If you’d love your home to look like it belongs on the pages of a magazine but your budget won’t stretch to an interior designer, do the job yourself. By sticking to a few golden rules, you can create a beautiful home that has a professional touch.
We’d all love to hand our home over to an interior designer to work their magic but wouldn’t it be more satisfying to create a sophisticated, luxurious space all by yourself? Styling your home should be fun but it requires careful thought and planning. These pointers will help to get you started.
Begin with a sophisticated canvas
The colour you paint your walls plays a major part in the overall effect of your decor. Interior designers often go for neutral walls because this provides greater opportunity to change the look through accent colours. For an elegant, professional finish, use a crisp white or high pigment neutral paint. Another trick is to paint your interior doors black — right away your home will have a more affluent air.
Choose a theme, mood and style
A home that has been professionally designed stands out because it has a unified interior that immediately creates a sense of luxury and relaxation. The three key elements to consider are theme, mood and style. For example, your theme may be traditional, eclectic or contemporary. Your mood could be relaxed, friendly or sophisticated. And for style, consider French, Americana or Art Deco. Invest in some interior design magazines and create a scrapbook of ideas or check out Pinterest for online inspiration.
Colour is the most powerful tool at the interior designer’s disposal. A harmonious colour scheme throughout your home will create flow and help to unite your theme, mood and style. As a general rule, the fewer colours you have to work with the better. Aim for three colours in each room of your home. Your dominant colour is used for the largest areas of colour — the walls and floor. Window treatments, bedding and sofas should have your secondary colour. An accent colour is for accessories, lamps, pillows and small chairs. For a cohesive look throughout your entire home, stick to the different shades of the same colours.
Liven up your lighting
Interior designers use lighting to bring character and personality to a home. Floor lamps and table lamps in each room will create atmosphere and warmth. But any old lights won’t do. Forget boring shades and run-of-the-mill ceiling lights and go for lighting with style. The good news? You don’t have to spend a fortune to achieve an expensive look. Funky, interesting lamps, pendants and chandeliers are available in your local department store or supermarket.
Tu Red Metal Utility Pendant Shade, £28.00; Starlight Acrylic Teardrop Pendant Shade, £35.00; Tu Dark Rattan Shade, £25.00; Tu Larissa White Bird Pendant, £25.00
Theme your accessories
Make sure your accessories complement your decor theme. Consider material as well as colour. Glass items reflect light and look great grouped together in a large, airy room. Metallic accessories can look stylish and expensive, if you go for the right ones. Too much gold and brass can look a little tacky, so they should be used sparingly. Chrome, pewter and nickel are much easier on the eye, while still creating a polished look. Neutral accessories are good investments, as they go well with all other colours.
Silver Sequin Cushion, £7.50; Small Moroccan-style Lantern, £16.00; Small Carved Wooden Box, £6.00; Cement 3-heart Candle Holder, £8.00; Natural Faux Mohair Throw, £30.00