You have taken the Christmas decorations down and the room looks suddenly bear and lifeless. Maybe you painted the walls and purchased some new furniture last year hoping that would make your house your home, and yet it doesn’t feel like it. The rooms seem dull and boring, there is no life and you ask yourself ‘what did I do wrong?’
This scenario is not uncommon especially at this time of year. The answer to all this is in the way you style each room, the way in which you display your favourite things, the way you use colour, texture and light.
Walls and Windows
Each room in your home will have a specific function for you so choose your wall coverings (paper or paint) to enhance the activities taking place. Wall and windows need adornment, walls need artwork, maybe shelves or wall lights and windows need framing by curtains or blinds but ones that do not disrupt the passage of light and your view. So choose carefully. Artwork is a very personal thing and as a designer I often use clients’ artwork as a starting point for a whole room scheme. If you do not have a feature fireplace or window to create a focal point in a room then a piece of art would work well. Artwork should be hung to be seen, to be appreciated and to become a feature of the room, adding aesthetic value. Hanging artwork symmetrically adds a formal touch of elegance to a room, and hanging it asymmetrically or in groups will give a room a modern and casual feel. The choice is yours but it should reflect the way you live in your home and in each room.
Dressing your windows is vitally important in any room. Curtains and blinds will add colour and texture as well as having the practical function of keeping the room warm if they are interlined. Some people change their curtains at the change of seasons, if you choose made to measure Roman Blinds this is very easy and quick to do and will have a massive impact on your emotional connection to the room. Ready made curtains will do the same but there are not many that are interlined.
Creating the right ambience
All spaces/rooms have feelings, think about how you feel when you visit a friends house, relaxed, spritely, warm, cold? Colour, Texture and Light give a space a feeling. Making choices around these elements is key in how you and your guests will feel in your home. Become aware of how different colours make you feel, how you feel when you touch things, stone, concrete, fur, linen, silk, wood, and lastly think about lighting. Shops are now using lighting to enhance the buyer experience visit any Holister store and you will see what I mean.
This is the part of dressing your home that most people find difficult. Over the years we accumulate lots of things. Ornaments from overseas travels, gifts from friends and family, homemade treasures created by the children, the list is endless.
A useful step by step guide to using the accessories that you already have:
- Empty each room of all its accessories – free standing lights, ornaments, photo frames, mirrors, rugs, cushions, throws and artwork.
- Collect everything together in one space and sort into 3 piles – items to keep, recycle to charity or sell, dispose of.
- Re-sort those items you have chosen to keep by theme and/or colour. If you have a collection of elephants or ethnic themed items keep them together, likewise glassware, photo frames etc. This process can take some time and will largely depend on the size of your house and the number of accessories that you have.
- Now look at each room in your house and ask yourself what it needs to fulfil its purpose and feel right. Think about the colours, textures and sources of light.
- Now for the really challenging part – decide what to put where. You don’t have to reuse everything all of the time. Change your accessories with the seasons and you will be amazed at the difference the changes make.
There is an art to displaying your accessories and collections to make the most of them and generally your own instinct will tell you if it’s right. Always think of what you see and what you want to see when you stand at the doorway to a room, your eyes always travel to the light sources, so use the light to enhance a precious piece of glass or display of photo frames.
Lastly, no home is complete without
- Flowers and Foliage
- Plants, both leafy and flowering have a beneficial purpose in a room. Some act as air filters, purifying the air as well as providing softness to a corner of a room. Fresh cut flowers may seem decadent at this time, but there is nothing better than the welcome sight of daffodils and tulips in the run up to spring!