Decorate

8 small things that can take your home from blah to beautiful

Make your home memorable - for all the right reasons.
A laundry room with blue patterned wallpaper and a farm-style door.Photography: Tim Salisbury / Styling: Jackie Brown

It’s amazing how the smallest details can make all the difference in your home. Whether you’re renovating or just looking to refresh a room, here are eight clever ways to take your home to the next level. 

1. Pendant lights

A contemporary kitchen with a blue island, rounded pendants and a timber table.
“Our intention was always for the kitchen to have a contemporary yet casual feel that makes cooking and entertaining a breeze.” (Photography: Elise Scott / Styling: Bea + Co)

Lighting has a transformative effect in the home – get it right, and you’ll notice all the difference. Taking a layered approach to lighting by combining table lamps and floor lamps with overhead lighting gives a sense of depth. But a striking pendant lamp makes a strong design statement and creates a focal point in the room. Use this opportunity to express your personality and add a touch of fun to your home. 

2. A collection

A cottage-style kitchen with green cupboards and a marble island.
A stunning collection of copper pots forms a functional display in the kitchen of this renovated Queenslander. (Credit: Photography: Hannah Puechmarin / Styling: Hayley Jenkin)

Many of us collect bits and pieces and stash them away at the back of a cupboard. But grouping like-things together can look amazing and introduce a point of interest in a room. Think about a vignette of vintage blue Bitossi ceramics – or a hanging display of woven straw bags and hats. Collections not only make a visual impact, they also tell a story and inject a dose of personality into a space.

3. Tiling

Olli Ella cofounder Chloe Brookman home kids bathroom stripe tile pattern sink skirt
Pink and white Teranova tiles were laid to form candy stripes in the upstairs bathroom of this Sydney home. (Credit: Photography: Alana Landsberry / Styling: Lucy Gough)

Tiling your bathroom from floor to ceiling makes a grand impression and brings a sense of cohesion to the space. If you’re on a budget, steer clear of mosaics and choose plain styles like subway tiles. Combine full-height tiling with frameless showers and a freestanding bath for a clean, streamlined look.

4. Art

A wall gallery with charcoal drawings over a vintage style cabinet.
The art collection takes pride of place in this renovated 1930s Queenslander. (Credit: Photography: Hannah Puechmarin / Styling: Hayley Jenkin)

Many of us think that you have to spend a fortune on art to make your home look great. But there are many affordable ways you can fill your home with art. One way to transform a room is to create a mini gallery on the wall with a collection of different pieces, including photography, framed wallpaper or textiles, and prints. It will introduce colour, texture and pattern into your home while creating a focal point.

5. A statement plant

A minimalist bathroom with a timber vanity, mirror and monstera plant.
A monstera deliciosa flanks the vanity in this modern Tasmanian home has the same material selections as the kitchen island and laundry bench.(Credit: Photography: Anjie Blair / Styling: Symmetrie Interior Design + Styling Studio)

We all know that indoor plants are trending at the moment and they’re an easy way to invite the outdoors into your home. But you can infuse a space with a sense of drama with just one large plant – or indoor tree. Many trees thrive in pots indoors – find one that works for you.

6. Coloured front door

Hamptons style home entrance with plae blue front door
A touch of the Hamptons greets visitors at the front door of this weatherboard home on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. (Credit: Photo: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

The front door is not only the first thing your guests see when they arrive at your home, it also creates an instant visual identity for your home. A coloured front door is an unexpected surprise and it gives your home an individual look. Combine a powder pink door with a black exterior for extra theatre.

7. Mouldings and architraves

coastal-hamptons-family-living-room-tulips
Wainscoting adds warmth and a cosy element to this newly built living room of this Hamptons-inspired home. (Credit: Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Heliconia)

Making a feature of your walls with wainscoting can introduce texture and make a design-led statement in your home.

“It’s great for adding interest to an otherwise boring or featureless room,” says Interiors Addict blogger Jen Bishop. “But even in the nicest rooms, you can use it to add character or define a theme in your home like Hamptons or Scandi, depending on whether you go for a traditional panelled look or more modern vertical grooves,” she adds.

8. Renovated laundry

A laundry room with blue patterned wallpaper and a farm-style door.
All the joinery in this renovated laundry is painted Dulux Vivid White. (Credit: Photography: Tim Salisbury / Styling: Jackie Brown)

It’s all too easy to ignore the laundry as a decorative space, but it can make all the difference to the sense of cohesion in a home. A well-resolved laundry with custom-fitted storage and a beautiful colour palette can make all the difference. Pay attention to the tiling and the sink, not forgetting hardware on your drawers and cupboards.

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