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6 Interiors Tips To Make A House A Home

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Have you recently bought a property or moved into a new home? Congratulations! The homebuying journey can be a stressful time but now that you’ve got the keys, you can look forward to turning your new place into a welcoming home. However, creating an environment that reflects your personality, that sustains, nurtures and inspires you, is unlikely to be a quick job. Rather, it’s a journey of discovery that starts with the physical space that you’ve just moved into.

You may be looking at the neutral walls of a new-build property that offers unlimited potential to make the space your own. Or you may have bought a resale property full of the previous owner’s decorative tastes that you’d like to change. Either way, working out how to personalise your new home is going to take some time and effort.

This is where interior designers have some useful wisdom to share. “From layout configurations to colour schemes, lighting to flooring, soft furnishings and bespoke upholstery to built-in storage, there’s nothing our home furnishing expertise cannot handle with creativity, skill and passion,” says one interiors expert.

So, take a look at some pro tips and see what might inspire you to transform your property into a stylish, comfortable and personalised home.

1. Personalise: It is whatever you want it to be

First of all, here’s a bit of a pep talk. Don’t be afraid to have a go! There’s a common myth that there’s somehow a right way and a wrong way to ‘do’ interior design. And, while there are rules of composition, colour theory, latest trends and professional techniques etc you can refer to, don’t forget that you are in charge. With a bit of creative inspiration, you can put your personal spin on something to make your home uniquely yours. After all, your home is your sanctuary and it needs to work for you.

2. Start with a mood board

Start with a mood board just like a professional designer does. It’s an excellent place to collect ideas and inspirations to help you clarify the creative direction you might want to pursue. Gather inspirational images from magazines, from Instagram and Pinterest. Take pictures of favourite items you wish to incorporate and collect samples of wallpaper, paint, fabric, flooring etc.

You can create an online mood board or buy a large foam board and pin your images and samples on it in real life. The idea is to bring all the elements together and see how they would sit together in a room. If you can, place your physical mood board in the room and live with it for a while.

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3. Think carefully about colours and fabrics

Your mood board may already be showing the colours you’re most drawn to for walls, fabrics, furniture and accessories. Interior designers tend to use the 60-30-10 rule to achieve a balanced design: 

  • 60% is the dominant colour of the walls,
  • 30% is the secondary colour, typically used on upholstery, while
  • 10% is an accent colour used sparingly for lampshades, cushions, artwork and other types of accessories.

Colour theory is a fascinating topic – buy yourself a colour wheel to help you decide which colours and shades go together. Decide if your style is traditional or contemporary and whether you prefer plain or patterned fabrics. A colour scheme can be as individual as you are, using harmonious, contrasting and tonal colour combinations to achieve an interiors scheme that looks and feels just right.

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4. Use what you already have

When it comes to decorating and furnishing a home, very few people have the luxury of being able to start with absolutely nothing and take any creative direction they like. Most of us have existing furniture, curtains and rugs, artwork or other items that need to be accommodated. If you have a collection of photos, get creative by re-imagining a blank space into an instantly decorative gallery wall of personalised images. Meanwhile, if there’s a family heirloom you’d like to keep or a sofa you can’t justify replacing just yet, see if you can work with what you’ve already got.

Take a look at that rug or those curtains and see if you can work with the colours within it. Could the old sofa be reupholstered to give it a new lease of life? Maybe a chest of drawers can be repainted or otherwise upcycled to fit in with your new scheme? Think about the scale of your furniture and if it will work in the room. Most interior designers recommend a large statement piece, even in small rooms, to create a focal point.

5. Create the right flow and proportions

Choosing the right layout is important to make your home feel comfortable and practical. Consider traffic flow through the space. You don’t want awkwardly positioned furniture that everyone bumps into, and neither do you want to have a seating area that feels like a corridor. Arrange your living room furniture to create convivial conversation areas, and aim to pull your furniture away from the walls – it will make the room feel more spacious, honestly!

Ensure that every room has a focal point. A feature fireplace in the living room, an accent wall in the kitchen/diner, even an oversized headboard in the smallest bedroom, are all examples of how to achieve this – but you can find your own creative solutions.

6. Take your time to get it right

The most interesting and personal homes are those that have been allowed to evolve over time. Start with a basic scheme and add to it bit by bit. Collect treasured pieces as and when you come across them rather than settling for what’s available at any given time. Take a step back and analyse the look and the colours of your room and everything in it. The more your home has a chance to grow organically, the more your interior design knowledge will expand as you understand what works best in your home. Finishing touches are a case in point. Lampshades, rugs, cushions, paintings, plants, dinnerware, bathroom towels, decorative objects – all of these can make a huge difference to the overall look and feel of the room. Don’t be in too much of a rush; sometimes it’s best to wait until the basics are in place before you’re able to choose the right items.

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