Choosing the best designs for your interior space can be a tricky decision. With furniture, wallpaper, paint and accessories, there are lots of aspects to think about.
In order to find the right balance between functionality, coziness and style seems difficult to achieve; no matter how much money you spend on furniture, rooms often seem to be lacking something compared to those in magazines.
Sometimes, the situation can be solved with a few small tricks that don’t involve spending heaps of money. Here are 14 tips to help you make your house a home.
1 – Take care of your front door
Your front door gives visitors their first impression of your home, so it should be given the same thought as the interior. Something homely in front of your home can work a treat; hang a seasonal wreath or decorations, update your house number sign or decorate with plants.
2 – Display things in threes
As in so many other scenarios, the rule of three also applies to decorating and styling. Displaying a trio seems to be more appealing visually and more balanced, especially when sizes, heights and textures are considered. Start small by testing in a corner or on a small table and then apply the concept to different areas throughout your home.
3 – Layer your carpets and rugs
Professionals use this tip a lot to save money on client projects. It’s a great way to test how you feel about bolder patterns and also makes the whole room feel cosier. Start by layering a small, bold rug on top of a bigger, neutral carpet or rug and see what you think.
4 – Stack your books in alternative ways
Try randomly alternating between vertical and horizontal book piles in shelves. While the usual vertical or slightly tilted stack in bookshelves is common, alternative placement gives a bolder tone. Horizontal stacks will break the pattern of the vertical lines and add more visual interest, making it much more easier to add additional objects as you please.
5 – Always have books on the coffee table
Books instantly add style and make for great conversation starters with guests. Make sure to include some of your favourites as well as a couple of different genres, so everyone is pleased. This is a perfect setting to apply the rule of three and mix books with decorative elements and small objects.
6 – Paint mismatch pieces the same colour and finish
Painting mismatched pieces of furniture the same colour not only offers unity but it also breaks things up so nothing looks to ‘samey’. Try painting a couple of pieces that are scattered across the room and not too close to each other. There’s no need to go overboard as even a small dose can help bring unity.
7 – Keep placemats on the table even when you’re not eating
You may think that having placements set all the time could look messy, but it actually gives the impression of tidiness and organisation. Placemats are also a great way to add colour and patterns.
8 – Light candles in groups
Gather all the candles you have and arrange them in small groups around the house (the rule of three applies here too). Lighting candles in groups is much more effective than displaying them individually because they will provide a bigger glow, which is perfect for the cosy evenings and when you have guests over.
9 – Add house plants
Plants are a great way to take any place to the next level. It is scientifically proven that house plants clean the air in your home, so not only they bring colour to a room, but they also give you cleaner air to breathe too. Treating them as decorative pieces when choosing their placement helps add style to certain points in a room.
10 – Keep throws and blankets over the sofa
Blankets and throws make everything feel cosier and lived-in, and they also provide an effortless way to add texture or colour/pattern to a room. If you only want one throw, make sure it’s not neatly folded, but thrown a little loosely. If you want two or more, play with the placement until the space looks balanced.
11 – Display your personality
Nothing says “you” like the things you love doing, so don’t shy away from letting your personality shine through. Enjoy photography? Display your camera. Like playing cricket? Position one of your old cricket bats in the corner of the room. It will give ammunition for interesting discussions and also add a ton of character to your house without any extra effort. Hang objects on the walls, place randomly on shelves or just leave them on the floor.
12 – Fill a non-functional fireplace with something unexpected
Put books, chopped wood or tiles in a non-functional fireplace and you instantly add style to a space. Other examples where you can apply the same tip are small corners, architectural elements, windows with partial or no view, old appliances or even parts of big furniture.
13 – Start at the top
If designed right, ceilings and lighting can really make a space. A space should have three distinct types of lighting: task, accent and general. It’s these three that you want to layer so you can build character and personality in a space. A kitchen for instance, might have task lighting directly over a countertop, a pendant light over the dining table for a touch of accent lighting, and general spotlights to illuminate the entire space. Try using plenty of task lighting where you can. That means lamps and wall lights; anything with specific direction and for intentional use.
14 – Art is king
A room without some kind of art is an empty space, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive piece. A simple print or two, or an oversized canvas that delivers some colour can bring smile to an otherwise dull room. Try to use appropriate scale in a room, an oversized print on a big wall for example.