Are you bored of your living space and want to try and elevate it to a new level of fabulous? Designer Alexandra Hutchison shares her insider design tricks on how to transform your living space and think like a designer.
Go for a 'curated' look and commit to colour
When rooms are too matchy-matchy they can be boring! Alexandra calls it "visual monotone" as they appear to 'hum' and rarely 'sing.' There is no rule that occasional tables must match or belong to a set. Try mixing different pieces for a more interesting look. Select those that have one or more design elements in common so the result is "curated" and not "cluttered."
We often tend towards neutrals with our big pieces, especially upholstery, and rely on pillows and throws for a "pop-of-colour". This is what Alexandra calls a "piddly-pop-of-colour!" Peppering a room with tiny hits of bold tones here and there can be jarring to the eye. Often a greater saturation of bold colour is needed to balance the room.
Over-furnish and layer
The most inviting rooms always seem to have plenty of versatile seating options and conversational groupings. Groupings create intimacy in a room and help to make the space feel bigger, the more you squeeze into it. By bringing in just a few more items like cocktail tables to anchor these micro-spaces, makes them feel even more welcoming.
Make it personal
You can follow all the design tricks you know but really and truly, the most important thing to remember when pulling together your own rooms is to be sure to inject your own personality! Display a collection of your favourite things. You'll always enjoy looking at them in the room and they become a great conversation piece!
A good throw blanket is a must in a cozy room. It would be tempting to pepper the sofa with hits of purple from the chairs but that would be too matchy-matchy, instead, consider neutrals for a more sophisticated finish.
Add interesting artwork, lighting and architectural details and show them off!
A piece of modern art with bold colours can add energy to a traditional room. Don't be shy to mix these styles! Consider adding architectural detail and character with inexpensive panel moulding. Give the room depth with rich paint colour. While a dark colour can be scary, try using a high- gloss product like Benjamin Moore's Advance. You'll get the depth from the rich colour and also a lot of brightness from the reflective sheen!
And finally, a successful lighting scheme is layered, with fixtures placed at many levels in the room. 'Wall-washing' is also a great way to reduce the cavernous effects of a dark wall colour. It is achieved here with these beautiful sconces.
Sources: sofa, coffee table, side tables and rug, ELTE; Egyptian side table, The Door Store; purple chairs, Cornerstone; artwork, Art Interiors; lighting, Sescolite; accessories, Bombay Company and HomeSense; architectural mouldings by Alexandria Mouldings