23 Mar 2011
Have you ever heard the saying: “A change is as good as a holiday”? Well, as in life, this applies to interior décor as well. Wearing the same clothes every day, would be a horribly boring and monotonous fate, and so it is with home interiors. Living with the same look year in and year out can become thoroughly tiring. However, giving the entire décor composition of your home a complete overhaul is not always financially possible. This is where the mantra, “make the most of what you’ve got” comes in.
With regards to fashion, adding a few well chosen and stylish accessories can really update and revitalise a tired outfit. Home décor is much the same – a jaded interior composition can also be given a true make-over, merely by interchanging and rearranging a few things and possibly adding a few new, inexpensive elements into the room as well.
Deciding on change
A good place to begin, is to decide on a room and the kind of change you want to implement – do you want the room to be light and brighter, do you want to give it a more contemporary flavour, would you like to create a warmer atmosphere, would you like it to be more exotic, or perhaps more avant-garde? Once this is decided, it is essential to look at the room with this ambition in mind and begin planning. To do this, you will need to strip the room of its existing look in order to see its true potential. This is best achieved by moving everything out of the room and looking at it empty and full of new possibilities.
Choosing the flavour
Choosing a theme and a respective colour palette is an essential part of the make-over process. With regards to the selection of a theme, the possibilities are endless – you could choose a relaxed “by the seaside” theme, an organic nature-inspired theme, or perhaps a rich and opulent Eastern flavour is what you are after. Contemporary, sentimental or traditional - try and choose something that speaks to you personally, but at the same time, something that will complement the rest of your home’s décor and architectural design.
A coat of paint
Nothing upgrades the look of a room more than a fresh coat of paint. The new colour palette will largely depend on the choice of theme – look through books, magazines and various Internet sites for inspiration. Numerous colour forecasts predict that the following nature-inspired colours will hold centre stage:
- Softer, more botanical greens.
- True blues inspired by the colour of the sky and the colour of water.
- Earthy, grounded and reflecting the colours of rock, stone and oil, the newest neutrals include beiges, browns and tans.
- Lighter, neutral settings will be punctuated by warmed-up accent colors from a rich mix of countries and cultures. Deep, rich ethnic reds and warm, glowing oranges are predicted to be the “punch” colours for 2007.
Whichever colour palette you choose, before investing in paint and accessories, select around two or three options and introduce each colour scheme into the room by painting small swatches on the walls, standing back and assessing which works best for you.
Should it stay or should it go?
Once the colour palette has been selected and the walls have been painted, it is time to assess which furniture and décor accents fit in with the new theme, and which no longer make the grade. Go through other rooms in your house and see if you can find other pieces that will complement the new theme. One of the most important factors to consider, are the window treatments – nothing can date a look more than crusty old curtains. Since windows are most often the source of all natural light, they are frequently the focal point of the room – hence it is essential that they are dressed accordingly.
Changing the arrangement
Often, a change in furniture arrangement can make the world of difference by visually opening up a room. Note that placing furniture and accessories at an angle adds interest and has the potential to make the room more visually appealing. It is often tempting to square things up in line with the walls so that it all looks uniform, however, placing furniture at an angle can really lift and rejuvenate a space.
The power of accessories
With regards to introducing accessories, there is one cardinal rule that must be kept – less is more. An uncluttered room will give more of an impression of newness and space than one that is too full. Use existing items, but mix colours and textures to form interesting groups of three to four eye-catching points of interest. Create a focal point – there is a spot in every room where the eye naturally lands, that lends itself to be transformed into a captivating focal point. To create a good first impression when walking into the room, work out where this spot is and create a collection of furniture or accessories there that accentuates the theme and colour scheme of the room.
Once all your existing furniture and accessories have been placed, it is time to decide what new accents are required. New accessories can really pull a colour scheme and the chosen theme together. Items such as wall hangings, scatter cushions, throws, rugs, light fittings and lamps for example, can truly reinforce the room’s style and theme. When you go shopping to source these items, remember to take colour swatches with you. Try and create an eclectic blend of accessories - blending various harmonious colours, textures and shapes will create visual interest. Including too many accessories that match the colour scheme exactly, can create a composition that is mono-toned, flat and it can rob the room of variety. Mixing solids and patterns, old items with new items or introducing different textures can make an interior composition truly come to life.
Lastly, take your time and enjoy the process – with a small budget, a little bit of time and effort, as well as a dash of creativity and imagination, any room can be transformed into a fresh, seemingly new, inviting and aesthetically appealing space. – Antonella Dési
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Antonella DésiFreelance lifestyle writer at property24.com
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