Re­vamp like the pros

Want to make your home look like some­thing from the pages of a mag­a­zine? As Home­sense turns 10, six ex­perts tell Gabrielle Fa­gan how they do it

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - INTERIORS -

Giv­ing a room a style re­fur­bish­ment is one of life’s joys, but it can be daunt­ing if you’re not sure where to start or lack con­fi­dence in your colour choices, for in­stance. The great thing is, it’s okay to bor­row tried-and-tested ap­proaches, whether that’s trawl­ing In­sta­gram for in­spi­ra­tion or brows­ing through mag­a­zines and perus­ing dis­plays.

To make things eas­ier, and to mark their 10th an­niver­sary, Home­sense (home­sense. com), has in­vited ex­perts to share their top tips for cu­rat­ing fab­u­lous set­tings.

Here, six in­te­rior style pros re­veal a se­lec­tion of tricks and se­crets, along with some ex­am­ples of how they’d style up items from Home­sense’s eclec­tic and largely bud­get-friendly range.

Diana Civil: in­te­rior stylist and art di­rec­tor

No-fail colour schem­ing: “If you’re un­sure how to choose a start­ing point for a dec­o­rat­ing scheme, a sim­ple trick is to buy one fab­ric item that you love for the room — for ex­am­ple, a pat­terned cush­ion or cur­tain for the liv­ing room, or du­vet cover for the bed­room — use this as the tem­plate for the room scheme,” says Diana Civil, whose ca­reer in­cludes stints as art di­rec­tor on mag­a­zines in­clud­ing Good Homes and House Beau­ti­ful.

“De­sign­ers do a lot of re­search mak­ing sure colours work per­fectly, so you know it’s a tried and tested colour com­bi­na­tion be­cause the de­signer has done the match­ing for you. Pick two or three colours from the de­sign and colour-match the tones for the key el­e­ments in the room — it’s a sim­ple trick that works ev­ery time.” Fake plants, real im­pact: “Ar­ti­fi­cial plants are my top styling se­cret of the mo­ment — not only do they add an in­stant splash of colour and burst of green­ery, they can re­ally up the wow fac­tor in a room. Fake fo­liage has moved on a long way from the naff plas­tic of the past and is now amaz­ing and re­al­is­tic. Go all out with height and struc­ture, with over­sized plants such as cheese plants, palms or cacti, group to­gether a col­lec­tion of smaller plants to style up a table­top, win­dowsill or man­tel­piece, or add an artis­tic flour­ish with a col­lec­tion of hang­ing plants for a gar­den-like fea­ture wall.”

Cas­san­dra Lisa Marie Doyle: in­te­rior stylist and trend re­searcher

Do neu­tral with a twist: “Sage is be­com­ing the new neu­tral, which works per­fectly in a bed­room. Cu­rate your space us­ing a muted colour pal­ette; use vel­vet for a state­ment soft fur­nish­ing in trend­ing emer­ald green or ochre,” sug­gests Cas­san­dra Lisa Marie Doyle. “State­ment ceil­ings are a big trend this year. Paint the cov­ing and ceil­ing above in a darker com­ple­men­tary colour to the walls, or be brave and go for a com­plete con­trast. If you’re lucky enough to have high ceil­ings, you can do the re­verse. Paint the ceil­ing, cov­ing, and a foot or two be­low in crisp white and your walls stun­ning sage.”

Lit­tle de­tails: “Try adding a pic­ture shelf the full length of one wall, us­ing over­sized prints to add a sense of height. Group small ac­ces­sories to­gether in odd num­bers, which will ap­pear more pleas­ing to the eye”.

Ge­or­gia Gold: in­te­rior and life­style pho­tog­ra­pher

Sim­plic­ity is key: “I love colour, but one of my best-kept pho­tog­ra­phy se­crets is to go back to basics. Make sure you leave empty space when putting a room or area of your home to­gether. It will nat­u­rally cre­ate a fo­cus, a bal­anced set­ting and gives an op­por­tu­nity to let the prod­uct speak for it­self.”

Emily Dawe: in­te­rior stylist, writer and craft de­signer

Colour co-ord: “If you have a lot of books, group­ing them to­gether by colour can look re­ally strik­ing. You don’t have to nec­es­sar­ily cre­ate a whole rain­bow, but by stacking all the blue books to­gether, or all the green books etc, you will make your shelves look more uni­form.”

DIY style: “Cre­ate one of those ex­pen­sive fluffy stools at a frac­tion of the price. If you get an in­ex­pen­sive stool, at­tach a fluffy cush­ion to the top of it. You may need to use a cir­cu­lar cush­ion pad, then at­tach the ex­cess fab­ric to the un­der­side with a sta­ple gun. And voila — chic on a shoe­string!”

Aure­lien Far­jon: prop stylist and set de­signer

Pic­ture play: “If you want to cre­ate an ar­range­ment of dif­fer­ent pic­ture frames on the wall, cut sheets of pa­per the size of the pic­ture frames and stick those out on the wall first with Blu-tack. This will al­low you to test dif­fer­ent heights. It will also al­low you to step back and de­cide if it’s cor­rect be­fore drilling into the wall. Make sure the pa­per is a dif­fer­ent enough colour to the wall — for ex­am­ple, brown pa­per on light walls.”

Theoda Solms Iles: in­te­ri­ors and event stylist, writer and blog­ger

Sea­sonal switch: “Get­ting bored with your liv­ing or bed­room? Change your cush­ions and rug sea­son­ally,” says Iles. “Update your rooms with sum­mery cush­ions in linens and cot­tons for your sum­mer look, and re­place them in the colder months with vel­vets, weaves and woollen cush­ions. “Don’t stress about where to store the ex­tra set. Use the same cush­ion in­ners, ide­ally feather-filled pads, for both sum­mer and win­ter sets. This way you only end up hav­ing to store the cush­ion cov­ers. “The same can be done with a floor rug, es­pe­cially now that flat­ware rugs are so trendy. They roll or fold up pretty small and can be stored un­der a bed or in the back of a cup­board, and the dif­fer­ence a sea­sonal rug change makes is price­less.”

NEU­TRAL TWIST: soft sage is well com­ple­mented by pinks and metallics. Pink chair, £179.99; or­na­ment, £19.99, and ta­ble, £39.99, all Home­sense

IN THE FRAME: A bal­anced colour scheme takes in­spi­ra­tion from a paint­ing. Be­low, ta­ble set­ting styled with items from a range at Home­sense

RE­CLINE IN STYLE: sofa, £499.99; ta­ble, £99.99; light pen­dant, £39.99. Be­low, faux florals start­ing from £2.99

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