Want to make your home stand out from the crowd in 2016? Tap into the latest trends, and use our clever decorating tricks to put yours streets ahead…
1 Invest in statement lighting
Lighting should never just be practical – the decorative effects of a dramatic chandelier or lampshade can’t be over-exaggerated. What to choose? For a hallway or a room with a high ceiling, such as a living room, a large piece of lighting will create a fantastic focal point; a group of not quite matching shades look amazing hung low over a dining table; and an over-sized floor-standing lamp is a real eye-catcher in a living space.
Pic: Graham & Green
2 Splash colour on windows
If your scheme’s plain, plain, plain, why not pep it up with some bright and bold colour at the windows? Dulux’s colour of the year is a beautiful muddy yellow called Cherished Gold, but the trend for even brighter shades remains popular for 2016. However dramatic you want your room to be, our Colour Match Service means that you can have your shutters exactly the shade you want. Just give us a shout and we’ll get to work…
Pic: California Shutters
3 Hang a big mirror
Room’s proportions disappointing? A big mirror, a wall of mirror tiles or two large mirrors put next to each other will exaggerate its size, reflect back all the lovely décor you’ve put so much effort into and bounce light around, making the room lighter and brighter. Choose very tall mirrors to make a tall ceiling look taller still – or hang a broad mirror to make a room feel wider or longer. What’s not to like?
4 Add a mural
Can’t quite afford the huge painting you’ve seen at the art gallery? Forget the frame and hang a mural instead – there are tons and tons to choose from with the continuing craze for wallpaper that’s more artwork than wallcovering. They’re easy to hang, too, and they create instant impact. Forget whole wall murals – if you ask us, they’re a bit footballer’s mansion. Instead, look for ones that can be hung in alcoves, on a chimney breast or just in a strip on a wall that’s the same colour as the mural’s background. Class.
Pic: Surface View
5 Paint a room black
No, really. It’s the colour (despite what Dulux says) to use indoors. Feeling bold? Paint the living room in a matt black, including the skirting. Feeling cowardly? Limit it to the loo. Furnishing a black room is an art in itself – a limed wood floor, white accessories and hints of other natural textures will create a cool Scandinavian feel. If you want something a bit more edgy (think Shoreditch bars), go for a deep pile carpet and one piece of furniture in a contrasting electric shade. Did we say it suits period properties best – unless yours is a contemporary, architect-designed home? Living in a modern but boxy house? Back out of black and go for royal blue instead. Same dramatic impact, better suited to the house.
Pic: Crucial Trading
6 Lay a bold rug
What we love about a rug: put beneath a disunited group of furniture, it can instantly create a cosy group; it’s soft underfoot and makes a room feel welcoming; and, if you choose a bright design, it can add a splash of dramatic colour to a previously plain room. Best of all, it takes less than a minute to unwrap and lay.
7 Find feature furniture
Just like statement lighting, furniture that draws the eye will help give your room a boost. It might be one brightly coloured armchair in an otherwise plain room (or, if you’re on a budget, a brightly coloured throw on a plain armchair in an otherwise plain room); perhaps it’s a huge floor lamp; or maybe a shapely headboard in a beautiful fabric or a four-poster bed. Don’t overdo it – one statement piece in each room is enough, otherwise you’re risking a visual punch up.
Pic: The Dormy House
8 Create a view
A wonderful view of the garden blocked by bulky curtains and nets? Swap them for shutters you can fold back neatly against the wall. In a room, such as a hallway, with no view at all? Create one yourself. We love this cute idea – stickers designed especially to go on stair risers. There are tons of colours, they’re easy to apply and don’t cost the earth. Better still, they draw the eye upwards and give a usually run-of-the-mill piece of architecture a dash of something, well, dashing.
9 Go bespoke
Feeling confident about your decorating and design skills? Creating a feature that’s utterly unique to your home will make it stand apart from your friends’. This tiled splashback is a good example, simply created with a bunch of mis-matched tiles in toning colours. But you could come up with anything as simple as a wall of faux antlers to a wash-stand made from a basin atop an upcycled antique table or a big canvas you’ve painted yourself. Whatever you do, we’re behind you…
Pic: Cooke & Lewis
10 Copy, imitate and rip off
No real style confidence, even after all that? Got a magazine you’re a particular fan of? Scour the pages for rooms you can recreate. A big fan of Pinterest? Use it to check out our inspiring boards – or search for wow factor rooms. A fan of Houzz? You can find our latest photography there and loads of other inspiring rooms to reproduce at home. No one will ever know if you don’t tell them…
Like our help when it comes to choosing blinds or shutters? Contact us or call 0800 012 6009.
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