Scrolling through social media, it’s not uncommon to catch a glimpse of homes that seem to have been touched by some interior designer’s magic. And while you may think that you need to hire the services of a professional to make your home look sophisticated, this isn’t always the case.
Yes, an interior designer will be able to work with you on your aspirations, using their expertise and experience to create an on-trend look that’s unique to you, but if you’re short on time and you don’t feel the need for a complete overhaul, there are a few amendments that you can make yourself.
Sometimes switching out a colour on the wall or adding a strategically placed mirror can work wonders in transforming your space. Here, we take a look at some of the more popular designer’s tips that you can undertake yourself to make your home look refined almost in an instant.
Get rid of clutter
It’s a simple solution but making sure your home is tidy and free of clutter can work wonders with creating a sophisticated space. Keeping it tidy sounds easy but sometimes this can be difficult to keep up with, especially if there are small children about, so make sure you have lots of stylish storage solutions around that are in keeping with the décor.
This also applies to ornaments, artwork, antiques and the like. It may be tempting to display all of those lovely items you’ve collected over the years in your living areas so that guests can appreciate your fine taste and wonderful finds too, but you could end up achieving the opposite effect of a refined home.
“Accentuating a few antique items is a well-known key to success as it allows you to focus on a few special pieces instead of distracting the attention with a clutter of items,” explains John from Malta Sotheby’s International Realty in a recent interview with the New York Times.
The key here is to let the special items shine and opt for the less is more approach.
Add an antique rug
An instantly transformative item, a rug is perfect for creating a sense of homeliness in any room. Offering an attractive finishing touch, a quality rug is perfect for adding warmth to tiled or wooden floors in cooler months, while giving a definite sense of style too.
Always go for a slightly bigger rug than you think you may need as buying one too small can upset the aesthetics of the room. with an array of colours and designs, you are spoiled for choice here and you won’t regret opting for a rug as it will add personality and definition to any room.
However big or small a space, it will always benefit from functional furniture and small side tables are a great way to tie in your look. Ensure furniture matches and don’t go for tables that are too big as this is a sure-fire way to encourage clutter, instead use narrow side tables to display lamps or antique pieces, just make sure you place them away from walkways and well-used parts of the room to avoid any accidents.
Switch up the colour on the walls
Perhaps a little more time-consuming than putting down a rug but rethinking your wall colour is a great way to change the look of any space. You don’t have to redecorate every room, but if you feel the need for a new look all round just focus on one room at a time. Try and tie the look together with the rest of your house, using the same tones and patterns for a refined feel.
Grab some samples, paint on some white board and move it around the room for a couple of days so that you can see which colours work better in different lights and with items you already have in place. If you’re not looking to make a bold move then just give the walls a fresh lick of paint and perhaps update the space by adding a deeper shade to the doorframes.
Switch up the lights
Everywhere in the home needs natural and artificial light for those duller times and making sure you have the right kind of lighting can work wonders in changing the look and feel of your space. Softer and ambient lighting should be in abundance in bedrooms and the lounge to create that cosy feel and encourage more relaxing moments.
Functional spaces such as the kitchen need to be well-lit with strategically placed overhead lighting so that you can see what you’re doing when preparing food and it’s always important to have light directly above a dining table, but not too much.
A small change in lighting can make a major impact on the look and feel of your home, it could be as simple as adding in a few more lamps at differing heights or lighting up dark corners. There are so many options out there and this could be a good chance to opt for a statement lighting feature, just make it suits the purpose of the room.
Change up your curtains
Curtains are a great way to frame any window area and, being a large part of the space, can make quite the impact. Patterns may look appealing, but they quickly go out of fashion, much like carpets, so try to keep the look simple here for true elegance. Focus instead on the material and colour of the curtains; a sumptuous velvet or a fresh linen can tie in with cushions and throws, and the colour choice can lighten up or create a comforting space.
Cleverly placed mirrors
If you have ever wondered around a show home or had a browse at celebrity homes online you will no doubt have appreciated the airy, bright and luxe feel of the place, and a lot of this is achieved by the clever placement of mirrors. It is a well-known fact that mirrors can make any space appear bigger, but they work in all room sizes, it’s all about the size and location. Try adding two narrow mirrors that run up the wall from your bedside tables towards the ceiling and place a large piece of artwork in between for that hotel look.