Our homes are an expression of our own unique personal style, the way we live our lives, and who we welcome into them.
If you manage to get your home decor and interior styling right it’ll make life at home much more enjoyable, too; you know, that ‘exhale’ feeling when you walk through the door?
Senior interior designer Rohan Smith from Coco Republic shares his home styling ideas and interior decorating tips for styling a beautiful home that suits your lifestyle.
1. Don’t be afraid to mix period styles
Many of our homes are a mix of architectural styles – for example, a Victorian or Federation home with contemporary additions. So when it comes to home decor ideas, it makes sense to mix furniture styles in a similar way.
Think a 1960s house filled with contemporary furniture and art, a mid-century buffet or bar cabinet in a modern apartment or an old wing chair covered in velvet to give a new lease of life to an old piece.
2. Make a statement with colour blocking
Colour blocking, as we see with fashion, is a great way to make a statement in a room.
So, when thinking about how to decorate your home, consider adding pieces such as rugs, scatter cushions and decor items in the same uniform colour to an otherwise neutral room to give the space some punch.
3. Level up neutrals by layering textures
Decorating rooms using neutral tones creates a sense of calm, however, the room can easily become a bit same-same unless some interest is added. Consider a neutral textured rug – like the the Harbour rug from Coco Republic.
Layer textures by selecting scatter cushions in neutral tones with different weaves, adding a chunky woollen throw, a piece of coral or driftwood and a table lamp with a linen shade.
4. Add character with cultural styles
Creating an eclectic interior by mixing cultural styles gives a home immediate personality.
Pieces picked up on overseas travels but put together in a vignette – a Moroccan lantern with a colourful ceramic bowl from Turkey mixed in with a beautiful piece of Danish art glass – creates a talking point and gives visitors a real insight into who lives in the home.
5. Try a bold wall colour
Using a bold wall colour creates an amazing statement in a room. Larger furniture pieces play second fiddle to the wall colour and should be kept fairly neutral.
Highlight the wall colour by introducing some scatter cushions or colourful lamps to bring the whole scheme together.
6. Experiment with patterns
Neutrals used in large-ticket items, such as sofas and bed linen, create a great backdrop into which you can add any number of patterns.
Experiment with pattern by introducing smaller items such as scatter cushions or even a coffee table book with a bold cover.
If you’re still feeling brave, consider a patterned rug or occasional chair upholstered in a bold geometric pattern.
7. Opt for natural materials
The main consideration when creating an organic, neutral interior is to still add interest by using a variety of textures.
An interior using mainly grey tones can still have textural interest by adding Carrara marble, resin, grey-washed timber and beaten metal combined with lovely wool, felt and mohair fabrics.
The Flex range by Coco Republic offers a variety of table options and combines black metal and marble.
8. Add wow-factor with a statement piece
When styling, always look for that wow-factor piece that will add an element of surprise and flair to a room. Materials in metal and glass – think pendant lighting or coffee tables – will certainly attract attention in a room.
9. Don’t be afraid to mix materials
Using a mix of materials in the home can make an interesting statement. Finishes such as marble for kitchen benches and furniture pieces, bronze and resin for feature lighting and shell or mother of pearl inlay are ways to add interest and texture.
For more traditional interiors, consider finishes such as an aged mirror, rattan inlay and antiqued metal finishes for furniture.
10. Make your walls a work of art
To create a statement, a large wallpaper mural will add drama to a space as the entire wall becomes the artwork.
To take this idea further, employ an artist to paint a mural directly onto the wall.
11. Create contrast with colour
Colour can be included in any neutral scheme and it will create a contrast within the space – it’s a simple and effective way to take the space to a new level.
12. Include one-of-a-kind pieces to add a personal touch
One-of-a-kind pieces, such as family heirlooms and vintage or antique furniture finds, give a space immediate character and warmth.
A 1960s buffet used as an entertainment unit, in an otherwise contemporary room, will be a stand-out piece.
13. Add character with unexpected or out-of-context pieces
Unexpected or out-of-context items, such as an antique chair in a very contemporary setting or large modern artwork in a traditionally furnished room, add instant character.
14. Use fabric beyond furnishings
Fabric used as a wall hanging is a great alternative to traditional-framed artwork, whether it be an antique bedspread picked up on travels, or a drop of contemporary fabric.
Wall hangings not only add colour and texture but can be used for their acoustic qualities in large open spaces.
15. Bring the outdoors inside
Adding a houseplant or floral arrangement will not only add an organic element to a room but also add a splash of colour.
Plants and greenery are also easily moveable, so you can try out a few locations in your home to work out where best to place this injection of colour and life.
16. Change the light fittings
Light fittings can be a lot more than downlights or a single pendant. Wall sconces either side of a bed not only provide a lovely light source but also free up space on your bedside table.
Similarly, a pair of drop pendants used as bedside lighting is a great alternative to traditional lamps.
17. Anchor the room with a large rug
Whether your style is contemporary or something more traditional, one thing is constant: Rugs used in open-plan rooms are a great way to anchor the furniture in the space.
Choose a rug that’s large enough for the front legs of the sofa and occasional chairs to sit on.
18. Make outdoor areas comfortable and inviting
Decorating your outdoor areas as you would your indoor spaces will make them more inviting. Think scatter cushions, outdoor rugs and pot plants to take your outdoor living area from drab to fab.
Pictures courtesy of Coco Republic.