The first question so many of us face when it comes to styling our homes is: where to start?
Some of us think we need to get builders or professionals in to do a renovation. Or we need an interior decorator to give us all the inside tips. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Styling your home might mean changing the décor and furniture and adding some personal touches that weren’t there before. If you aren’t happy with the way your home looks, it may be down to that different rooms are styled in different ways which brings everything out of balance. Styling not only creates a more harmonious look, but it can bring out your personality – which is part of how we’d like our homes to look.
Adding style and beauty to your home should not cost the earth. You can start small and work your way up – and it doesn’t have to cost five figures or more.
Our guide is practical, and you can start with what you have on hand – or what’s in store at Aspley Homemaker Centre.
Three is the magic number – when decorating with accessories, be careful not to overload the space. Group accessories with similar themes and varying heights to create beautiful displays and choose quality over quantity! A trio of items on a table or in a corner brings balance to a room. The items don’t need to be uniform either; try different heights or widths, textures and materials, and eclectic objects.
This is often used by professional home stylists to create depth and a more “lived in” atmosphere. You may even notice it when you’re at a swanky hotel next. Layering a colourful or snazzy rug on top of a neutral or earth-toned carpet enhances the look of a bedroom, living room, or dining area.
Flowers instantly bring a fresh feeling to your home. Adding vases of fresh flowers in corners or on benchtops – out of the way of your usual food prep or vanities of course – can bring warmth and vibrance to your home in virtually every room. It’s an effortless look and can put visitors more at ease. For a more cost-effective option, you can use fresh or dried flowers to get the same effect.
Nothing kills style than a fine layer of dust. This tip is free – just grab a duster or vacuum cleaner and make sure your nooks and crannies are free of dust and lint. Don’t just leave it to your regular cleaning regimen – make sure you do a light dusting every few days or so, just in case guests decide to breeze in unannounced.
Adding cushions and soft furnishings to your bedroom – such as ottomans, poufs, or small armchairs – are excellent pieces for bringing texture to your bedroom and a unified finished look.
Keeping clothes in wardrobes or chests of drawers are outdated – high-street boutiques now use “open racks” that are considered decorative furniture. Add a standalone rack to give your bedroom a burst of colour and have your most-worn clothes right within reach.
Though the English word for “the room we sleep in” is “bedroom” (the German word is “Schlafzimmer”, literally, “sleeping room”) we often make it pull double duties as a relaxation haven or even an office. Zoning your bedroom with a reading nook replete with comfy chair next to a window, or a standing office space on top of a chest of drawers helps you concentrate on the only thing you should be doing in bed – sleeping. It’s also compartmentalised and helps reduce clutter.
There are so many options when it comes to lighting a room these days, having one light in the ceiling seems so last century. Fairy lights, LED strips, and metallic lamps that you can hang over the bedhead are not only bold statements but popular ones too. Internet connected lamps and LEDs can set lighting according to your mood and help wake you up by gradually raising the illumination. RGB (multi-colour) lights can even add ambiance for music, reading, or relaxing.
Having a bold coffee table as something that ties the room together is a great idea to style your living area. Have candles, books, flowers, photos – anything that shows off your personality. Place décor on a flat plate or bowl to create texture and as an easy way to clear the table when you’re entertaining. Have the coffee table atop your rugs and carpets for even more of a pop.
Even if you live alone, having more seats than necessary in your living room is a fantastic element of style. Using colourful or patterned cushions of all shapes and sizes are an effortless way to create a homely space – and useful for those long nights of binge-watching Netflix.
Floor lamps and table lamps can express your style even further and create subtle lighting instead of using your main lights for everything. The more lamps you have, the more options open up for lighting of your choosing. With new Wi-Fi connected LED lights, you can dim or brighten the room to your liking – or even create swirling colours that suit your mood.
Hanging artwork or prints of your favourite photos can really enhance the look of your living room and can complement the textured look. Bare looking walls look boring – use the space to bring out your personality and make it yours.
Along with art and prints, you can add depth with hanging shelves affixed to the wall that are both decorative and practical. Add pot plants, trinkets, or framed photos on there for a stylish look, or use it to house books, music, or movies (or memorabilia from those three, if you’re physical media free.)
Keep everything proportionate in terms of scale. For example, use a low coffee table, half-height couches or seats, and a tall floor lamp. If you’re going for plants, make sure they’re medium-sized and don’t crowd anything out. Consider adding a decorative lampshade or pendant light to bring things together – even if you aren’t using the lights for illumination.
If you use liquid soap or hand sanitiser, ditch the store bottle, and store it in one of your own. Purchasing a special purpose soap bottle or dispenser is a small touch, but it can feed into your larger colour scheme and style. A sleek monochrome bottle might suit a modern design; something with patterns or rustic touches lend itself to a more organic design. Use these bottles for shampoo, washing up liquid, and anything that you use to clean with. It also saves on plastic waste since you only need to buy refills.
You can add a bit of luxury to your bathroom by adding some simple artwork in a frame or a few candles around the bath. All give your bathroom a high class feel – even if you aren’t big on taking long baths.
Indoor plants like Fiddle Leaf Figs or succulents are understated greenery that can add life to any room but look great in bathrooms or kitchens without being too showy or hard to maintain. Fiddle Leaf Figs are ideal as they’re slow-growing and can be trained to grow in braids and standards. Make sure it’s in the corner or out of the way and gets some light from time to time. Succulents can be kept in candleholders or old glass water bottles under a wall niche or next to your soaps and hand creams on a vanity shelf.
Much like in the living room, you can add textures with fluffy bathmats, high thread count towels, and plant pots with ribbed or stone finishes. It can really stand out in rooms that are usually flat and lifeless by nature.
Whether you have a backyard or a balcony, you can follow some easy tips to make entertaining look and feel like an extension of your home.
Just like the colours and textures of your home, you should extend the indoors outside. If you are using neutral tones in your lounge, use them outside. Remember this when buying accessories and seating for your entertainment focal point. Just remember to remember the scale of your space and style accordingly. Eating up all the space with a massive table on a smaller balcony can make you and your guests feel cramped, for example.
Eating al fresco is becoming popular for people with decks and balconies and you should consider having a complete dining suite to match. Outdoor-centered tables and chairs are great for entertaining, serving as a place for all your snacks and drinks during stand-up parties, and even the main event for an outdoor dinner party. If you’re more into relaxing than entertaining, a comfortable lounge chair or two might be the perfect fit.
Drinks and nibbles long into the evening are a staple in Australia and setting a mood with fairy lights or string lights help bring a subtle yet cosy mood to any outdoor event. You can also use lanterns on tables or around your deck or entertainment area. Using citronella can also help with keeping the mozzies away.
If you want to have your outdoor entertainment area good for all seasons, consider adding accessories such as standing heaters or fire pits. Bringing the greenery to your seating or deck is also a popular option, with free standing potted plants blurring the line between outside and inside even more.
If your balcony or your backyard backs onto a garage or other kind of wall, you can add some personality and colour with decorative screening. Bamboo, wooden slats, steel – there’s something to match your tastes and make exposed brick or render become more alive. Try adding a mirror to your balcony or courtyard which can instantly lend your area the illusion of space.
To get started on your home styling projects, find all the stores that have everything you need at Aspley Homemaker City – we promise not to disappoint!