If there is one thing I have learnt from buying my own house last year, it’s that you don’t need a tonne of expensive furniture and home improvement tasks carried out to make your house a home. My place needed cosmetic updates to every room, as it was so run down and neglected. We didn’t do anything huge to make it look as good as it does today; it was just a case of being savvy and updating certain things and refreshing the place to give the illusion of newness, and more space.
The same can be said for if you currently have a fully decorated and moved-in home, but you want to incorporate some home styling tips. Giving your home a makeover – especially now it’s Spring- doesn’t have to require upgrading your furniture, making big trips to the hardware stores, or saving up a big budget to spend. I was recently challenged by House Network to give my own home an instant refresh, purely from adding a couple of items and under going a little re-arrangement. The lovely home styling starter kit I received came complete with aromatic candles, storage boxes, and the quirkiest of coffee table books to get me thinking about personal updates that I could work on to style up my living room.
Not sure about how to do this? Here’s a couple of my own tips inspired by House Network based on how to style a space for an instant refresh…
1. Add interest to your coffee table
You don’t have to go crazy with coffee table books, piling high an impressive collection of expensive magazines or designer looking books. I mean, I for one am guilty of having a Coco Chanel and Hugo Boss book on mine, but that’s because I work in the fashion industry, and it’s personal interest. Think about adding some general books to your usual interest – such as coffee table quotes – or a book that is based on a universal theme, like travel or cooking. The ones I have added to my collection shown above are perfect for this! The range of reading material really gives your living room center piece that touch of character.
2. Artificial it
Flowers are lovely – we all know that. But what isn’t lovely is finding dead petals falling all over your floor after the droopy floral arrangement has had it’s day. In my opinion, you really can’t go wrong with some bright artificial blooms, that can be popped into your favourite vase and last a lifetime. If you don’t want a overly ‘false’ looking bunch, then purchase single cut style roses and pop them around for decoration. Or even chose a range of cut twigs (artificial again) and arrange them into a vase for a natural, organic looking decoration. This is such an affordable and effective way to style up a room and add colour.
3. Have a ‘different’ area
My front room is very classic – lots of clean silvers, creams, beiges and woods, with modern silver lighting and grey throws. However, when you turn to the back corner, I have a little bit of a different view, with a bold union jack printed storage box sitting at the base of my acoustic guitar. It’s a much more louder, playful type of corner, with bright colours and more ‘to look at’ so to speak. Try this in one corner of your living room by perhaps stacking up some printed, colourful storage boxes, or by putting together some interest collages on one corner of the room. Make it a little focal point that really stands out.
4. Add a throw
I may have mentioned above that I have grey throws, and by that I mean lovely cotton dark grey throws overlapping my sofas. Throws are a great way to add colour and texture to the room, and building up colour palette you really love. They are also super for the colder weather too! Throws give a relaxed, homely vibe, and can be purchased at really cheap prices.
As I live on my own, I have a number of modern, classic ‘E’ initial cushions and mugs around the house. It’s not self-obsessed, and it’s not a way of telling the world that I live here, it’s just a much more classier way of putting a personal stamp on things. Simple colour palette like cream and black look elegant in any room, so a personalised initial cushion, mug, coaster or wall print just gives the place that little more personalised meaning.
6. Scented Candles
Candles can do no wrong – they really can’t. Whether it’s the fact they are attractive to look at, smell so nice, add a calming feel or bring a touch of ‘cosy’ to the home, they work every time and are so cheap to buy. The key is to stick to a colour scheme and work them in to the general feel of your house. Church inspired pillar candles are perfect for a more traditional, older house, where as sleek black candles or fancy glass cased candles look superb in modern apartments. I have a lovely, homely mix of warm browns, caramels, greys and creams, which I place around my fireplace.
7. Storage in style
If you have lots of ‘ugly’ things on show which you feel are a slight eye sore (for me it’s DVDs and old CD’s which I don’t want to throw away), then invest in stylish storage. To keep in with my own home feel, I chose a range of cream and brown boxes, along with a couple of gold and bronze ones too to compliment each other. Here, I fill them with all the unsightly ‘junk’ I don’t want my visitors to see. Simple!
Ah, the old school trick of creating the illusion of a lighter, more spacious room. In the above photo, you can see myself sneaking in the photo snapping away at one of my many mirrors. In some rooms I have large scale, floor to ceiling mirrors, and in others, I keep it much more sporadic and have a range of different sizes and shapes – like the heart one above. Let the mirrors reflect the style of your room; for example if you have a sweet, girly inspired living space like mine, then this vintage style hanging heart mirror is a lovely addition to the wall. But for an ultra chic, minimalist living space, frame-less square mirrors in larger sizes make better accompaniments.
Have I missed any useful home styling tips off the list? If so, feel free to add yours to the list in the comments below!