Decorating is both art and craft, form and function. When your guests walk into a room, they should be able to appreciate the space as beautiful to look at – but it should also be practical and versatile. It is clear that exceptional decor depends on strong relationships – between light and color, shape and texture, space and object.
Here are five ways to enhance existing space in your home, taking it from the special to the sublime.
1. Lighten the mood
Much of the way your home feels depends on the way it is lit. And fortunately, you have a lot of control over the lighting, even in existing homes where you may not have had a say in the design. Consider the following:
- The purpose of the room or space. A kitchen or walk-in wardrobe will need brighter and whiter light than a bedroom or bar, for instance.
- Natural versus artificial light – like day and night. Window space affects the quality and quantity of daylight but careful use of curtains, blinds, and subtle additional lighting can play delightfully with what’s available naturally. You can also add some green color with fake plants to enhance and recreate the whole look.
- Variable lighting. Everything from simple dimmers to movable fixtures and color filters can have a profound effect on the atmosphere in any room.
2. Paint it Back
If you feel your home needs a makeover but you don’t have the patience for plaster and cement, use wallpaper and paint to immediately transform where you live.
- Remember that color reflects or absorbs light. Dark and warm colors make a room feel smaller, cozier and more intimate. Lighter, cooler shades brighten and enlarge the space.
- Think about texture too. Choices between gloss or matt paint and plain or textured wallpaper will make a difference to the room design.
- Be adventurous. Incorporate design elements that align with your personality and the feel of the room.
3. Move the furniture
Excellent design and placement of furniture can both create and enhance living space. When you select your suite, think about:
- Beauty and purpose. Ensure that your sofa both pleases the eye and pampers your guests.
- Space. The judicious arrangement of pieces can either open up a room or create purposed or intimate areas.
4. Colour it in
There’s a lot more to coloring a home than the paint on the walls. As with the other aspects of décor, select your color schemes based on purpose as well as aesthetics:
- Does your home lend itself to a single color theme throughout that unifies the spaces or a dichromatic scheme to reflect asymmetrical balance? Or would the spaces be best served by a rich palette of varied color splashed with subtle harmony?
- Consider all aspects of color and reflected light in the room. Muted colors in the background serve to accentuate smaller, bolder highlights. Let your colors collaborate, not clash.
5. Tie it all up
Final touches in reinventing architectural space often involve matching fabrics with works of art and other decorative pieces.
- Pay attention to the subtle. Texture, size, and position matter when you are considering the relational space between objects.
- Simple is usually more effective than busy. When the eyes are relaxed, so is the mind. Don’t make your guests work hard to appreciate your good taste.
- Where possible, allow objects to fulfill a purpose beyond pleasing the visual senses. Cushions, throws, lamps and designer tables can be functional as well as aesthetic.
- Choose a focal point in the space you’re designing and let the other elements blend in naturally without competing for attention.
Overall, investing in ‘decorte culture’ allows you to play with space in your home without the need for time-consuming renovations. Judicious use of elements such as light, color, texture and beautiful furniture and accessories will give you the confidence to create new areas of style within your existing architecture.
Let the recommendations above be your guide as you express your own sensibilities and flair in matching form with function.
Natalie Hadlow-Vlismas is the Interior Project Manager Wanda-Michelle Interiors. For the past seventeen years, their team of experts with a keen eye for detail, have ensured their solid reputation, which has been built around a business that represents savvy design, innovative thinking, team innovation and bespoke brilliance. Wanda-Michelle Interiors (WMI) are involved in various markets, predominantly within luxury residential renovation and the leisure sector, including boutique hotels and lodges.