You don’t have to completely overhaul a room to re-invent it. Sometimes it just comes down to re-instating space and scale, and switching up some interior shades, Emma Bangay discovers.
Pair Big and Small
The Problem: You live in a smaller space so you fill it with lots of smaller furnishings, which makes it feel cramped.
To Do: Larger, statement sofas and lamps – but less of them – can make a smaller space far more commanding than lots of smaller pieces of furniture. Take a step back and decipher between the functional furniture and the fussy stuff. Eliminate the latter. Re-arrange the larger furniture you use and take a seat. It may look sparse to begin with, but give it 48 hours. If you find the room now feels larger and more live-able, then donate your redundant pieces or pop them on eBay!
Curate and Create
The Problem: Your bookshelf may be full of all your finds, but is it creating a visual headache as soon as you walk in the house, rather than an excellent focal point?
To Do: Take everything off your bookshelf. Yes. Every. Last. Thing. On a large table or the floor, set them all out into collections together, such as books, candles, frames, jars, knick-knacks, travel souvenirs, etc. Sometimes, by curating pieces together, you can see what you need and what you don't (random pens, babies dummies and boxes of matches can finally be binned). Before you rebuild the interior of the bookcase with your new collections, reassess the shelves themselves. Paint the interior as a point of difference, or give the entire thing a once-over to overhaul the room entirely.
The Problem: Your house is looking a little cramped and crowded, but you can't bare to part with any of your furnishings or pieces.
To Do: If you really want to create a unique element to an otherwise everyday lounge-room, without adding or subtracting a thing, work with the ceiling! There are some amazing wallpapers that can reinvent a room lacking a point of interest, or alternatively, you can simply add more height to the room by painting the ceiling a lighter colour than the walls.
Divide + Conquer
The Problem: Your lounge and living areas feel heavy and dark, and you yearn for some division and order.
To Do: Sometimes it’s not the furnishings that you need to fuss over, but the floor coverings. These can change the mood of a room in an instant, as well as creating various zones in the one space. For example, come spring and summer, swap your woollen rug for a woven or rattan version to create a lighter, beachy feel. Or if you want to make the room feel like it has several areas, define the foundation of each space with a different rug. So, you may have one in the lounge, and then another smaller one in the adjoining dining area, TV room and so on.
Bring The Outside, In
The Problem: Your home gets little daylight, so it feels cold and soulless.
To Do: Create a warmth to an otherwise cool interior with pops of nature - which is particularly successful and easy to do when you are working with white, nude, black, grey or cream palettes. First up, swap all your light bulbs from white to a pink blush shade to evoke morning and evening light in summer. It creates a gorgeous sunrise and sunset bouncing off the walls that will put Mother Earth to shame! Secondly, pick a posy of flowers – you don’t have to invest in an expensive bunch – just those that are random and pretty and put them in little glass jars throughout the house. Lastly, invest in scents. Saltwater, spring blossoms and even autumn rain can all be found in candles to evoke a feeling of natural wonder and homeliness within your home.