10 Tips For Styling Your Home

February 14, 2022

10 Tips For Styling Your Home

Use these rules when you are stuck

The rules are principles we apply to the elements inside a home, and they govern balance, gradation, contrast, repetition, harmony and unity.

Applying them to the elements in your home (such as colour, texture, tone and size) will give the space a sense of cohesion and help you to create rooms worthy of any magazine cover.

modern living room

1 Know You

Probably one of the biggest steps in any project – design or build – is the first, and having a game plan is paramount to pulling off a cohesive space.

You will want to know where you are headed before you get there because no one likes that kind of surprise, especially when it involves quite a bit of cash.

2 Research

Find your style , your niche, your look.

Create a vision board of all the beautiful images and things you like, and you'll find certain styles and looks coming through.

A step further is to use the home you're living in as a basis for a style. 

A chalet in the mountains, for instance, would look silly styled all coastal and beach-like. Use what you love and the home you have (as well as where you live) to build the palette of style, colour and life you wish for.

Don't feel constrained by movements or particular styles; just gather what you love (the colours, the textures, the art) and make it yours. 

Own your style and you'll build a confident personal space that feels like home and is that enclave of peace we all dream of.

3 Kick Off With A Brief

Knowing a style or trend you want to achieve is one thing, but pulling it off is something quite different. It's best to create a brief (one for each space) or a set of needs and wants from each room.

This will inevitably change with time – think bachelor pad versus young family – so embrace the opportunity to reinvent yourself.

List what you need and want from a space and start to tick off solutions.

Dining room , for example. What do you NEED from it? 

Table for six, easy-to-clean floors and chairs, plenty of task lighting and a place to store all the bills. 

What do you WANT from a dining space? 

Softness, pops of colour, plenty of greenery, natural light, and cohesion with the kitchen space.

Get to know the nuances of a room, the way it feels through the seasons and the way the light changes in there throughout the day. 

Knowing the space will help you to figure out what you want from it and that, in turn, will create a clear brief for you to get started with.

4 Draw

A simple, to-scale sketch of a room or zone is an excellent way to create a floor plan and figure out how much space you have for the bigger things.

It's great for figuring out the space around a bed, sofa configurations and cabinetry detail.

If it looks right on paper, it will generally look decent in real life, so don't be afraid to play around with your floor plan to see what works best.

Living Room Design

5 Start at the Top

If designed right, ceilings and lighting can really make a space.

A soft white ceiling with plenty of reflected light can build an ethereal tone while a moody grey hue overhead with muted warm light can build cosiness and familiarity. 

Colour and light have so much bearing in a space, they set the tone for what's to come in a home.

A space should (we can't always hit the mark though) have three distinct types of lighting: task, accent and general. 

It's these three (two if we're stingy) that you want to layer so you can build character and personality in a space.

A kitchen, for instance, might have task lighting directly over a benchtop, a killer (though not wholly practical) pendant light over the table for a touch of accent lighting , and a general wash of downlights to gently illuminate the entire space.

Having only one type of lighting would be impractical on its lonesome, which is why a well-chosen collective can really shine.

Try using plenty of task lighting (with dimmers if possible) where you can. That means lamps, wall lights, spotlights, anything with specific direction and for intentional use.

On top of this, cut down the number of downlights you once might have gone for, and remember that Mother Nature is queen bee when it comes to general lighting.

6 Flow

Furniture selection is a huge element in decoration. It may be the biggest purchase inside the home and usually dictates how a room is oriented or set out.

Keep this in mind when choosing your pieces as you want to create flow and movement for the people who use the space.

Keep corridors within rooms for people to use. 

Furthermore, don't crowd your room with too many big pieces. Give yourself and your furniture room to breathe and you're guaranteed a more inviting space.

7 Soften up

Don't underestimate the effect of softness in a space. 

We all love natural timber floors , big glass windows and handcrafted furniture, but that hard aesthetic needs to be balanced out.

Cushions and throws can soften a space like nothing else, but remember that greenery and natural tones also have the power to create soft vibes within a space.

Choosing your cushions (looking for relationships in colour, pattern or texture) to really pull it altogether.

Living room design

8 A Rug

A rug does have the power to make or break a space  

Take a rug (or two) home and see what works best. Tuck a third of the rug under a bed or sofa to let those elements overlap, and keep your rug clear of any cabinetry.


Typical living room rug sizes are  2.5m x 3.0m (8’x10′) and  2.75m x 3.6m (9’x12′.)

Make sure your rug is at least 15cm (6″)  wider (20cm (8″ is ideal)) than your sofa on both sides.

Typically run the rug the length of the sofa.

Give 75cm (30″)  to 90cm (36″) of a walkway between large furniture pieces (if your living room allows for it) if not then at least 45 - 60cm (18″-24″) That will help to inform your rug size.

9 Art is a Must

A room without some kind of art is an empty space, but it doesn't have to cost you a generation of inheritance . 

A simple print or two, or an oversized canvas that delivers some colour, can bring 'smile' to an otherwise dull room.

I always invest in good framing and use appropriate scales in a room. 

An oversized print on a big wall tends to sit well, as does a collection of smaller pieces in a more modest space.

When it comes to art, oversized pieces will always make a big statement. Investing in one piece that you really love and placing it in a key position, like above the lounge or in a foyer, to set the stage for your home styling.

A big piece of art means you don't need lots of other clutter in the room, as it remains the star of the space. 

Alternatively, a large piece of amazing fabric, framed or on a canvas, can work just as well.

10 Declutter

Nothing kills a space like clutter. 

We have enough going on in our lives without having to deal with 18 candles in a lounge room or your vast collection of snow globes from when you were identified as a world citizen.

Kill the clutter and take back your life.

These 10 tips will help you get started with styling your home to your tastes. 

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