Instant Interiors assisted with a recent article which appeared in the Sunday Telegraph…..
Search for inner beauty
By Jenny Stevens | November 08, 2009 12:00am
IT should be simple. How hard can it be to match a lampshade and some new curtains? But for those not blessed with the style gene, decorating is torture.
To make matters worse, theres a good chance your masterpiece wont look anything like those perfect interiors you ogle in the style magazines.
So how can you get pizzazz into your home without paying for professional help?
Your Space asked some design experts how to turn an ordinary home into a showpiece.
Stuff and nonsense
GAIL Dempsey from Instant Interiors says the biggest mistake people make is to stuff rooms with oversized furniture, too much clutter and too many little trinkets.
They often use something because someone gave it to them and they feel they cant give it away, even though it doesnt really go with the rest of the house, says Dempsey.
The end result is chaos where there should be relaxation and enjoyment.
> Stocktake Take an honest look at your existing furniture and favourite pieces, and determine what fits into the space.
> Update Change cushion covers or lampshades every two years to give your home a fresh new feel.
> Utilise Dont horde good glasses and crockery put them to good use. We really should be using our best every day and not saving it, says Dempsey.
Youve got to love what youve got around you.
TEXTURES from rugs, throws and cushions, plus personal mementos, are the keys to adding warmth and character to a home.
The basic decorating guideline is to use neutral tones on bigger objects and add tone and texture through accessories.
A good way to think about it is whether you would wear the
colour combinations chosen, says Roni Hammond from Design4Space. Would you wear orange, pink, blue and green in one outfit? The answer is no.
When you co-ordinate what you are wearing, you co-ordinate everything, from shoes to handbag. Its the same with accessories in your home.
> Match If you change cushion covers, choose a vase in a similar or complementary shade.
> Change Buy accessories for the seasons to create mood and atmosphere. Fresh and crisp colours work well in spring; darker, warmer shades work best in winter.
World of difference
ANDREA Lucena-Orr, from Dulux, says a blank feature wall can add vibrancy to a room, particularly if it is a suede or metallic finish.
If you are doing it yourself, then its only going to cost you the price of two litres of paint, she says. Pick a colour from cushions or a throw already in the room.
> Simplify Dont go overboard with personal photographs. When displaying pictures on mantels, use frames that work together. Dont clutter; avoid mixing gold, silver and black frames; use the same colour in varying sizes so they are not on the same level.
LIGHTING needs to be both functional and fun. Mood lighting can be achieved through lamps, candles and downlights.
The key is to make decisions with confidence, says Tegan Sullivan from Mondo Luce Lighting in Surry Hills.
> Be bold Buy oversized pendants, made from materials such as European blown glass, colourful fabric, spun aluminium or sustainable bamboo, to add a stylish element. For a touch of fun, floor or table lamps or hidden wall-lights cover all the spectrums from minimalist chic to baroque opulence.
DECLUTTER your home too much and youll risk losing its personality. IKEA’s Lena Ailm says over-matching has made some homes feel clinical.
To add life, go for patterns but remember big bold prints need more space.
There is no reason you cant have striped curtains and floral curtains but if you want to
mix patterns, then its best to stick to just three main colours, says Ailm.
> Update For $100 you can pick up fabrics, cushion covers, candles and glass plates to give your home a mini-makeover.
> Plan Work out what you need before you shop. Dont buy on impulse then try to make everything work together.
CLEARED kitchen benches may be fashionable, but in reality they are not practical.
> Accent Buy a stylish kettle or unusual set of salt and pepper shakers that will look good even when not being used. A bowl of seasonal fruit will add a splash
> Prettify A simple vase of fresh flowers can add vibrancy, perfume and romance to a room.
TRY not to decorate your entire home with the latest accessories as trends date very quickly,
says Denby Dowling from The Style Consultants.
Her advice is to find your signature style and be true to it.
> Itemise Write down what you like and dislike it could be anything from furniture to clothing and note colour, form, texture and era of design. These will help direct your taste.
> Research If you have special pieces that you love, research the era they came from. Look for pieces in the same style and blend them with contemporary pieces.
IT can be very rewarding to turn a bathroom into a private oasis and it doesnt have to cost a fortune.
Designer Daniela Chetcuti, from Kalafrana Ceramics at Five Dock, recommends updating window coverings in older bathrooms with either plantation shutters or slim-line blinds.
Other affordable updates include plants and frameless mirrors.
> Cull Get rid of ratty, unmatching towels and linen and replace them with thick new towels in sets of the same colour.
> Glamorise Collect interesting bottles of lotion and bubble bath and add tea lights and aromatic candles to create a spa feel.
> Splurge If you can afford it, and have the space, a free-standing bath is to die for. Designed in deep tubs, egg shapes, with or without jets, they will give you nearly as much pleasure to look at as to wallow in.
JO Dean (above with sons Saxon, 4, and Griffin, 2) had a head-start when she redecorated her solid brick semi in Redfern as a graphic artist, she understood colour and had a strong design sense.
But, like anyone tackling a first home, she and her softwear-designer husband Kyle still had to put theory into practice.
They took to the house with gusto, ripping up old carpets to expose the floorboards, repainting the pastel technicolour walls, and converting a formal living room into a third bedroom.
Then, using her graphic skills, Dean painted murals in her sons bedrooms.
On Griffins tree mural, she attached real gum branches to the wall to act as pegs for bags and jackets.
On artisan website www.etsy.com, she found fabric and decorating ideas for soft furnishings, and she picked up supplies for do-it-yourself roman blinds at Lincraft.
Kyle did the labouring, carpentry and helped with the painting, but they called in the experts to install a new kitchen and sand the floors.
The result? Six years after moving in, they have a smart family home to their taste and budget.
> Invest in some stylish pieces that will become focal points in different rooms
> Be creative with your lighting
> Go for different textures and fabrics in a room
> Buy new towels, lampshades and cushion covers
> Use vases of fresh flowers
> Put art on walls
> Use mirrors to create light in a room
> Overdo matching. Hanging polka dot curtains does not mean you need to use polka dots on cushions
> Display too many personal photos and trinkets from holidays
> Use too many colours in the one room
> Be afraid to give away pieces that no longer suit your home
> Fill a room with oversized furniture
> Wait until you are selling to put some style into your home
Family tree … Jo Dean attached real gum branches
on the mural in her son’s bedroom.
Source: The Sunday Telegraph