We all want to live in a house that we love. But not all of us do. As much as you may look at interiors inspiration, and live in a brand new house with a brand new canvas, your decor doesn’t always add up to a happy home. Maybe you have some left over furniture from university days, or a shitty relationship, mixed with some of 'today's top trends' from the $2 shop, plus a collection of wooden ornaments from your travels, and kids toys - so it'd be no wonder your home can sometimes feel like a someone stuffed up your order in the dream home department.
But it's OK. Because sometimes the perfect interior takes time to achieve, and time to be lived into life! Even when you decide to start fresh and give your home a facelift, trying to bring a good design theme together in one swoop can be a challenge without your own personal interior design consultant. Between Pinterest, home design magazines and a plethora of home makeover TV shows, it's pretty easy to get confused about what's the right design style for you, your families lifestyle, budget, and era of your home or neigbourhood.
But when you strip all the 'rules' right back, there are only a few basics to consider to
create a home that is entirely you - as functional as much as it is beautiful.
Enjoy the journey!
1. Ace Your Entryway
You should always start as you mean to go on, so it’s best to begin with your entryway. This is an area of the home that’s really easy to overlook, but it shouldn’t be, because it sets the tone to welcome in you and your visitors on a daily basis. Start outside and add a wreath or potted plants next to the door along with a doormat in keeping with your tastes. This then brings the front alive. On the inside, dress the hallway with a mirror, hooks, fresh flowers, a beautiful scent and somewhere for people to remove their shoes - anything that will create a homely feel from the start.
2. Focus On The Floors
Next, look down. Whether it's your dream floor or not, consider dressing areas where you'll be gathered for long periods at time, like the bathroom, kitchen and living areas. This is where styling out some rugs can create that cool without even trying kinda look. Not only are you adding a focal point, but you’re adding warmth and intrigue too. And just a note on the bigger rugs - make sure they are indeed big enough for the legs of some of the surrounding furniture to sit on their edges. Leaving a rug floating in the middle of a big floor space looks like you scrimped. It's unfinished and disconnected and definitely not the vibes you want in any room.
3. Lighting, Lighting, Lighting
Your next area to look at is lighting. There's simple ways to improve your lighting to not just look good but so you can actually see what you're doing in any room! Think about the materials you’re choosing, the amount of and colour of light emitted, direction of light, and style. Tabletop lamps, floor lamps, wall sconces, hanging pendants, spotlights, pot lights or down lights, night lights, rope or fairy lights and candle light - the options are endless and look beautiful layered in any space.
4. Softly Does It
When considering soft furnishings, most stop at cushions and forget the rest. Are you working in furniture fabric or throws? Maybe seat covers or sheer curtains will soften the space? Step back and assess what the room needs now and whether there's a comfortable and inviting balance of hard and soft within the room - yes, pretty much every room but the garage! We are spoilt with choice when it comes to fabric and furnished items just as much as every other category, but start with what you love, what feels good, what looks good to you, and pick 2 or 3 of these winners to thread throughout your home in equally dramatic and subtle ways for continuity, cosiness and chic effect.
5. Add Atmosphere
And the finishing touches... decoration! Plants, flowers, mirrors, art, sculpture, books, trays, momento's, and your beautiful every day items. (Hint: if they're not beautiful and everyday you look at them cringing and thinking you need to replace then, then do! Life's too short to be surrounded by ugly things!) Think about how your accessories are going to work together to create the style of environment that you’re trying to achieve.
6. Mix Up The Textures
Texture is next, and it's a fun one to play with whether you're into beach house vibes or modern minimalism. Layer soft rugs over hard wooden floors; leather cushions with woven, fringed or sequined cushions; even contrast grass-cloth wallpaper with the sleekness of thin gold metal frames around the artwork on the same wall. When you experiment with textures throughout your home, you’ll find you create a whole new dimension with the design and look that is uniquely yours.
7. Get Techy
There are so many gadgets that can enhance your decor and create a happy, harmonious home. Technology that enhances entertainment for example can bring the whole family together for epic movie nights, indoors or out, or create ambiance with music in every room at the touch of a button. It can adjust lighting and temperature, turn items on and off, protect your home and everyone in it, and even help you answer homework questions! And bonus that today's tech is sleek, streamlined and discreetly non-distracting from your home's decor.
8. Hit The Deck
Often our idea of a happy home includes bringing the outdoors in wherever possible and extending the overall useable living space for max enjoyment whatever the weather. So when styling your outdoor living space, make an assessment of what you've got already and what your interior scheme or theme is trying to achieve. Then stretch it outside by choosing new outdoor furniture that is as functional as it is comfortable and chic, adding some suggestive entertaining decor such as soft floor cushions, colourful acrylic drinkware, or by simply moving existing items around, both from inside the home and out.
9. Go For Growth
Not only can you bring them indoors to style within your interiors, but they will also bring your garden alive - and whether you're in it or looking at it, it's worth as much attention for your happy home goals. Adding to and tending to your garden (with the likes of this concentrated fertiliser) is always the best way to accessorise it. Let Mother Nature provide the artwork with plants, trees, flowers and food that you love and get your green thumb certification by propagating succulents and other hardy growers into pots and containers that speak to your decorating theme (and bring plenty of greenery inside, of course). But just as plants take time to grow, this is one main area where it can take a few seasons to perfect or 'finish!' Enjoy the process and of course, the great outdoors.
10. Just Add Water (Features)
Creating moments of intrigue throughout your home can affect someone to pause and reflect, and this is definitely what a water feature does. Just like a fireplace or large piece of art, it's a focal point that adds character, atmosphere, and can look so beautiful. Take time finding one (or more) that works with your style and, indoors or out, enjoy the soothing sight, sound and energy that these oft over-looked features can provide.
Your happiest home is unique to you and your family's needs, personalities and lifestyle and will often evolve
as everyone in it does too, with the most important step being to truly love there.
Enjoy your home, but enjoy each other more.
Share this article with someone feeling stuck in their space and wanting to create a new one.