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With open-plan living at the height of popularity, the living room – along with the kitchen and dining space – can often become the focal point of the home. Changing just a few small aspects of this space can help breathe new life into a home.
We have listed seven simple ways to makeover your living room easily:
Lighting has the ability to make a HUGE impact on your interior design. It can set the mood, make a space appear larger or smaller and it has an enormous effect on your colour scheme. For this reason alone, updating your fixtures should be priority number one! Whether you are simply swapping out bulbs for LED energy-saving alternatives, adding a floor lamp to a dark corner or trading in lampshades, take the time to give a little love to the often-neglected lighting.
If your living room structure is spot-on, there are still a few things you can do to instantly update the look.
Reupholster an armchair – if your armchair is still in good nick, reupholstering it is an easy and relatively cheap way to makeover your living room. If you don’t have an armchair, check out a few flea markets – as long as the chair’s structure is good, there is no need to worry about worn or ratty upholstery. Choose a new, bold print to stand out and make it a feature of your home!
Rearrange a bookshelf – baskets and containers are the easiest way to hide clutter but keep items in an accessible space. Try clearing your bookshelf of junk, and keep just a few key items and some books on display!
Reorganise the furniture – already love everything in your home but are still looking for an update? Rearrange the furniture! Sometimes simply moving one item to another location can make all the difference.
Interested in the concept of Feng Shui? Read about it here: FENG SHUI YOUR HOME
Including greenery in your home instantly creates an atmosphere bursting with health and well-being. Plants make a boring corner look instantly chic, and small succulents can be used as coffee table or side table décor. Just be sure to choose plants which will thrive indoors!
Check out our favourite indoor plants here: INDOOR PLANTS FOR YOUR HOME (THAT YOU WILL NOT IMMEDIANTLY KILL)
Like to stay in touch with the current trends? Ensure your larger pieces of furniture like couches and TV cabinets are neutral colours that will go with anything, and instead purchase new cushions, throws, candles and other knick-knacks to achieve the ‘on-trend’ look without a costly financial commitment.
DIY is a unique way to create something nobody else may have. It is your chance to let your true style shine through. Check out Pinterest or other blogs for some amazing inspiration, and get creating!
Have you ever had to makeover your living room? Let us know your tips in the comments!
As much as we try though, we can’t all be the next Martha Stewart. It is more than likely at one point or another we will fall victim to some common home decorating mistakes.
To help protect you and your home from the worst of it, we have listed the eight most common home decorating mistakes we can think of, and the best ways to avoid them. Read on to keep you, your home, and the world of interior design happy.
1. MATCHY- MATCHING FURNITURE
That zebra print pillow on your couch? Fine. That same zebra print on your pillows, on your couch, on the rug, the lampshades, the chairs… it may be a little too much.
Keep intense colours and patterns to a minimum so you don’t overpower the room. You are far better off having a single item that stands out rather than smothering the space in matching decor. The same goes for more neutral pieces. You will want to add something with a different texture or colour to help break things up, otherwise you will end up with a bland landscape.
Mixing things up a bit will help draw the eye and keep your room looking exciting.
2. SMALL RUGS
People will often choose a rug too small for their living room which is barely big enough for their coffee table. This can actually make the space look smaller and your furniture disproportionate. Instead, choose a rug that is large enough for all of your furniture to be touching it – even if it is just the front legs. This helps unify the space and creates a sense of balance
3. SETTING FURNITURE AGAINST THE WALLS
Possibly the most common home decorating mistake, pushing all your furniture up against the wall will NOT create more space. It actually creates distance between people in spaces which should be more intimate, and can make a room appear empty.
Give your furniture some breathing room, and keep them off the walls. In particular, your couches should be kept adjacent to one another to establish a feeling of inclusion.
4. IGNORING YOUR WINDOWS
Curtains, shutters, blinds… the possibilities are endless. Window coverings can help add character and personality to a room and really complete a look, so don’t neglect them, embrace them!
If you aren’t sure what you are after, try light, neutral coloured curtains. Shutters are also a very popular choice these days and can create a French provincial look or a more updated modern impression.
5. THE AMBITIOUSLY WHITE ITEM
We all know that a white couch can turn an average lounge into an incredible one. We also know the dangers of owning a spill-prone and dirt-attracting piece of furniture.
For a full rundown of the pros and cons of a white couch, read our blog post on ‘Should you buy a white couch?‘
6. THE BEAUTIFUL YET IMPRACTICAL PIECE
At the end of the day, practicality in your home should win every time. If you cannot relax/sit/or even use the item, chances are you will end up hating it. So let go of the beauty, and find an item that you can love AND use.
7. ONLY ONE LIGHT SOURCE
Lighting is a key part of creating the ambience of your room. There should always be a mixture of lighting in every room to help provide light for every occasion.
Mix overhead lights with table or floor lamps to create pools of light that can create intimacy and increase the functionality of the room.
Our Jagera 250 utilises down lights, a lamp and fireplace for a cosy look.
8. TREATING EVERY ROOM SEPARATELY
A cohesive flow from room to room is important in interior design, especially these days while open-plan living is popular. Bringing in too many different styles can appear confusing and cluttered.
Try choosing a fairly neutral palette, and changing a few small pieces from room to room for something a bit different.
What home decorating mistakes can you think of? Let us know in the comments!
If your job allows you the flexibility to telecommute, or if you’re working as a freelancer from home, you may find yourself needing a home office.
When working from home there needs to be a fine balance where the space is professional enough for you to hold client meetings in, yet relaxed enough so you don’t feel drained and fatigued when entering the room.
Read our tips below to creating a home office that works for you.
Choosing the right colours: Colours can make or break a space. Whether your home office is simply a corner in your bedroom or a fully enclosed room, choosing the right colours is important. Avoid dark shades and instead opt for whites and creams to keep the space looking fresh and clean rather than dark and dingy. Your walls should be painted a positive, light conducting shade, and save the darker colours for your necessary items like a computer, desk or chair.
Let’s talk furniture: If you want to work hard, your furniture needs to have a professional air about it. If you plan to spend a significant amount of time stooped over a computer screen, you may want to look at adjustable chairs so that your neck and back remain in good shape. Invest in a quality desk with plenty of storage and make sure your computer is up-to-date.
Home design: Incorporating a study nook into a home is an increasingly popular trend in home design. If you don’t want to commit to a whole room, a study nook is a great compromise. Alternatively, loft designs offer a flexible space that can easily be converted into a private home office. The Highlander 329 is a loft design with plenty of space to create your own office or studio.
Let there be light: Ventilation is one of the prime considerations in a home office. Ensure that your working area gets plenty of sunlight, and whenever possible work using only natural light. You will feel better for it, plus you may notice a reduction in your electricity bill!
Use space wisely: Assuming that you’re going to have to contend with a small work space, use the space wisely. Avoid clunky furniture like a traditional work table and large work chair. Look at a wall mounted, foldout table and an ergonomic chair. Say no to cupboards and experiment with a basket system for your files and wall-mounted shelves with bookends for books, files and reading material storage. Any display can be wall mounted, instead of being ensconced in cabinets. Check out the Jagera 250, which cleverly converts a bedroom to a study and back again!
Creating a home office that works for you can take time, but hitting the right balance will help ensure productivity and efficiency.
What are some of your tips for creating a home office? Let us know in the comments!
This was a guest post by The Wadhwa Group.
Fear not, you can still have the open and spacious design you have always wanted.
Use some of these tips to trick the senses and help give the illusion your home is larger than what it actually is. (more…)
Furniture placement can be as important to interior design as the colour scheme and accessories you choose.
Arranging your furniture correctly can be the difference between having a cramped and unhappy space to an open and flowing room. Help your home reach its full potential by following these guidelines to proper furniture placement. (more…)
Building an outdoor kitchen requires thought and creativity. The most important part of the process is thinking about exactly what you plan to cook or how you plan to entertain, and creating your space around these requirements.
Having said this, there are six golden rules to building an outdoor kitchen/entertainment area that will work. (more…)
Make the most of the space you have and create some built-in seating. Not only does is save space, but it blends nicely with the relaxed atmosphere of an alfresco. You can even have a built-in eskie alongside the seats to create your very own outdoor bar. Your guests will love it!
If you don’t have the space, consider different kinds of tables and chairs. Wicker chairs with soft cushions are a great for a rustic look, while wooden or metal create a modern feel.
Inspired by Australia’s love of BBQs, outdoor kitchens are becoming more and more popular. Create an outdoor cooking space with benches, a bar fridge, BBQ and even a kitchen sink to make entertaining a breeze. This way, the chef won’t miss out on any of the action throughout the evening.
Blur the line between indoor and outdoor living. Wide-open doors and flooring that flows through the home to outdoors will extend your living space and creates a true indoor/outdoor experience. Furnishings can also play an important part in doing this. Large, soft chairs, couches, coffee tables or outdoor rugs all add a homely feel to the great outdoors. Choose detailed and patterned pieces to really warm up the area.
Traditionally timber decking has been the flooring of choice for outdoor alfresco areas. However, you don’t need to limit yourself to this. Polished concrete and tiles are other great options available that can really change the look of the alfresco.
The final touch to any room is the décor, so the same goes for your alfresco. A touch of plant-life, colourful cushions and wall features are all popular choices.
Visit hotondo.com.au for more on how to create the perfect alfresco area.
DO: Splurge on some quality items. An amazing couch or table can become the highlight of a room. Not only will you get more mileage out of a more durable product, but it can also lift the entire feel of the room. Keep in mind you do not need to spend on EVERY piece of furniture to get the look you want.
DO: Test your paint colours in the room it will be used in. The colour in the shop is NEVER going to look the same as in your home. Haymes Paint recommends painting a 1m x 1m square in the colour you want and viewing it in different lighting to check it works in your chosen room.
DO: Play with different colours. Even if you are after a black and white look, different shades of grey can help the room appear less stark.
DO: Group you knickknacks together. Nothing looks worse than random bits and bobs floating around your home. Put them all together and you will instead have a feature!
DO: Hang your artwork at eye level. No one should have to crane their neck to see it. Further to this consider one larger piece in place of several smaller pieces, it will draw the eye and make the room appear bigger.
DON’T: Ignore scale. Furniture may look great in a store where there is plenty of room, but when you bring it home you find it doesn’t quite have enough space around it. Although your instinct may be to purchase smaller furniture for smaller rooms, it can make it look cluttered. A few larger pieces will look simpler and more modern. Scale is important!
DON’T: Use too much of a good thing. A colourful pattern on a couple of cushions may look fine, but start using that pattern on the lamp shades, throws and floor and suddenly it can look overdone and tacky. Use accent pieces wisely.
DON’T: Overdo it with the pillows. Pillows are a great accessory, however too many can overwhelm the couch and become impractical.
DON’T: Be too symmetrical. If your room and furniture are aligned in a perfect square it can appear clinical, so don’t be afraid to place things just a little haphazardly.
For more information on interior design contact your local Hotondo Homes builder here.
Floating shelves look great, particularly in corners. Take advantage of your empty walls and use them productively without wasting precious floor space.
The backs of doors are also a great space to utilise. You can peg clothes or hang baskets or bins from them to store a whole range of items, just be careful of the weight!
It may seem obvious, but a well thought-out wardrobe can save you space. When every item has a place, you may find there is more room than what you thought!
Consider purchasing a coffee table that has shelving units. Placing storage cubes or drawers under your bed is also a great way to store more without ruining the aesthetic appeal of your room.
Take advantage of the space under your stairs. Add some shelving, and voila, you have a second linen or storage cupboard instantly.
Need more extensive storage? High shelving units are out of the way and provide plenty of room for anything you need put away.
Contact your local Hotondo Homes builder today for more sneaky storage solutions!
Painting the walls a beautiful white, creamy ivory, soft beige or light grey will suit both children and teenagers. If you can’t resist adding a bit of colour, consider a single feature wall which can be changed as the child grows. It is less expensive to repaint one wall, and allows for a little more creativity without costing you a fortune.
Hardwood floors are perfect for children and teenagers alike. It is easy and inexpensive to warm up the room with a lovely rug, which can be purchased in bright, bold colours for kids and then changed to a neutral colour for teenagers.
If you choose carefully, children’s furniture can be used or altered for a teenager. Look for furniture that is sturdy, durable and simple. Bedside tables only require a coat of paint or new handles for an instant update. A cosy mother’s chair will look fresh with new upholstery to create a new reading nook, and lampshades can be switched to more sophisticated colours or shapes.
Replacing the bed however is almost unavoidable. When the time comes, purchase a large, simple frame or even a box spring bed that will remain timeless and can be used by a teenager well into their adult years.
Linen has a shelf-life, so it is the perfect outlet to let your son or daughter have some input into their bedroom without the fear of it being permanent. Colourful bed-spreads and plenty of cushions add character to a room, as does the colour and texture of your curtains which can be picked up fairly cheaply.
Black and white framed photographs which can be changed as the children grow are another fantastic way to decorate the room for the long-term. Frames can also be replaced with posters or framed memorabilia without adding new holes to your wall.
For more information on building a home for a growing family, speak to your local Hotondo Homes builder here.