We’ve all looked around those perfectly decorated, impossibly neat show homes or seen pictures of gloriously styled rooms in upmarket magazines. Probably, slightly enviously, we’ve wished our own homes could look like that too and wonder how to get that coordinated feel.
There’s no magic formula and you probably have most items in your house already, it’s just a case of using them or arranging them differently. Follow these simple interior styling tricks to get your home into top shape quicker than you can say Elle Décor!
1. Stylish welcome Give your hallway some oomph and great your visitors in style. Place a statement mirror above the sideboard. Add a vase of decorated branches on an otherwise empty shelf or console table or a free-standing lamp to the side. Use a cloakroom to store coats, shoes and bags to leave your foyer with a lean, clean and fresh look.
2. A splash of colour Most show homes are decorated in neutral tones. Keeping your walls neutral is a good idea. You can add a pop of colour with cushions, a rug or throw. These items can be easily changed to match the season, latest trends or if you just fancy a change.
3. Cushion envy Have cushions of varying sizes – you could even add an oblong or round one for an element of surprise. Plump them up and arrange with larger cushions at the back and smaller ones in front, turned onto their corners to give a diamond shape. Easy show-home style in seconds!
4. Get your shelves in on the act Make the most of your bookshelves. Break up rows of books with space for pictures or ornaments – try laying some books on their side and popping an ornament on top. Colour coordinate where possible to make a real statement. Got a rainbow of books? Get hold of some colour coordinated magazine boxes to hide the worst offenders!
5. Create some vingettes Make the most of your clutter and create a visually appealing vingette! A vingette in interior design terms means to create a display. These displays can be symmetrical, of varying heights, whimsical in tone or used to show off a collection of items… A key element is to group items in three’s or fives. These odd numbers seem to appeal to our senses and create maximum impact. Have a go by grouping some items on your sideboard or little nooks on your dresser. This is a fantastic, fun idea for getting that magazine-wow and can be quickly updated to give the home a seasonal for instance at Christmas or spring.
6. Define your space If your living area is large or a through-room, divide the space with rugs or use colours. Try using the same colour throughout but in different shades to connect the room but define individual spaces such as sitting and dining areas. You could even have a feature wall with statement wallpaper – the latest paste-the-wall papers are easy to hang and remove should you want to refresh.
7. Bathroom hotel chic A bathroom that screams ‘hotel’ can easily be recreated. Have plenty of fluffy white towels on hand for a luxury touch. Display them rolled up, rather than folded, in a basket or on a floating shelf. Try to keep surfaces as clear as possible. Put a few toiletries with pretty packaging out on show. Everything else can go into a cupboard or rattan-style baskets. Consider adding a large fancy scented candle or a plant pot to finish the look.
8. Your designer kitchen without the designer price tag Who says a functional kitchen can’t look great? Declutter work surfaces and only leave out the essentials but store them in lovely ceramic jars, pots or woven baskets. Use a fancy tray to keep herbs and spices together. Have colour coordinated tea towels. Display beautiful pieces such as china teapots on a shelf and add brightly coloured, designer-style cooking equipment to your hob-top (why would you want to hide your Le Creuset casserole dish anyway?!).
9. Bedroom appeal Make your bedroom feel luxurious and boudoir-like. Think thick satiny bedspreads, plump pillows two or three deep, neutral but coordinating bed linen and a plush headboard. Have two small side tables with matching lamps and, if you have room, a cosy chair in the corner. Keep clutter under control with pretty boxes. Think small decorative boxes on nightstands, well-designed under-bed storage for bedding or out-of-season clothes, and even hat boxes to add to the overall look.
Take one room at a time and see how you can use these tips to create your own magazine-style.