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  • Writer's pictureElisha Rickward

Why perfect rooms are boring... (& other tips to quickly inject character to your home).

Did you know that the eye gets excited by seeing things in multiples & gets bored when things look too matched? And that designers love to style and decorate things in odd numbers? And that colour is as much about the feeling & mood it engenders when you inhabit a room than it is about its actual hue?

Well you do now and I hope this gives you confidence to have a bit of fun in decorating your own home. Not everything is meant to match – or worse still be styled to give you the feeling that you have just ‘shopped’ from the local homewares store - character, quirkiness and charm beat designer price tags hands down.

Decorating your home is the opportunity to tell a story about the inhabitants that live there (and hell yes I do understand that those inhabitants can in fact be very messy most if not all of the time… kids are you reading this?!) The point is the most interesting interiors are those that are layered with memories, stories and pieces that have been acquired over time (or if timing is not of the essence successfully shopped so that they look like they have slowly evolved!).

So what if you are impatient, or simply want a quick update and quick injection of character to an otherwise bland room? Read on for my favourite go to's....

1) Well it is no secret that I am a colour junkie so I love nothing better than a lick of colour to transform a space – not only does a new hue have a big impact on the look of a room but it can also change how you experience the room (and maybe even your mood- never underestimate its power).

Image Credit: Kit Kemp - Firmdale Hotels

Each colour family has its own personality & even psychology – if you are interested you can read more here ( Remember that dark and warm colours generally help to make a room feel smaller (and potentially more intimate) while light and bright shades open it up.

That said people often use white thinking it will brighten a dull space – but if there is not a lot of natural light (think south facing rooms if you are in Australia) to bounce light around their space, the room can still look very drab and dreary even when painted in a bright and fresh white. The work around? To apply a hit of colour to the walls.

2) Fresh artworks in a space create an instant lift. No matter the subject - just providing a new focal point creates instant energy in a space. Of course the art doesn’t need to be a new painting – there are a range of cost effective alternatives – framed designer posters, screen printed tea towels stretched on a frame or giclée prints are all my go-to’s when I have a tight decorating budget with clients. Alternatively something as simple as changing the frames on existing artwork can refresh the feel of your art and give it a more contemporary feel. I love artwork framed in Perspex boxes for this exact reason.

Image Credit: Pinterest

3) Fabulous new cushions in beautiful colours and prints... the simplest and most cost effective instant update. No other words necessary.

Image Credit: Walter-G

4) Another favourite go to of mine to inject character in your space is through the use of rugs. Not only do they look good but they can help soften the acoustics of a space and create a soft landing. As they are on the floor (and generally interrupted by furniture) they can provide a soft landing (pardon the pun) for those who are keen to inject a bit of colour in their space but possibly a bit hesitant to have it at eye level.

Of course rugs offer more than just comfort and visual appeal, used wisely rugs can also help delineate one space from the other. They can be used for example to separate a living area from the dining room in an open plan layout or create a cozy seating area in a large room.

The don't need to be expensive to be effective either. New technology has seen rugs in recent years created from a range of fibres that didn't exist as recently as a decade ago. Rugs made from recycled plastic bottles are becoming more readily available - so not only are they good for your hip pocket they are great for the environment and have the added benefit of being extremely hard wearing and easy to clean meaning you can add interest in areas of your home that you may not have considered before - like the kitchen.

Image Credit: Weaver Green

Happy decorating

Elisha x

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