1. CREATE A MOODBOARD
Moodboards – whether digital or physical – are the place to start. They’ll help you to get a grasp on what your style is and how it can be exhibited. “Collect images you love and you’ll start to see a style you are actually creating without having to verbalise it,” says style expert Triana Odone of King Living. Add items you love, from colour swatches, photographs of rooms or particular pieces, and consider how these might work together. “Your home should tell a story of you as a person, not what is on trend,” says interior stylist Aimee Tarulli, our House To Home Beautiful expert.
2. GET CREATIVE WITH COLOUR
Harnessing the power of colour is an effective way to create mood and make a statement. Consider colours that speak to you before working out a palette for your home that complements its style, and that you love enough to live with. “You don’t want a kaleidoscope house, but change up the look from room to room,” suggests Aimee. Soft, calming hues are great for casual living spaces and bedrooms, but for more formal living and dining zones, experiment with darker shades for a deep, moody effect.
3. ESTABLISH THE BASICS
Furnishing a new home relies on a solid foundation. “Staples like dining tables and beds should be a more premium product because you have to look at comfort and longevity as well as the aesthetics,” says Triana. Go for a simple and timeless design so they’ll stand the test of time, leaving the style statements to scatter cushions, throws, bed linen and table settings. Sofas and occasional chairs in neutral-coloured materials are a good choice colour-wise as they suit most schemes, giving you the chance to ring the changes down the track.
4 SEEK OUT STATEMENT PIECES
Every room deserves a highlight or two. Size, texture, colour and shape are all contributing factors when making a focal point – think feature wall, extravagant bedhead or a wow-factor item, like the oversized floor lamp in this Black Lacquer Design living room. Go bold, as it can be swapped or replaced. “Take a picture of the room it’ll go in and keep it handy when you go shopping,” says interior stylist Aimee Tarulli. Make note of the existing colours within the space and find something that’s going to pop.
5. CONSIDER THE ‘FIFTH WALL’
Flooring can have a big impact, from the detailing on polished concrete to the subtle pattern of parquetry. It can be useful – linking rooms for a seamless look throughout your home and as a base for the overall scheme – but also beautiful. A patterned floor might not require embellishment, but if you have a plainer style, rugs (below) are a winner. “Incredible hand-tufted rugs, almost like artwork, are being designed now,” says Triana Odone of King Living. Use them to define zones, cosy up spaces, add interest and colour, and even as the starting point for a decorating look.
6. ADD THE FINISHING TOUCHES
From handmade quilts and heirlooms to ornaments collected abroad, it is often the little things that matter most. Layer your space with these meaningful mementoes for a homely touch. Family photos can make the perfect centrepiece for a styled vignette. “Add other pieces like ceramic objects or a vase of flowers, to create an ambience around that memory,” says Aimee. Try lightening up a loaded bookshelf with a few objets d’art, or have a textile brought back from a trip framed as artwork.
7. BE YOUR OWN CURATOR
Artwork is one of the most powerful and creative ways to express your personality, history and influences. It can set the mood of the room, direct a colour palette and kickstart conversation. Art expert Kara Forsythe, owner of Forman Picture Framing, suggests researching different styles of art and photography to see what appeals to you. “Artwork should be a reflection of our own life, loves and personality,” says Kara. Investing in art can seem a daunting proposition, but it needn’t be. Trust your instincts. If you love it, it will work.