Interior Design Tips and Tricks For Your Property

Creating a beautiful living room can often be as simple as a defined colour palette, a well considered layout and a generous dose of layering. Forget the picture perfect homes seen only in magazines and instead think about creating a room that reflects your personality, values and interests, while at the same time achieving the right level of comfort and calm (and sometimes chaos!) to create a harmonious space that you can feel right at home in. Here are a few tips to help you get started on your journey.

Property Layout

Unless space is a premium don’t feel the need to push sofas and chairs up to the walls. Drawing them into a tighter arrangement creates more intimacy. There is no harm in viewing the back of sofas and armchairs and some designs have wonderful back detailing. As much as possible position good art (without UV protective glass) or a bookcase out of the reach of the sun to avoid them fading over time. Place your hero pieces in view of the entrance into the room. It’s much more aesthetically appealing to see a gorgeous piece of art or furniture, rather than your flat screen television. And on that note, try very hard not to orientate your chairs and sofas solely toward the TV. Try to lay things out so that you can take in the view or the fire. Often this is easier said than done so if you can’t achieve this, work on drawing your eye away from the TV instead. You could paint the TV wall a dark colour to ‘absorb’ the screen or surround it with art and objects to detract from it. Create a space where you can sit and enjoy the sun. It’s good for the soul and a little place to nestle and read will be enjoyed by everyone in the family. A top tip is to look for high performance or outdoor fabrics for these areas as they have a much better blue scale rating and will last longer and fade less.

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Size and Shapes

It’s important to scale furniture to the room. Your fabulous 1960’s Danish style sofa that looked amazing in your apartment will probably get lost in the expanse of your new build or villa. Suddenly that sofa is better in the kitchen nook or the bay window and a more substantial piece might work better in the living area. If in doubt scale up – but make sure it fits! Measure your room and carry a tape measure when shopping. Also, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to buy a suite or anything. This is simply not necessary and spaces are a lot more interesting and reflect who you are when a furniture setting is made up of complementary pieces, be it in your lounge, your dining room or in your bedroom. Consider side and lamp tables. They are key players for their usefulness and flexibility. Use a mix of sizes and shapes for interest. Walls, cabinets, chairs and sofas are inherently boxy so it’s smart to juxtapose these with softer shapes such as round or hexagonal side tables, cushions and rugs.

Colour For Your House

I adore colour and pattern and getting the right balance is something I really enjoy. I have a particular palette in my living room that is broad enough to be a bit riotous but everything nods at each other and it is harmonious – I promise. A palette of colour is key to unifying your room. If you’ve never thought about yours, take a look around you and look at what you’ve collected and what you love. Does a painting, cushion, throw or bowl sum it all up? Could you use those colours to evolve your scheme? Go and match them at a local paint shop, cut the paint chips out and lay them out together. Then ask, does it look like something you’d like to live in? Go lighter or darker with some colours until it feels right. And there you have your palette. Take that with you at all times when shopping and have fun!

Home Lighting

Everyone will tell you that lighting is hugely important in an interior and they are one hundred percent correct. Down lights are great for a good strong light but don’t stop there, view them as backup for when you need to do a jigsaw or hunt for something. They are not the ambient light that you want to drink wine, entertain or watch Netflix by. Ambient light comes from table lamps, floor lamps and wall lights. Chosen well these fixtures can be beautiful, interesting and works of art in their own right while creating a warm and comfortable atmosphere.

Layer Upon Layer

Keep going! There are so many parts to creating your beautiful living room and often people stop short of its full potential. Rugs, lamps, cushions, throws – you’ve selected your colour palette, here is the place to use it. The things that you have already collected from your travels, your photos and objects really count to make this your personal space. Throw into the mix fresh cut flowers or indoor plants and you have yourself the makings of an elegant and welcoming environment reflecting your personality and style.

Kerryn Dunshea

Article in collaboration with Interior Designer, Kerryn Dunshea

Kerryn Dunshea works and lives in Wellington and has an unwavering passion for her job and helping people to create beautiful interiors that reflect their own unique style and personality.

Contact: kerryn@kerryndunshea.com

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