fairly standard piece of furniture, right? Flat top, several legs, what’s to choose?
There is a lot to choose, as it happens. Not simply for eating, the right dining table is an important element in the interior design of your home. Whether you have a formal dining room, an open plan kitchen hub or a small dining nook, choosing the right table is a good investment.
The Right Dining Table Should Have The Style You Want
Before you start looking, have a good idea of the style of dining table you want. For example, are you after something traditional and formal or something industrial and edgy. As a guide;
Traditional: dark timber with turned
or carved legs
Industrial: utilitarian feel with a
combination of metal and weathered wood
Contemporary: sleek and simple in a
modern timber with a glass top of metal base
Transitional: traditional materials
but with a casual or relaxed feel
Farmhouse: solid in time-worn
timber or with hand-carved details or antique patterns
The Shape Is More Important Than You May Think
Whilst rectangular dining tables are very popular they are not always the right solution for a space. When choosing a dining table think about how you entertain. Are large platters placed in the middle of the table? Are dishes passed over the table? Can items be easily reached?
The right dining table must be right for your needs, not simply a design statement (unless you never eat at your dining table).
round and oval tables no-one is sitting at the end and conversations can be
more inclusive, especially with six people or fewer. These table bases also
take up less room and can fit more easily into a small or awkward space.
tables can offer the best of both worlds but do require a generous space to
move around the table and chairs.
out how far in you can push the chairs and how much leg or thigh room is
between the chair and the table.
What About The Right Dining Table Size?
The size of your right dining table will be very much based on the size of your dining area. Keep in mind the balance and proportion of the room with adequate space for chairs to be pushed out and for people to circulate.
a drop-leaf or extendable table for more flexibility and bear in mind that
table heights can be different between styles and age. Most modern tables are
about 76cm high so consider this when you are choosing chairs.
Hardwoods such as gum, blackbutt, oak, walnut and mahogany will always be stronger and more durable than engineered timbers and MDF. Salvaged wood is great to hide marks, scuffs and spills. Concrete is a popular table top surface that is very durable and glass is a good choice for small spaces.
I use and recommend Reality Furniture at Newton who can design and build a bespoke dining table – interior or exterior – that will be amazing!
Don’t just think about the right dining table. Think also about the lighting above the table and the rug underneath. Look at your room in its entirety, not just the individual elements.
Need More Help?
I will spend the day with you, planning your interior or outdoor living, visiting shops, looking at options and buying items with savings off RRP. Yes, you can hire a Designer for A Day. Please see my ‘Services‘ area for more information or contact me on 0421 043 505 or email@example.com
There is one important decor trick most people neglect when it comes to interior design. How can one little imperative make all the decor difference? You’ll be surprised when I tell you…
We live in a country where people love their homes, and their gardens. For such a bunch people who love their indoor-outdoor living, it’s surprising that one important decor trick seems to get missed.
Many people who contact an interior designer, do so because they need expert advice and a stylish eye. Bringing on a professional designer will help make a home more functional, livable, modern and chic.
When I start working with clients, I look at the functionality of the space including the use of the room, the air flow, natural light, sound design and, importantly, the view.
Yes, this is the one important decor trick that most people neglect, miss or ignore completely!
The view! Whilst you may not have million-dollar views, you can create a better view within your own home. Consider your home – when you move around the rooms, what views do you see? Which rooms have the best views? Which rooms need help?
The view from your window is the one important decor trick most people miss. Because they usually don’t consider it unless it’s a big picture window.
It’s not all about big windows and sprawling bi-folds either. Perhaps you have small bedroom windows or windows with views on to something ugly… like the neighbour’s fence.
Here are five ways to embrace a single important decor trick you can use TODAY. These tips will help you to maximise good views and disguise bad ones.
Bring the Outdoors In
Keep connected with the outside environment by positioning furniture to take in outdoor views. Place a chair for reading near a window. Position a dining table, sofa or bed to see some kind of outside space.
Your home is not meant to be a solitary space even if you live alone. Favourably impact your mental well-being and sense of human contact by opening up the views you DO have.
Hang trailing plants around the windows if you don’t have much outdoor space. For example, add a ledge above the window frame so plants can trail down beautifully.
Add colourful pots of succulents or other virtually indestructible indoor plants. Greenery and living plants inside will help keep you connected to nature… which is very healthy. Health and well-being in our homes is very much supported by this important decor trick
Expose As Much Glass As You Can
Enable curtains and blinds to be completely drawn back from the window frames.
This means either no window treatments OR extending the curtain rods beyond the window frame so drapes can be pulled back from the window. Expose as much glass as possible when the curtains are open.
Crop and Frame
Think of your windows as the frame to an artwork. What can
you see through the window? How can you maximize the view? For example, a
window may capture trailing roses growing on an outdoor wall. However, cropping
will eliminate the view of your neighbour’s ugly air-conditioning unit.
This is also why you should invest in quality outdoor
furniture. If you don’t have a proper view, create a beautiful outdoor setting
that will be seen from the windows. Add plants atop the table, candles and
gorgeous seating cushions.
Paint It Charcoal
I am constantly recommending to my clients that they paint a garden shed, fence or back garden wall in a dark charcoal. Dulux ‘Domino’ is a fave of mine and works beautifully with Colourbond ‘Monument’.
Dark colours recede so dark charcoal is a perfect colour to blend with residential flora and trees. So if you have an ugly shed or fence when you look thorough a window, paint it dark charcoal.
Another popular trend, and important decor trick, is to paint windows in a dark charcoal. The dark colour works to blend the view and the window frame making the window less obvious when looking outside.
In fact, I have just had the windows in my own home painted in ‘Domino’ both inside and out. They look amazing.
Avoid cream and green because they don’t blend as well as a dark colour. AND it makes the space seem bigger… and not in a good way!
Light It Up
Adding solar powered fairy lights to trees and shrubs means you still have a delightful view when it’s dark. The result is that night time is the optimum time to enjoy your views, even if you have create one yourself.
An important decor trick is to take the focus away from un-slightly views to fairy lights and a gentle ambience.
Want More Expert Tips? Why not view more of the great advice offered by Plush Design Interiors in our Expert Design Tips section. Articles are added regularly and seek to provide you with information you can use immediately. Because when you love where you live, you want it to be better and better, right?
Plush Design Interiors is an Adelaide based interior design, outdoor living and home additions design company. We specialise in residential interior design, especially in the Adelaide Hills around Stirling, Crafers, Aldgate and surrounds.
The right sofa choice depends on variables such as budget, quality, size and shape of the room, and comfort factor. Every household is different, so how can you choose the right sofa for you and your family?
Your choice of the right sofa depends on several factors including your lifestyle, the purpose of the sofa, the people using the sofa, the room décor and the size of the room.
However, there are some good rules to follow when it comes to choosing a sofa for any room and any purpose.
The Right Sofa Shape
You have many choices including 2-seater, 3-seater, low back, high back, chaise, modular sofa and more. The shape of your sofa depends on the size and shape of the room. A large modular will be difficult in a small room or a room with lots of doors.
Choose a sofa that is of a shape and size to comfortably fit the room. In a small space choose a sofa with legs to give the illusion of more space. Ideally, when you walk into a room you don’t want to see the back of a couch, (unless this is an interior design option) so measure well.
The Right Sofa Frame
buy a sofa with the best quality frame you can afford. Check the frame
construction. Is it hardwood or pine? Are the joints screwed, glued or
dowelled? The better the frame the longer it will last.
The Right Sofa Cushions + Springs
It is a personal preference whether you want a soft or a firm sofa. However, like the frame, better quality springs will ensure the longevity of your sofa. Buy for comfort, support and durability.
Cushions should retain their shape when you sit down and not collapse upon impact.
The Right Sofa Material
Family sofas should be covered in tough fabric such as leather – easy to clean and requires only a little effort to maintain. Textured fabrics are good to hide spills and marks if you have small children.
Scatter cushions and throw rugs can also hide marks. And always Scotch Guard your sofa before use.
The Right Sofa Heights (backs + arms)
Whilst low-back sofas can look cool and modern, they may not give you the back support required. So the height and style if your sofa is, again, a personal decision.
However, bear in mind the purpose of the sofa – a gorgeous decoration in the foyer or a hard-working sofa in the media room? Choose a sofa with the back and arm height required for long term sitting, and not decoration, if that’s its purpose.
The Right Sofa Price
Always buy the best you can afford, especially if you want to have it for a long time. There are plenty of cheap sofas around but you’ll likely have to replace it again in just a few years.
Expect to pay at least $2,000 for a good quality two or three-seater sofa up to $10,000 or more for a spectacular designer sofa that will last a lifetime.
A functional kitchen is much better than a stylish one, BELIEVE ME. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have both. Meld style AND function for your best kitchen yet.
Kitchens are one area that must be incredibly functional. If you can’t work easily in a space, find everything you need and be cool under cooking pressure then you may not have a functional kitchen.
When re-designing your kitchen floor plan and/or renovating, always keep in mind how YOU use your kitchen. When I discuss with my clients their new kitchen, I ask them to disregard what they think about kitchens in general and focus on their use of the kitchen.
A Functional Kitchen Depends on How YOU Use It
Families will use a kitchen differently from singles, for example. People who love to cook will have different needs from people who virtually only use the microwave.
Positioning of appliances can be a highly personal area depending on preference and usage. Some people like the cook top in the centre island, some like a sink and others prefer neither.
If you want a kitchen merely for show and using the microwave, then your use of the space will be different from someone who loves to cook and entertain for family and guests. It’s important to have a space that functions well rather than simply a good-looking kitchen.
What Special Needs Do You Have?
In an open plan space, do you want to hide dirty dishes in a Butler’s Pantry? Will you have people eating at the counter or do you prefer sitting at a table? Do you need a drawer for your vast collection of spices close to the cooktop, or can they be relegated to the pantry?
What special storage or cooking equipment will you need? Do you bake and roll pastry so often you need a marble counter top? Your functional kitchen is specific to you.
How Many People Will Use The Kitchen?
There are as many ways to create a functional kitchen as there are people. So when renovating, consider how many people will use the space at one time. Think about the traffic flow and easy access to the pantry, fridge and appliances.
Natural light is usually a bonus, however think about whether you have too much or too little. Can you make design changes to accommodate this?
Are you someone who likes to have things on display? Or do you prefer seamless cupboards with all appliances integrated and hidden?
Get The Floor Plan Right First
There are generally no right or wrong answers if you’re honest about how YOU use your kitchen. However, get the floor plan right FIRST and then turn your attention to colours and surfaces.
If you get caught up deciding on colours and surfaces you’ll miss important decisions for your most functional kitchen. get the floor plan and flow right FIRST because you’re other decisions will flow from that.
Renovation advice is always best taken from people who have ACTUALLY renovated. As an interior designer, I help home lovers renovate all the time. So you can imagine I’ve learnt a few things along the way.
If you have read my earlier blog post on ‘Pre-Renovation Planning‘ you’ll know the important elements to consider when planning your renovation. So this renovation advice follows on from that post.
Once the pre-renovation basics are taken care of, you can plan the interior design. It is important to plan the interior design before you start renovating because it’s not all throw cushions and bed linens.
Why Take Renovation Advice From An Interior Designer?
Working with an interior designer isn’t just about choosing fabrics and positioning the sofa. Far from it, in fact.
At the time of planning to renovate, you’ll be dealing with Council approvals, contractors and suppliers. This is the ideal time to get an interior designer on board who can help you with floor plans, lighting, surfaces, flooring, colours and selections. These are all things you shouldn’t change once the re-building has begun.
Select all the finishes, fixtures and materials before getting quotes. In this way, it will be easier for contractors to quote more accurately saving you money down the track. This is renovation advice you need to know.
Did you know that most interior designers can recommend builders and other tradies with whom they work regularly? Plush Design Interiors does not take kick-backs or commissions from the trades we use. Therefore, we can work with your tradies or recommend our own.
An interior designer will help you select everything you require to get accurate quotes from other trades. Further, they can also negotiate discounts from retailers or gain better wholesale pricing for you.
Look to Your Home’s Architecture for Clues
There is so much inspiration for interior design that some people become paralysed with indecision. Consider the style of your home and decide on a theme before you start.
Is there a stunning stone fireplace, fabulous wooden floors or surprising windows? Which architectural features can you enhance? Again, an interior designer will help to clarify the design direction for your home. Their renovation advice will give you a result that reflects YOU not them.
See some of the ‘Testimonials‘ for Plush Design Interiors to see what other people have said about this.
Consider Your Lifestyle
How you live your life is a very important part of interior design. If you have small children or a dog that runs amok you’ll probably want to reconsider those white linen sofas. Be honest about how you live your life so your home can be functional as well as stylish. Choose surfaces, fabrics and flooring that reflect your lifestyle.
Plush Design Interiors LOVES The Textile and Design Company for super cool outdoor fabrics and knock-out sun umbrellas that are straight out of Hollywood. Divine!
Don’t be afraid to use outdoor fabrics and patio
paint indoors if you need tougher solutions. Modern fabrics and paints can be
tough but beautiful. Outdoor fabrics include soft and resilient velvets that
are virtually child-proof and weather resistant.
In looking at the floor plan, locate power points wherever you think you’ll need a plug and away from water sources. A lighting plan prior to your build will be of great benefit to your electrician. So follow this renovation advice to save you money and heartache.
Choose the Right Lighting
overlooked when renovating, lighting is a very important aspect. How much
natural light does your home enjoy? Should you install skylights? Lighting also
influences the way walls and ceilings are finished because lights cast shadows
or enhance areas.
Colours will look different under different lighting conditions – pendant lights versus wall scones, for example. Given you are renovating, get renovation advice on how to integrate lighting into the architecture.
Flexible track lighting is also increasingly popular. These moveable fittings have a come along way since ‘back in the day’ and are now beautifully designed as well as highly functional.
Remember the Landscaping
Make landscaping part of your plan. This will help with budgeting but may also relate to the colour and material choices you make.
For example, when considering the flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. For a seamless look, choose the same or very similar flooring options that flow between spaces. This may become a landscape issue when creating entertaining spaces adjacent to the home.
Further, when it comes to choosing plants and shrubs, ensure nothing is planted that will block natural light from entering a room.
Are you seeking ways to introduce colour to your home? This can be a scary experience for novice renovators or redecorators. However, why not create a more unique home by using colour like a pro. Here’s how.
There is a revolution on the way. Interior designers are encouraging their clients to be bold and embrace colour. YES, we want you to introduce colour to your home.
If you read interior design magazines, you will have noticed the plethora of white, black, grey, charcoal and wood grain décor around. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Homeowners love the neutral and often minimalist décor of contemporary homes.
However, I am also constantly asked about how to introduce colour. People are confused about colour so the default position is neutral – white, beige, grey being the predominant hues.
To Introduce Colour Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Colourful
There is a difference between ‘colour’ and ‘colourful’. Some people embrace a riot of colours with clashing prints, bold colours that are opposite on the colour wheel and have a maximalist aesthetic. That’s fine for confident decorators and unique artists. However, it’s possible to add colour without feeling like you live in Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory.
When advising clients on their décor, I look at the walls, floors and ceilings first. These tend to be in neutral palette territory except for the occasional dramatic wall. When deciding upon the colours of your walls, floors and ceiling, it’s important to consider how much natural light comes into the space.
Rooms on the cold side of the house should be painted in warmer colours. Whereas rooms with lots of natural sunlight can be painted in cooler colours. Please also bear in mind that there will be furniture, rugs, window treatments, art works and accessories in the room. These elements are all inter-related.
Should I Add Colour With A Feature Wall?
By all means, choose a neutral tone you love and run with it. The trick is to add colour and texture so the room isn’t cold and clinical. Could you add a feature wall in a deeper tone of the same colour or choose a fabulous wallpaper?
Some of my clients fear that a feature wall will turn their home into a ‘show home’ while others embrace that idea. Personally, I love a good feature wall. A feature wall should be the first wall you see when you enter a room but unencumbered with doors and windows. The bigger the free space the better.
However, a feature wall could also be somewhere surprising, like under the stairs. Paint colour is one thing, but adding wallpaper will elevate your home to another realm. I LOVE wallpaper because there is endless choice. Plus, modern wallpapers are much easier to apply and remove than ever before.
How To Introduce Colour in Furnishings + Accessories
I generally suggest clients choose a non-patterned fabric, or leather, for the bigger furniture like sofas. Add colour with textured, patterned and clashing colours in cushions, throws, lampshades and window treatments.
A rug will anchor furniture and define space. However, a rug is not viewed at eye level; it’s on the floor. So choose a bold and/or patterned rug to add personality and texture to your space.
Add colour, interest and surprise with art works on the wall or a dramatic floor lamp. Perhaps paint a piece of old furniture and add coloured handles or bright upholstery.
Small Space Colour Bursts
spaces respond well to dramatic colour bursts. So if you have a small toilet or
powder room, consider a bold paint or wallpaper. Bring to life space under the
stairs or a pantry door by painting them in a bold glossy colour. Red perhaps?
The great thing about paint is that it’s easy to replace if you really don’t like it. However, you’ll probably love bursts of colour and texture by choosing at least one surprising cushion or an outrageous art print.
Once upon a time, bedrooms were really only a destination for sleeping or changing clothes. Therefore, they usually weren’t the sunniest rooms or the rooms with the best views. However, over time they have become far more personal spaces.
Is your bedroom the best it can be? Whether it’s a parent’s retreat, teenage hang-out or a play & study zone, bedrooms have evolved. Living spaces may still occupy the sunniest spaces with the best views. However, any bedroom must still be a healthy area given how much time is spent in them.
There are two types of bedrooms – those for adults and those for children. Adult spaces are generally spaces in which you invest money for a long-lasting effect. Whereas children’s spaces can be more flexible as children grow-up fast and their tastes change.
Once you have allocated superior spaces to living areas, the master bedroom is next on the hierarchy. Given the master suite is usually occupied by the people who pay the household bills, their needs are paramount.
The positioning of a master bedroom in relation to other areas is important. If there are small children in the home, then a master bedroom may need to be positioned close to them.
However, if children are older and more independent, then a parent’s retreat away from them and the family living space may be preferable.
Further, a master bedroom should generally be situated away from the main living spaces especially if you have teenagers. This helps with noise control as well as privacy.
I generally advise not to spend too much money in children’s bedrooms, apart from a high quality mattress, as their needs and tastes change quickly.
Children over the age of about five should be included in the selection of the décor for their bedroom. After you buy a high-quality mattress, consider what other furniture and storage is required.
This will change as a child gets older, so I usually suggest not going overboard with expensive items. Older kids may require a sofa and coffee table to create an ‘adult’ chill-out zone.
Wherever possible, don’t position bedrooms next to the front door. Consider noise and light control when positioning rooms that require quiet at night. Also consider the servicing of bedrooms in relation to the toilet and bathroom.
Good planning will often see an ensuite and main bathroom share a wall. This also creates a natural buffer between the master suite and the children’s bedrooms.
Your lifestyle is a major factor in planning your own home. Consider the space, how it’s used and its relationship to other rooms, noise, heating, cooling and light. Above all, love where you live.
When you need home renovation preparation advice then ask a professional. It’s people like me who work in this area and we’ve probably seen everything. So when it comes to home renovation prep, here’s my two bobs worth.
one of my favourite sentences… “We are renovating and need your help”. My eyes
light up and a wave of excitement washes over me. Often, however, the person
speaking those words is as confused and terrified as I am delighted.
Whilst most people want to live in a home they love, watching renovation shows can make things appear a lot more seamless than they are in reality. If you are planning for a renovation, or even some major redecorating, there are home renovation preparation items to consider BEFORE you even think about interior design.
Home Renovation Preparation: Your First Priority
embarking on any renovation or major redecorating project, ensure the
essentials are in great condition. Check your plumbing, electrical circuits and
roofing. It is imperative to fix any issues, such as water leaks, rising damp
or faulty old wiring, before you start. Fixing any issues now will save costly
repairs in the future.
Have a Clear Vision
Your budget will blow out if you start making changes to the design after your renovation has commenced. Be very clear about the design before works begin. This is an important home renovation preparation tip.
Write a brief that clearly explains your vision, your budget, timeframes, what will remain IN the house and what needs to come OUT. Have a clear colour palette to use through your home for a cohesive look.
A detailed brief can be referred to later if you need to make a decision.
Maximise the Positives
Always consider important elements of the home including natural light sources, air flow, views from windows, and noise control before you start making interior design decisions. The functionality of your home is the priority over gorgeous fabrics and divine furniture.
Required approvals will be easier to achieve if you know the rules and can provide rationale for your design decisions. If necessary, tweak your design to fit the required rules.
All the best home renovation preparation in the world won’t help you if you can’t get Council approval. In some States and Territories, illegal renovations may inhibit you from selling your home.
Ensure your renovation plans include easy access for trades and delivery of big items. Can trades access the rear of your property from the outside? Can vehicles park on-site? What is required to ensure easy access and minimise the impact on your existing home… and your neighbours.
Renovating for Profit
If you are renovating to sell, research property sales in the area. Adjust your budget, and be strict with spending, so you do NOT over-capitalise, that you cover all costs and you make a profit. Include often forgotten fees such as skip hire, dump fees and a contingency of at least 15% of the total budget.
Budget for Interior Design:
Self-serving? Well, no. Budgeting for interior design isn’t necessarily about hiring Adelaide’s best interior designer (although it could, haha). No, it’s more about YOU than me.
It’s important that you provide a budget for furniture, fabrics, lighting, art works and accessories. These are all part of the renovation process not an afterthought.
Children’s bedrooms are just about the most fun spaces to decorate. You can get frivolous, colourful, playful and take risks. However, one of the biggest mistakes some people make in decorating a child’s bedroom is to design a space for the age the child is now.
Children grow quickly with their tastes and needs changing quickly too. So when you plan a bedroom space allow for decorating flexibility and the opportunity for a child to grow and change.
Woo Hoo, see lots of gorgeous creative and colourful space for babies and children on our Kid’s Bedrooms Pinterest board.
Having said that, it’s also very important to involve children in the design and decoration of their own room. It teaches them an important lesson – that they can control the look and feel of their environment.
Children tend to have more respect for a space they have helped design. So have some fun with your children creating mood boards for their rooms.
Children’s Bedrooms Should Be Wild + Free
Children don’t impose parameters on themselves that we adults tend to develop over the years. Let children think about colour, texture, pattern. This gives them the opportunity to be involved while you still have control over ensuring the space can grow with the child.
If they choose an outrageously coloured cushion or ridiculous wall art then what’s the harm? These items can always be replaced when they grow out of them.
One word of caution, DON’T paint walls in very strong colours such as red and orange. Bedrooms are still places of rest so strong and hot colours are not conducive to sleep and relaxation. Strong colours may also bring out aggressive tendencies in some children.
Children’s Bedrooms Are For Play Too
If possible, allow a child to have a big bedroom so they can play in there as much as possible. It minimizes toy clutter in the living room and avoids the ‘lego in the foot’ scenario.
In some households, children will share a room so delineation of space is important. This can be done with rugs, different coloured bedding or a different picture above the bed. Bunk beds are great to create more useable floor space.
This can be important when a study desk is required. However, no child under the age of six should be given the top bunk.
Children’s Bedrooms Need A ‘Show-Off’ Area
Provide a display area where your child can show off their favourite items. Tall shelving should be fixed to the wall and access easy enough for a child to control.
Remember, a child’s bedroom is a separate place in the house where they can show their own personality. It’s the one room where they can really express themselves. Let them freely decorate and control this important space.
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. So live with the ten commandments of colour instead.
Most people don’t want to live with cool and boring interiors either. So where is the balance? Right here with the ten commandments of colour.
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. The ten commandments of colour are rules that probably shouldn’t be broken.
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. This is a very useful one of the ten commandments of colour.
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 . Love livig with colour by remembering the ten commandments of colour.
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. You may have noticed than many celebrity stylists and interior designers, view home styling as the final process is creating a beautiful home.
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
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.