Top 10 Decorating Tips

So, you’ve made the decision to start decorating. Before you rush off and start purchasing, take some time to think about what you really need and what will work in the space. There are some fundamental elements to consider when decorating a space, including proportions and furniture size.

1. Your sofa needs space

A room should not only be beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, but also be comfortable, practical and liveable. Your furniture needs space! Give your sofa some breathing room and don’t have your coffee table too close or too far away. Ideally it should be about 45cm from the sofa and the size should be approximately 2/3 of the sofa.

2. A hero or statement piece

Every room needs a hero or statement piece. This is something that catches your eye, is unexpected and brings you joy as soon as you enter the room. It could be a feature wall, a bold piece of art or a statement chair in a bright colour. Colour brings a room to life and it doesn’t need to be over the top colour – it can be subtle, but it will add another dimension to the room.

3. Fake It ‘til You Make It!

If you’re working with low ceilings then you need to create the illusion of height. There are various ways to do this and here are some of my favourites:

  • Select low profile furniture
  • Choose bookcases or shelving that are floor to ceiling
  • Hang your drapes higher than the window and make sure they reach to the floor
  • Use vertical art and mirrors 
  • Use vertical stripes or patterns if installing wallpaper such as this –
  • Avoid overhead lights or ceiling fans that may be hazardous for taller family members or guests and use wall sconces or lamps instead

4. Layer Upon Layer Upon Layer

Create plenty of layers! A layered room is very different to a cluttered room.  Layering is where everything is considered and it often takes time to complete. It’s what turns a house into a home and injects personality into the space. Layering reflects what is personal to you. Use some of the ideas below to start layering :

  • A curated selection of cushions and throws
  • A rug to anchor a space
  • Lighting – table lamps and floor lamps 
  • Smaller furniture items such as side tables
  • Wall art from a favourite artist or family photographs
  • Accessories and decor items such as your favourite coffee table books, candles and small sculptures
  • Plants or interesting pieces from nature such as dried flower arrangements, drift wood or found objects

5. Choose the right artwork 

Art can often be used as a starting point for designing a room. It gives you an instant palette to work with and it can set the mood for the space. Art is all about personal taste and what you love, but it can reflect the style and colours you use in your home. Art is not necessarily just a painting or photograph. It can be a sculpture or beautiful ceramic piece, it is what speaks to you and suits your space.

6. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Mirrors can make a home feel brighter and more spacious, improving the overall energy of your home. They can even feel like a piece of art, and become almost a sculptural piece, like this one from RJ Living. 

Placing a mirror opposite a window will harness any available daylight, even when it’s a dull day outside. The bigger the mirror, the brighter and larger the space will feel. Don’t get carried away though! Choose one wall only and at most hang only two mirrors.

7. Get the lighting right

We all know that the right lighting can have a dramatic effect on how we appear and how we feel! When choosing lighting for your room follow these tips:

  • Make sure the ceiling light is large enough for the space
  • Find a  balance between architectural and decorative lighting and functional lighting
  • Incorporate a variety of levels of light so you eliminate dark areas in the room. Different levels create a cosy, warm feel instead of being harsh.
  • Consider the multiple roles a room serves and make sure the lighting is adaptable. Do you need low lighting for evening and brighter light during the day? How is the room being used? If it’s a home office as well as a study for reading and relaxation, different lighting will be required for each activity
  • Is the lighting going to be the “star” in a space. For example, a foyer or stairwell where you can choose something to create the “wow” factor
  • Lighting can either complement the aesthetic of a room or it can contrast

8. Dress your windows

Choosing the right window furnishings is critical for your comfort and the aesthetic of your space. It is also important for the insulation in your space and those all important energy savings!  It goes without saying that if you use roller blinds in your bedrooms, then choose a block out blind for privacy and a sheer blind for filtering light during the day. The blockout blind will also provide some protection from heat loss in winter and prevent the harsh hot sun during summer.

9. Mix the shapes

Mix up the shapes in your room. Often, we end up with a lot of straight lines and square shapes, so it’s important to break this up. If you have too many straight lines consider a round coffee table or side tables, or some accessories in circular, organic shapes. If you have too many round pieces add a square coffee table or a lovely rectangular rug. Just like life, it’s all about finding the perfect balance!

10. Take a step back

Finally take a step back and cast a critical eye over the space. Is there something missing or is it feeling too crowded? Perhaps there’s not enough breathing room for some of the larger pieces? Does it need more layering? Adding and subtracting pieces until you find the right balance and are happy with the look and feel of your room is all part of the fun!

I’m always here to help if you are feeling stuck or don’t know where to start. Send me a message and let’s see how I can help you transform your space into a place you love.


image courtesy of @crateedition