With hundreds of projects under their belts and an eye for design, top designers can transform any space into something incredible, but alas, not all of us have this experience.
1. Embrace period features
Whether it’s architraves, dado rails, a ceiling rose, or a cast iron fireplace, nothing gives a home more character than period features.
Ripping period features out today is sacrilege, but go back a few decades, and it was standard practice! A terrible shame for many buildings.
Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, and well-preserved houses built in the 1930s will all have period features. If your home is lucky enough to have some, you should restore the features that need work and embrace the era of your home.
You can always take the character away, but adding it back is impossible.
2. Design for real-life, not show
There’s no easier way to fall out of love with your home than designing it to look good without any thought for how you live.
Show homes look great, but that’s about it. When designing your home, comfort, tactile quality, and functionality are what you want.
When designing for real-life, use fabrics and finishes that reflect your tastes and build functionality into rooms to accommodate your life.
Ideas include small double beds to free up space, bookcases with drawers, side tables that double as seating, recessed shelves, and perhaps even placing a bathtub in your bedroom.
3. Wallpaper is often the missing texture
Have you ever looked around a room and had the feeling that something is missing? That missing thing was probably a bit of texture.
Texture can be added to rooms in many ways, from shaggy rugs to curtains, yet many people neglect what encases furniture and furnishings – walls.
Introducing texture to walls is easy with wallpaper. Wallpaper in mundane spaces brings them to life, creating a transition between areas and adding dimensionality to flat surfaces.
4. Blank spaces are important
Designers are suckers for overcomplicating things, and a great example of this is when they try and fill every square inch of space with something.
Every space needs breathing room. Blank spaces help to tone down styles and provide balance. Over-decorating is easy to do, but not everything needs a style. Less is more when it comes to décor, and especially in busy homes.
It’s easy to embrace more minimalism by emptying your room of furnishings and slowly reintroducing key pieces. You can see where one thing is too much, where spaces need to be cleaner, and what you can do to solve problems.
5. Wicker is a dream for tight budgets
Wicker is your friend if you need characterful storage solutions in every room but don’t have a big budget for fancy furnishings.
Wicker is one of the most versatile materials for home furnishings like storage baskets, hampers, under-bed storage, chests, and small tables. Not only is it cheap, but it’s durable and introduces layers of texture to rooms.
Another bonus of wicker is it weighs pretty much nothing, making it a piece of cake to carry up flights of stairs and move around!
6. Feature walls are your best friend
Every room should have a feature wall. Feature walls are necessary because they draw attention to one area of the room, allowing you to introduce your theme with textures, shapes, colours, and patterns.
Bedroom feature walls will often be the wall behind the bed, while living room feature walls will often be the wall behind the fireplace.
Creating a feature wall can be simple as painting a wall in a contrasting colour, introducing a pattern or texture with wallpaper, or building a media wall that lifts electronics like a TV and games console off the floor to free up space.
7. Art makes a home human
Amongst machines and artificial furnishings, art brings a home to life.
With art, you get a sense of taste, class, and personality. It lets you express yourself, encourages conversation, and makes a home feel like a home. When you hang art on the wall, you create the character in a personal way.
One of the lost art forms in modern homes is paintings. In today’s world of social media and home magazines, photography has replaced paintings.
While photography is art, paintings are three-dimensional and create a connection between the artist and the homeowner.
Furnish your walls with paintings that reflect your taste and theme. Etsy is an excellent source of original art, or you can get prints anywhere online.
Have more décor ideas?
If you have a few décor secrets of your own, we’d love to hear them! Share your tips in the comments section below.