It’s at this time of year, when the days are long and the light is bright, that we have the energy and motivation to ‘get things done’. Whether it’s getting out into the garden to do a tidy up or putting aside a weekend to repaint the downstairs loo, you can rest assured that homes and gardens across the country are being deep cleaned, refreshed and revived.
Redecorating a room in the home can be a costly affair, especially when we waste money trying (and failing) to get it right. Perhaps the overall effect is lacking in something, but you don’t know what? Often, despite having spent hours trawling through images on Pinterest to try to nail a certain look, you can be left feeling confused and unsure in which direction a decor scheme is going, so I thought I’d give you a few straightforward ideas on how you can successfully complete a decor scheme or add a little personality to it.
1 Add in texture
Perhaps the simplest decor trick to achieve a pulled together look is to consider the different textures in a room.
Without texture, a room will look flat and uninviting, however even when an all-white look is your thing, you can use texture to keep the overall effect cosy and interesting. Placing plants, textured linen throws or fire logs in wicker or belly baskets may be an obvious step, however it’s one that totally works and is an affordable update, too. Try a belly basket encrusted with gold sequins (I love this one) or colourful pompoms, to add an extra dimension.
image via Stadshem
Simple additions, such as a knitted pouffe or draping a sheepskin rug over the back of a sofa or footstool can also add a pop of welcome texture to the room and make it feel more finished. Accessories can also raise your texture game – glass, shell, metallic, wooden, woven and ceramic finishes mixed up and/or grouped together in little displays can elevate a room from flat to fabulous.
When planning furnishings for a room, consider different fabrics and materials, such as leather, velvet, wool and linen, which can all work in harmony to create a beautifully comfortable space to be in.
image via vtwonen
My final tip? Take your time finding the right pieces and your patience will be rewarded with an amazing place to call home. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either. In fact, it’s more important that it doesn’t! Scour thrift shops and second-hand websites for rugs, fabrics, textured artwork and furniture that you are naturally drawn to. This way, your unique personality will be reflected throughout your possessions and your home won’t resemble something out of a home furnishings catalogue… perish the thought!
2 Choose accent colours
Colour is another fab way of enlivening a room, along with texture. This is especially important in today’s homes, as we continue our long-lived love affair with all things grey and neutral. The traditional colour to pair with grey is yellow, however how about considering pink? From pale blush pink paired with deep charcoal grey for that understated, elegant feel, to bright corals and salmon, which combine beautifully with ethnic print for a more boho feel, there’s a pink out there for everyone.
image my own
Greens work well with neutral decor backdrops, too, and are generally very easy to live with. Soft mossy greens work best layered up with greys, whilst dark, moody shades of bottle and jade green look wonderful paired with black and gold. A white room scheme can also be enriched with green accents, even if it’s simply the introduction of a leafy plant or set of vintage glassware.
image Nathalie Priem via Apartment Therapy
If you have a dark painted room, rich, earthy colours such as mustard, teal and plum can make it feel decadent and inviting, just be sure to interject them with hints of gold or brass for a more polished look.
How to decide on a colour accent? Pick out one or two shades from a cushion, piece of artwork or window covering, and use them throughout furnishings and accessories to help tie a scheme together. Just try to pick shades that you like, rather than what’s currently en vogue, or you could quickly tire of it.
No room is complete without accessories – they can add texture and colour, as stated above, but also, so much personality! Picking up trinkets, artwork and soft furnishings whilst on your travels, then displaying them artfully in your home, perhaps in a curated vignette or grouped on a shelf, is one way to ensure your abode is unique to you and full of character.
Accessories can also be super affordable, as these days even supermarkets have had to up their game in the homewares department, meaning that you can pop design-inspired, high street pieces into your shopping trolley as you go about your weekly grocery chores. Easy!
4 Getting lighting right
There are three rules to lighting a space in your home, just get these right, then you can play about with the styles and placement of lighting in a room. Firstly, you need an overhead source of light. Quite often, this will be a set of recessed spotlights, however if you’re lucky enough to have a single or pair of light fittings, you can have fun choosing a pendant or light-shade that reflects the style of your room and perhaps acts as a statement feature. There is a real return to natural materials throughout lighting, so you can add that much needed texture while you’re at it, with bamboo, rattan and other woven materials all good options. I love the range here!
image via Cox & Cox
Next, create soft pools of ambient light with one or two table lamps and a floor lamp. A string of bulbs or cotton ball lights can also impart a soft light, too. Vary the heights of your lamps to create a layered effect and experiment with them by moving them around the room.
image via Around the Houses
Finally, a task light is essential for working or reading under, be it an angled desk lamp, arced floor lamp or wall hung design. You can also use it to define an area within a room, for example a cosy reading corner.
5 Mixing old with new
Lift cherished vintage pieces of furniture to another level with a modern twist, such as a designer lamp sitting on an old wooden desk or a traditional oil painting hanging above a contemporary sofa. Bring life to a retro armchair by having it reupholstered in a fresh, modern print or bright colour, or add some edginess to a traditional shaped coffee table or stool by painting it in a matt charcoal black. These little touches add an element of surprise to a room and can transform an interior from crass to cool.
image my own
6 The power of metallics
I once read that every room should contain four key elements; something new, something old, something black and something gold. I love this thinking! A black accent adds depth to a room, be it a black picture frame or striking monochrome rug, however the touch of gold is equally as important. Metallic accents, such as gold, brass or aged copper, add lots of warmth and texture to an interior, so consider a metallic finish throughout lighting, soft furnishings (yes, gold leather cushions can look amazing!), mirror frames and accessories. Brass and gold are the metals of the moment, particularly in an antique finish, as they add a time worn, classic feel.
image via Coco Kelley
7 Filling an awkward space
Lastly, what about that empty corner or bare wall that’s screaming out for attention? Floor plants are wonderful for filling up an empty corner of a room, but also consider a little bench or accent chair to make a feature of a spare corner or length of wall space. Large pieces of canvas or framed art look fabulous casually laid against a wall at floor level, as do huge antique mirrors. If you have collected up lots of travel postcards, photographs and prints, create a gallery wall on a stairway landing or blank wall as an interesting feature – check out my gallery wall post for inspiration.
image via Kate la Vie
I hope you find this guide useful in helping to achieve the look and feel you want at home.