Do you feel like your home needs something but can’t quiet put your finger on it. When it comes to adding some wow factor or even just giving a room a finished look it can be overwhelming and difficult to work out exactly what it needs.
Em Henderson in her book Styling says “styling just means giving a space a sense of a personality”. I couldn’t agree more.
Here are my seven tips for what you can do right now without a stylist to help create a more cohesive and polished look that suits your style.
1. Give your living room furniture breathing space.
One of the easiest quick styling fixes is to rearranging your furniture. So many homes have all of their living room furniture hard up against the walls. If you look at some of the most beautiful rooms in magazine or by designers, the living room furniture is floating in the room. Its important to give your furniture breathing space.
By simply moving the lounge off the wall by 30cm it can change the feel of the room. This is not always the rule if you have a super small space but try to arrange the furniture so it looks likes it is in conversation with the other pieces. Obviously not bookcases etc but definitely for seating.
2. Always use feather inserts for decorative cushions.
If you have ever wondered why cushions in magazines or on display are puffy and beautiful and your recent purchase looks more like a pancake now it lives in your home?
Most of the time the cushions you purchase in a retail store have synthetic filling. In a short period of time by laying on these, it will cause your pillow to look flat. Its all to do with the insert. The secret is to swap your insert with a feather filled one and just like magic no matter how squished they get, a gentle shake and reshape will get them light and fluffy again.
I buy all my duck feather inserts at Ikea for only $8 each (FJÄDRAR 50×50 size). They come in all sorts of sizes and once you have enough you can insert them into any cushion you buy.
3. Hang your artwork or framed images at the right height.
One of the most common mistakes homeowners make when hanging artwork or images is that they hang them super high. The correct hight for any image hung on the wall is the have the middle of the picture about the average persons eye height.
In the image above you can see where the artwork is hung in relation to a dining table. In the two images below, the bottom of the artwork should be sitting about a head higher than the sofa. It is always a lot lower than you think.
4. Shop your own home.
Friends who visit our home are always saying, “I like your new…….” when actually it’s furniture or accessories I have had for years and years but used to be in another room. I shop my own home. I am always moving things around and trying new looks. Lamps are on high rotation around my home as are cushions and artwork. Best of all its fun and free. Take a fresh look at the homewares and furniture you have in other rooms or even in storage and repurpose into another room.
5. Learn to mix high / low end pieces as well as old & new.
There certainly has never been a better time fall in love with homewares. There are so many options these days and many fabulous items that are on point for price and can be sourced from Target, Kmart or even the Reject shop. Its about creating interest and balance with items you buy and things you already have. If you purchase a new modern metal cube for your coffee table, sit it next to an old wooden bowl or something that has history. Please don’t make this mistake of taking a trend (say like marble homewares) and overdoing it. Just one or two key pieces on display is just right.
6. Choose the right size rug for the living room.
The right rug can help to balance out many of the elements in a room. It can provide colour, contrast or even texture to a space. The size of the rug is what most people don’t get quiet right.
For the living room I always recommend a size large enough so it sits just under the legs of both the sofas or on both sides of a modular. Is should look like your seating area is sitting on your rug. If you can’t find a rug big enough in the style you like buy two or 3 and sew them together.
7. Always use ideas from magazines, Pinterest and blogs
If you are not sure how to pull a room together use the resources of magazines, pinterest and interior design blogs (like this one!) Study pictures of coffee tables to see how they stack books and add trays, see how they place cushions etc.
You do not have to reinvent anything, if you see a look you love try it. Retail homeware stores have stylists to create a look, take a snapshot of something takes your fancy and recreate in your own home.