It’s not easy to get your living room looking like the pages of a magazine. There are so many elements that need to come together to get the look just right.
If your lounge room is looking less than lovely and you’re stuck on just what it is that’s not working well, take a look through this checklist from HB editor Sarah Burman style editor Fiona Michelon for where you may be missing the mark.
1. No natural touches
A little greenery goes a long way in the living room and even if you’re not a green thumb, an indoor plant, bunch of fresh flowers will literally breath life into the room. “Pick some fresh greenery from your yard and display in vases around the house,” Fiona suggests. “They instantly make the home feel fresh and organised.”
2. Too much clutter
“Stylish storage baskets and boxes are key for keeping the clutter out of sight,” says Fiona.
Imagine you’re selling your home and want to present it in the best possible light to potential buyers by clearing the decks and hiding the mess and collected clutter of daily life. Why not present it this way all the time for your own enjoyment?
3. Dirty surfaces
Even if your cleaning is on point, but particularly if housekeeping is not a priority, Fiona suggests avoiding buying dining and coffee tables with glass tops. “You will forever be cleaning away the finger prints daily,” she warns.
4. No texture
Style up your sofa with textured linen throws to bring interest and depth to your decorating. Natural linen is especially beautiful as it looks even better when it's a little crushed. "It's meant to have an organic messy look about it so crinkles and a rushed drape on the sofa is welcomed," says Fiona.
5. Karate chopping your cushions
Now a tell-tale sign of dated interior decorating, HB editor Sarah advises steering clear of this once-loved method of sofa presentation. "It's too stuffy!" she warns.
6. “Don’t make the TV the focal point, try the fireplace or face lounges toward each other.”Sarah Burman
7. Shopping straight from the showroom
Avoid choosing pieces all in the same style or you’ll be left with a showroom feel. Instead, combine items from different styles or eras, with a mix of some old and new, for a look that feels authentic and balanced.
8. Visible power cords and TV cables
There's nothing worse that the spaghetti salad of cords and cables running hither and thither around walls and under footed furnishing. "Hide those cables!" says Sarah. "Inside the walls if possible. Embrace wireless technology wherever you can in the home for a more streamlined look."
9. Your rug is the wrong size
"Picking the right rug for your space is vital," says Fiona. "Too small and it will feel dwarfed and awkward, too big and the room can feel cluttered. The perfect size is approx 30cm underneath your sofa and armchairs so that everything sits on top comfortably."
10. Too many cushions on your sofa
Rather than working as beautiful decor pieces, overloading your sofa with too many cushions can really make the space feel too busy and messy. "Stick to two per corner or three in one corner for a more considered look," Fiona advises.
Ever wanted to become an interior stylist? Or have more confidence to tackle your living room makeover?
We’re really excited to be partnering with the International School of Colour and Design on a brand-new online course, Styling Essentials. This course (which you can do from the comfort of your own home, anytime of day or night) runs for 6 weeks, covering the latest in local and international design trends; practical case studies with lots of take-out ideas, expert styling tips, tricks and advice.
The course culminates in analysing a styling brief and providing a complete styling solution, with exercises and tasks to cement your learning. No formal assessments are required. Plus, there is also a live Q&A session with us, the HB team. How fun!
Course content includes
- Introduction to styling and elements and principles of design
- Developing mood
- Spatial planning
- Furniture and accessories
- Styling in practice
Go here to learn more and register.