I cannot count how many times people have said to me ‘’Oh, interiors aren’t my thing at all’’. This cannot be true, as most people fill their homes with objects that they like and have chosen. Your home and the way you choose to furnish is an expression of your personality.
There is no way that I am an expert but here are a few tips I have learned over the years about how to enhance your home environment.
1. Don’t think in ‘themes’. If you are not designing a theatre set then please, please move away from the idea that you need to come up with themes for the rooms in your house. It is not an ‘either’, ‘or’ situation. You can for example, gather items that have a similar look, e.g. African in origin, without making your home look like the set of ‘The Lion King’.
2. Plants. No matter how small your home is, make some space for living plants. There is so much to choose from; succulents are currently having their moment in the world of interior styling, last year it was fig trees. Hanging woven string pots are now quite the thing. So many people think that looking after plants is complicated. It is not. Most plants need water, some sunlight and a bit of plant food. Just a quick search on the internet will inform you of how to take care of your plant. Now, off you go! Enjoy finding nice pots to hide the dull plastic containers.
3. Obtain good-quality cushions. I am a fan of cheap and cheery fixes for interior spaces. However, I will not compromise on cushions, and I suggest that you do not, either. How many of us will have seen a nice cushion when at the supermarket, or in a discount store and thought ‘’oh why not?’’ and just thrown it is the trolley because the price is attractive? Cheap cushions usually go flat and lumpy after a very short length of time. Then they sit around making your sofa look sad. Invest in good quality cushion inners. Down cushions are best but if for animal rights or allergy reasons you do not want to do this then opt for the highest quality synthetic you can find. That way, when you buy a cheap-but-fashionable cushion you can transfer the cushion cover without having to live with the sag of its cheap and lumpy filling.
4. Don’t be afraid to move furniture around. Just because your furniture has ended up in a certain configuration that does not mean that it has remain in those positions until the End of Days. It can sometimes really refresh an interior to shift the furniture around a little. The results can be surprising. Look at your furniture arrangement with a critical eye? Does the sofa really always have to be against that wall? Good luck with finding someone to help you move it…only for you to decide that yes, it was better in its original position.
5. De-clutter. When you live with something every day you do stop noticing. It is so easy for clutter to creep onto surfaces and make a home look and feel messy. Speaking from experience, it always feels amazing to banish clutter to where it belongs: the clutter drawer alongside the sellotape, the takeaway menus, the odd screwdriver and lengths of string. Joking aside, the mantra of ‘’don’t put it down, put it away ‘’ is a useful one. It is amazing how great a space can feel once all the random clutter has been banished back to its rightful resting pace.
6. This brings me onto my next point. Once you have cleared the random clutter from your household surfaces then you can start to display cool stuff on said surfaces. Three is a magic number. If you have a few small items that are the same then group them together. Objects do not always have to be in matchy-matchy pairs. Groups of three, or five items that are similar can look great together to eye-catching effect. I.e. namji dolls, glass necklaces, your shell collection. You do not have to have your entire fossil collection on display. You can in stylists parlance, ‘edit’ your collections to ensure that only the best or most interesting are on display.
7. Think differently. Just because something is labelled as a bowl, does that mean it has to sit flat on a table? Remember how your grandma loved plates on walls? Well, so do I! What I mean is, you can always think of a different way to use items decoratively. The woven wire bowls made by ZenZulu look great on walls, the Ardmore tablecloths make stunning sofa throws, and the Design Afrika woven baskets look funky as anything on either side of a fireplace.
I hope these few crumbs of knowledge have informed and entertained. Remember: your home, your rules and trust your own sense of style.
Published by KUDU