The dos and don'ts of decorating

Date

Amy Richardson

Combine fun patterns and colours with cushions by <a href="http://arrohome.com/" target="_blank">Arro Home</a>. ...

Combine fun patterns and colours with cushions by Arro Home. Styling Marsha Golemac, Photography Brooke Holm

There’s no secret recipe for the perfect room, but a little advice from the experts can go a long way to helping you score a decorating win. Here are a few tips for adding style and personality to your home. 

 

For lovely living areas

Michelle from The Design Chaser went for monochromatic magic in her living room.

Michelle from The Design Chaser went for monochromatic magic in her living room.

Interior styling consultant Michelle Halford of The Design Chaser on how to create a living room you’ll never want to leave.  

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Do: Start with a simple, neutral base. White provides the perfect canvas for layering on colour, be it soft and subtle hues or bold accents. 

Don’t: Be afraid to splurge on something you love, whether it’s a couch, shelving unit, light or artwork. You may be licking your financial wounds for a while but it has the potential to become the hero piece of the room, and one that you will have and enjoy forever. 

Shannon Fricke’s dreamy new bed linen range is available in September from <a href="http://www.shannonfricke.com" ...

Shannon Fricke’s dreamy new bed linen range is available in September from shannonfricke.com

Do: Use cushions to revamp a tired living room. They’re easy and effective – you can play around with different colours, take cues from a favourite artwork or rug and try to combine different patterns and graphics. The cushions in my living room (pictured) are from Ikea, Fine Little Day and Kow Tow Clothing.

Don’t: Ever do a short curtain. Depending on the weight of the fabric, they should just skim the floor or hang a bit longer, but never above the floor. 

Do: Use rugs to ground furniture and define the space. A must for wooden floorboards or concrete, they also add warmth underfoot. 

Interior designer Suzanne chose a dramatic indigo for her dining room wall.

Interior designer Suzanne chose a dramatic indigo for her dining room wall.

 

For blissful bedrooms

Turning your bedroom into a haven of tranquility is easy, reveals interior designer and stylist Shannon Fricke.

Embrace colour with items from Ikea’s new 2015 range.

Embrace colour with items from Ikea’s new 2015 range.

Don’t: Use your bedroom as a dumping ground for 'stuff'. Your bedroom is a sacred space – it represents your inner world. Keep your bedroom clean, tidy and organised and your inner self will reflect this.

Do: Decorate your bedroom with your individual style in mind. Your bed is a place to rest, contemplate, dream and reconnect with yourself. Mix and match colours, textures and patterns as a way of making it a one-of-a-kind space.

Do: Make your bed like a throne – layering with sheets, quilt cover, throw rugs, euros, pillowcases and cushions. When you love your bed, it will love you right back with a good night’s sleep and sweet dreams!

 

For colouring your world

Whether in paint, artwork or accessories, colour injects instant personality. Interior designer Suzanne Gorman, from Suzanne Gorman Projects, shares her secrets.

Do: Go to the dark side. Despite what most people think, walls painted in dark hues recede, creating a sense of vast space and drama. I love indigo and charcoals to create a beautiful backdrop for art and accessories in dining rooms. Some of my favourites are Murobond’s ‘Shibori’, ‘Indigo’, ‘Ebony’ and ‘Faraway’ and Dulux’s ‘Domino’. The contents of your room will be the heroes, taking centrestage as your dark walls show everything off to the best.

Don’t: Be afraid of colour. All over the world, design has well and truly moved away from minimalist and safe white walls and people are adding their own individual flair to create unique homes with lots of handmade love. I’m actually a fan of ‘maximinalism’ and of filling a home with artefacts from travels, much loved art, books and beautiful objects.

Do: Liven up rooms lacking natural light. Almost every home has a room that doesn’t receive direct sunlight and tends to be a bit gloomy. I like to go with the natural order by painting all the walls a mid to dark hue, to create a cosy space that looks like it was always meant to be moody. To catch more light, you can use a paint with a subtle metallic finish, like Murobond’s Aqua Glaze Pearl in ‘Cinder’ or ‘Shimmer’, which has a soft sheen that will transform a dim room into something quite luxe. By adding layers of textiles, pattern and hanging a gallery wall, you will have a room that is really special and draws people in.