How To Successfully Nail An Open Plan Home

How To Successfully Nail An Open Plan Home

An open plan home is the modern design approach for the smart use of space. However, large spaces can be difficult to contain and decorate. For space AND intimacy, follow these essential tips.

An open plan home is a powerful design statement being spacious with a timeless aesthetic. Boasting freedom of movement, modern homes are now highly social spaces whereby the kitchen is no longer isolated.

As interior designers and renovators, the single biggest area of our work is designing an open plan home with a luxurious kitchen. This space is always connected to a casual dining and living area that flows outdoors via bi-fold or stacker doors. This creates seamless indoor-outdoor living perfect for the Australian lifestyle.

Whilst undeniably aesthetic in nature, there are certain rules to consider for the successful interior design of an open floor plan home.

An Open Plan Home Makes Multiple Rooms into One

In an existing home, it’s common to combine two or more smaller rooms into one spacious kitchen-living combo. Did you know this can have numerous benefits for your psychological well-being?

#1 Benefit: There is a sense of freedom when walls and doors are removed. The removal of these ‘obstacles’ creates a calmness which is highly beneficial.

#2 Benefit: Removing walls will let in more natural light to saturate an expansive interior. Natural light is one of the key architectural tenets that help create a beautiful home.

Are you concerned about noise levels, kitchen aromas, or the lack of privacy? All these issues can be addressed with the smart use of ventilation, textures and layering, and medium-rise furniture.

Retain Structural Integrity

When designing an open plan home, never compromise the structural integrity of the existing building. Always seek advice from a Master Builder to ensure load-bearing walls and other weak points are identified. Load-bearing walls can be removed but must be strengthened with suitable beams, ceiling joists or columns.

Create A Focal Point In Your Open Plan Home

Include a focal point to draw the eye to a hero feature in an open plan space. Great ideas for a focal point include a stone fireplace, an oversized window, or cathedral ceilings. Every room should have some type of focal point. However, in an open plan home, it’s also a way to create intimacy. Because furniture and fixtures can be created around a focal point.

For example, having well-considered furniture styled around a fireplace creates a delineated conversation area. This keeps the space open but also creates a more intimate environment.

Decorating an open plan home can be difficult for the novice decorator. However, consider having a suitable interior designer engaged even before the building stage. Why? Because a qualified interior designer will be able to analyse the proposed floor plan, identify ways to maximise the space, design joinery AND decorate the finished space.

An interior designer will use furniture, lighting, colour, texture, and accessories to fully decorate an open concept space. They will do this in such a way that the space feels intimate not cavernous.

Keep A Unified Theme

Open concept homes must be cohesive especially when areas are delineated with furniture, architectural features, colour and rugs. The last thing you want is a cavernous space with all the furniture hugging the walls. You can still have unique spaces with an open-plan floor plan, just keep the colour palette and theme consistent.

Easily delineate spaces with some interior design tricks. For example, define the dining area by placing a large rug under the dining table and chairs.

How To Define An Area

Define a living area with sofa and chairs in an L-shape, a C-shape, or opposite each other with a rug and coffee table in between. Use console tables at the back of sofas to add some height with lamps, books, and other objects. Therefore, creating visually exciting ways to add energy to your interiors.

Unify spaces by using a similar colour palette – either several shades of the same colour or up to three colours using the 60/30/10 rule. 60% is the primary colour; 30% is the secondary colour; 10% is the accent colour.

Designed by Plush Design Interiors. Kitchen with lowered ceiling area. Image by Claudine Burgess Photography

Use architectural features, such as a low dividing wall, a pair of columns, a bulkhead or rustic beams to acknowledge the difference between spaces. A bulkhead in the kitchen may be lower than the ceiling in the living room, for example. In the image above, designed by Plush Design Interiors, the lowered ceiling delineates the kitchen area in an open plan home. Image by Claudine Burgess Photography.

Open Plan Home Ideas for Other Spaces

Comfortable living spaces aren’t the only areas suitable for an open concept. As more home owners create their own retreat, an open concept bedroom with walk-in robe and bathroom is popular. A free-standing wall hiding a walk-in robe behind has become more common than a walk-in robe with a door, for example.

Bathrooms that are freely seen from the bedroom can maximise the space and natural light beautifully. However, always ensure the toilet is not easily seen from the bedroom area.

I love open concept living. Using a few simple tricks your open plan home can be as warm and luxurious as you wish.

PhotoReal Renders Are Changing the Game for Renovators

PhotoReal Renders Are Changing the Game for Renovators

PhotoReal renders have become a game changer for interior designers and home renovators. Going beyond 3D imagery, this technology helps homeowners to become more engaged with their project.

From taking out a wall to adding an extension, photoreal renders are hot! Because they enable renovators to see how changes will look before demolition. Additionally, they enable an interior designer to showcase different ideas for the same space.

Think about your renovation. You’ve probably been clipping ideas from Pinterest and Instagram. Maybe you have a Houzz account and have been saving images in an ideas book there. However, your renovation is personal to you and your lifestyle. How do you know that an idea you see will work for you? An interior designer has a good eye but is also used to viewing many different spaces. Yes, we can see through walls. Well, almost. We need to be able to visualize concepts and final results. However, new technology does help us to help you.

3D Imagery versus Photoreal Renders

There is a difference between 3D imagery and photoreal renders. For example, one of my earlier clients wanted a two-way fireplace in her new living room extension. However, she was unsure how the rooms would work with a fireplace in the centre. She also wanted an existing laundry and toilet re-designed as a guest bedroom. That room would have access from the new living space. Would that work? Moreover, she wanted to know if a current wine storage wall in the kitchen could be re-designed as a small butler’s pantry. Could this be done by encroaching some space from the current dining area?

I was able to manipulate the 2D floor plan to show her what the space could look like. However, that’s a bird’s eye view. So, I was also able to use a 3D imagery program to show her the space populated with furniture. Just not HER furniture. However, it did give her an excellent idea of what the open plan renovation could look like.

Staying Ahead for Better Results

Interior designers, architects and builders must stay modern by utilizing the design tools available. When I created the 3D imagery above, I was pretty happy with the results. After all, the purpose was to help my clients make important decisions about their renovations. Now photoreal renders and fly-through videos are the icing on the design cake.

Kitchen + joinery design by Plush Design Interiors. Render by Maria Georgiou

Many clients have an idea of what they want for a better functioning and more stylish home. Nevertheless, they can’t visualize the design solution. 3D imagery has been a fantastically useful tool. However, it comes with limitations. For example, in some 3D imagery programs you can not ‘import’ the exact accessories. Furniture is shown as a ‘place-holder’ – a similar image, say, a white sofa. It’s not the exact article. Nor is wallpaper, joinery design and other important elements.

This is where photoreal renders area a game changer. Sure, it’s an additional design fee. However, if you’re renovating several spaces, it’s worth it to see the results before you demolish. Taking out a wall? How will that effect the traffic flow, natural light and views within your home?

Joinery + interior design by Plush Design Interiors. Render by Maria Georgiou

Taking Photoreal Renders To The Next Level

Spacial planning, joinery design, natural light, views, privacy and noise control are all integral to interior design. When we design spaces, we take all this into consideration. So photoreal renders will show you what views will be seen from a renovation. Renders can also show how natural light will be cast in a room at certain times of the day. Alternatively, a clever renderer, like Maria Georgiou, can show different lighting ideas. For example, the strip lighting that was integral to the masculine and moody wine tasting room I designed.

Joinery + interior design by Plush Design Interiors. Render by Maria Georgiou

As the name suggests, photoreal renders have a photographic quality. You may see images on Pinterest and Instagram without realising they are photoreal renders. This technology can be used to represent any interior or exterior space.

When it comes to your costly and important renovation, floor plans are only one design element. You’ll also need 2D elevations of joinery design, 3D sketches of design concepts, mood boards and selections list. To understand more about what we do at Plush Design Interiors, please view our Flip Book.

Interior Painting Tips To Transform Your Home

Interior Painting Tips To Transform Your Home

Interior painting is an easy way to change your home décor. From a weekend project to something more elaborate, the possibilities are endless. So you’ll love these expert paint tips

Introducing surprising interior painting elements and rich colour in unexpected places make me clap my hands with joy. Modern paint colours and finishes provide endless creativity for your walls, floor, furniture and accessories.

Eight Interior Painting Tricks to Try

If you plan to try something different with paint, then check out these expert tip and tricks.

Make Doors and Windows Appear Bigger – use the same paint colour on your door and window frames that you use on the walls. If you need a little extra interior painting decoration, paint a thin line in a different colour. This is also a technique to use with architectural features you may wish to hide or reveal.

Dare To Use Gloss on Ceilings – dare to be different and bounce light around your room by painting your ceiling in a  full gloss paint. This is my favourite tip and it lightens a room during the day and is glamorous at night… especially when using lit candles.

Create Depth – by painting your window surrounds in a contrasting colour to the window frame and walls, you’ll create a luscious depth in the room.

Subtly Distinguish Top and Bottom – use full gloss paint for the bottom half of your wall and a satin or eggshell paint for the upper half in the same colour. Not only will this make the bottom part of the wall more durable but it will create a magical decorative effect.

Interior Painting Made Easy With Chalk Paint

EXPERT TIP: I love Autentico Paints which are now available in Australia. Jane Brereton from Plain Jane Furniture in Adelaide, has sensibly brought these gorgeous paints and finishes into Australia. Jane is showing home renovators and furniture recyclers how to be creative with paints. I can highly recommend you check out Autentico Paints and Plain Jane Furniture.

Paint A New Bedhead – cheap and very cheerful, paint a bedhead shape directly onto the wall. This is a very stylish and inexpensive way to make a statement. If you feel clever, you can even give the illusion of deep buttoning or stripes or suede or metallic by choosing a specialty Autentico paint finish.

Decorate Cupboard Interiors – use paint or fabulous wallpaper to decorate the back of cupboards or the back wall of open shelves. Look for dramatic colours and patterns or use metallic wallpaper to great effect, such as for the back wall of a drinks cupboard.

Interior Painting + Wallpaper Make A Great Combination

EXPERT TIP: I love, use and recommend the wonderful range of murals and wallpapers from Fancify. Natalie Hogan will help you with a wide range of papers for children, teenagers, adults, families, singles and everyone else. You can even use your own photo for a bespoke mural that fits perfectly the dimensions of your wall. Tell Natalie that Penelope from Plush sent you.

Have A Wild Floor – let you imagination go wild by painting interior concrete or floorboards in a geometric pattern, stripes or even use a stencil to create floral designs or impacting motifs.

Don’t Forget The Staircase – paint the spindles on your staircase in a deeper, different or contrasting colour to the rest of the staircase. This is a very popular trend overseas and can make a lovely feature of your hallway and stairs.

When it comes to building a new home or home renovations, paint is an exciting element. Use the tips above to create unique interior design statements on walls, floors and furniture.

Faux Flowers Styled To Look Real

Faux Flowers Styled To Look Real

When I say ‘faux flowers’ do you immediately think of cheap plastic roses with dust ingrained in them? Take that horrid thought out of your mind.

Because in 2020, faux flowers, and trending floral stems, are better than ever. Follow these simple tips and your fabulous faux flowers will look real… no-one will know (and I won’t tell).

Having fresh flowers in any home adds beauty, a touch of nature and often fragrance. However, if you can’t pick them from your garden, it can be expensive to regularly have fresh flowers in your home. Consequently, the range of faux flowers and floral stems now available is a great alternative. To ensure your faux flowers look real, use these five simple tips.

Tobi Fairley Interior Design

Know What Faux Flowers To Buy

If you know what a flower is supposed to look like, then you’ll likely spot a faux flower over a real one. So, it’s a good idea to purchase faux versions of the flowers and branches you really love. I have three favourite flowers – orchids, peonies and hydrangeas – and a favourite floral stem – cherry blossom.

However, there is a broad range including lavender, magnolia, roses, tropical flowers, tulips, mixed garden flowers and Australian natives. Available also are ‘fantasy florals’ including pod stems, floral stems, cut flowers and blooms. The fantasy florals add interesting décor elements a variety of pinks, blues, reds, blacks, greys, silver and gold.

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Always Buy Quality

To ensure your blooms and stems look as real as possible, purchase the best quality you can afford. I suggest opting for a smaller bunch of flowers for a coffee table, bathroom counter or bedroom dresser if you have a small flower budget. It’s better to have something smaller but of higher quality than a big display that looks cheap. My go-to is Florabelle. For wholesale pricing, please contact me.

Combine Faux With Real

Trick the eye by combining your faux flowers with real blooms or stems. You can do this in two ways. One is to mix real and faux in the same vase. The other is to place real and faux close together in different vases. This styling tip will help your budget go further and create more opportunity for having blooms in your home. It is also true for faux and real indoor plotted plants such as fiddle leaf trees and mother-in-law’s tongue.

Don’t Be Afraid To Trim

Whilst you may not wish to ‘fiddle’ too much with your newly purchased faux flowers, trimming some of the leaves may make a display look more real. You may also wish to trim the length of stems to suit your vase.

Decor Gold Designs

Use Beautiful Vases + Vessels

Faux flowers will always look more beautiful, and real, when placed in pretty vessels including ginger jars and the many different vases available. And, because they are faux, you can arrange and rearrange them to suit your mood and change vases and vessels to suit your décor.

Luxury Living Room Key Features

Luxury Living Room Key Features

A luxury living room will be different for every person. What makes something luxurious for one will not necessarily be shared by another.

So the idea of a luxury living room depends on the perception of the home lover. Additionally, the word ‘luxury’ may be different for each person. Depending on the style of home you want, your idea of luxury could be contemporary, rustic, traditional, futuristic – almost anything.

However, when it comes to designing your own luxury living room, there are key features that are shared by every elegant and luxurious room. Deliciously, you can incorporate these key features to create your own luxury room without the price tag.

Image courtesy of RLH Studio


The Window Treatments:

Bring a luxurious feel to your living space with heavier drapes that hang above the top of the window and to the floor. Even if the window does not reach the floor, ensure your drapes do. There is nothing more luxurious than stunning drapes that touch the floor.

Image courtesy of Applegate Tran Interiors


The Wall Art:

I always encourage my clients to choose wall art to which they are drawn. Pieces of art, including wall art, sculptures or installation art can add a very luxurious feel to a room when well-chosen. Don’t be concerned about buying a ‘name’ artist or whether the piece matches the cushions. Hang or install art and sculptures that you love. Simple.

Image courtesy of Ann Lowengart Interiors


The Rug:

Create a luxurious focal point in your living space by using a beautiful rug that is the right size and pattern for the space. Rugs anchor and delineate a space when used in front of a fireplace or under the sofa and coffee table. It’s very important to choose a rug that’s the right size. You won’t create a luxurious looking living space when the feature rug is too big or too small. It must be perfect.

Image courtesy of James Said


The Lighting:

Similar to a rug, dramatic lighting such as a chandelier will provide a luxurious focal point of your living space. Not all chandeliers are large and dripping in crystals. The style of your space must be considered. There are now many chandelier options including mid-century modern arm chandeliers that will create a stunning focal point.


The Vignette:

Styling centerpieces are now very much part of interior design. Whether you arrange items of varying height on a fireplace mantelpiece or on a tray for the coffee table, display vignettes suggests luxury and thought. Use candles, fresh or faux flowers, succulents, objects and books. Use your creativity and change seasonally.

Create vignettes or table decor by organising objects in a delineated space, such as on a tray or table runner. Mirror bottom trays reflect glass, crystal, flowers and other objects such as a silver animal. I have mirror bottom trays in living rooms, the guest bedroom, bathroom and in my dressing room. I use items specific to those rooms including beautiful room diffusers and highly scented essential oil Tilley soaps in the bathroom.


Another excellent item to add to vignettes, especially if you use flowers, is battery-powered candles. The new candles have a wick that moves simulating real fire-light. They come in a variety of sizes and my guests are always surprised that they are not real candles.

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In creating your luxury living room decor, it’s important the the style reflects your tastes and lifestyle. For example, if you have small children running around then choose more child-friendly objects to display on coffee tables.


The final element in creating luxury living room decor is to not have too many social points. Don’t cram all the ideas listed above into one room. Pick a dynamic and single focal point – such as a rug or chandelier – and then par back on the other luxury inducing items.


As with all interior design advice, it’s YOUR home and your lifestyle so stay true to what you love and how you live your life.

How To Choose The Right Dining Table

How To Choose The Right Dining Table

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).

With 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.

Square tables can offer the best of both worlds but do require a generous space to move around the table and chairs.

Test 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.

Consider 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.

Timber or…?

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!

Cohesion

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 penelope@plushdesigninteriors.com.au

How To Choose The Right Sofa

How To Choose The Right Sofa

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.

home

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

Always 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.

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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.

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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.

For more luscious living room inspiration, please visit Plush Living Rooms on Pinterest.

The Ten Commandments of Colour

The Ten Commandments of Colour

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 Rule

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.

#2 Embrace Emotions

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.

#3 Complementary 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.

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#4 Analogous Colours

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.

#5 Bright Colours

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.

#6 Colour Combinations

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.

Image courtesy of Jessie Prince and The Designory

#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 / Cool Down

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 Good Too

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.

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#10 Memories

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 With Easy Ideas for Every Room

Home Styling Tips With Easy Ideas for Every Room

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

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– 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

– use small art works to create interest in unexpected places

Home Styling Tips for Your Dining Room

– use large leafy branches in a table centre display instead of flowers

– tall sculptural plants help to move your eye around the room

– use a fabulous drinks cart to display decanters, glasses, premium liquor and cocktail paraphernalia

Plush Design Interiors works with West Elm as one of our valued suppliers

– display art works and signs that relate to eating and drinking

– use wooden pizza paddles on display with wooden trays and cutting boards

– in winter, place a couple of sheepskin rugs or mohair throws casually over a couple of dining chairs

Made To Be Broken… Design Rules That Is

Made To Be Broken… Design Rules That Is

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 beds.

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).

Plush Design Interiors

#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.

Plush Design Interiors

#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.