Professional Designer Tips

The most common question architects and interior designers are faced with today are; “How should I decorate my home for less?” or “What’s on trend at the moment?” If your mind is ticking over the best ways to liven up your home, we’ve found some great ideas from one of Sydney’s top design duos!

According to Ron Keir and Farnam Ghasisadeh from Kann Finch Group in Sydney (, it’s all about quality and sustainable decorating. Whether it be at home or the office, here are their top ideas.

USING TACTILE MATERIALS - Designers and decorators around the globe have gone crazy over combining textures. According to Ron and Farnam, a common trend in residential and commercial designing is about combining tactile materials that people want to touch – not just see. “Fabric wall panels, perforated leathers, woven fabrics all scream ‘touch me’. This can be extended to walls, furniture, cushions, curtains, carpets and rugs,” says Farnam.

SPECIFIC LIGHTING - “Steer away from floods of light and concentrate on creating pools of light to highlight areas,” Farnam suggests. Concentrate on the decorative materials in the home, parts of ceiling, artworks, pieces of furniture, or your favourite objects. Opting for more indirect lighting (using dimmers, low level lighting, candles, or a few scattered lamps) will also create the right mood.

NO FILLERS, JUST KILLERS - Ron and Farnam suggest being patient when on the hunt for the perfect piece in your home. “Avoid replicas at all costs and wait for the real thing,” says Farnam. “Your kids will thank you! They age far more beautifully, last longer and increase in value. Even if you can only buy one, collect over the years. The emotional attachment and satisfaction is so much more.” If you splurge on an item, be sure to “let it shine” and be noticed in all its glory!

WORK IN PROGRESS - If you’re a collector, it’s important you accept the fact that everything doesn’t always arrive at once. Farnam recommends you be patient and collect over the years. “This way you get to express yourself not the department store. Your spaces should be a natural evolution to reflect you. Things may come and go as times and families change, but the quality pieces will remain and will encourage a sense of tradition and nostalgia in family and your visitors.”

CUSTOM-BUILT JOINERY - Having furniture made specific to you and the design of your home is becoming a very popular thing to do. “They’re longer lasting and purpose built to suit your belongings and use,” says Farnam. The most popular pieces include cabinets, credenzas, sideboards and bedheads.

AGE GRACEFULLY - “Understand that with wear and tear, materials will age but like a fine wine,” urges Farnam. So, when on the hunt for furniture or decorative talking pieces, consider longevity of materials and embrace those that do age gracefully.

SOLID ALTERNATIVES - Real materials may cost more up front but will not need to be replaced like the cheaper ones. “Stone, Leather, Metal and solid timber will only get better with age,” says Farnam. If solid timber is too expensive, timber veneer is better than laminate. If bronze is too expensive, bronze plate mild steel. “Some cheats cheats are allowed!”

ARTISTIC INTEREST - “Size isn’t everything,” says Farnam. While larger spaces can accommodate larger artworks naturally, smaller artworks can be more affective in creating interest and the notion of exploring. “Ask the artist on how and where to optimally display if possible.”

TECHNOLOGY IN THE HOME - Gone are the days when checking your emails if strictly restricted to the home study. “Consider the location of technology,” says Farnam. “Wireless means the computer should be allowed at the dining table – when you’re not dining!” So, don’t be afraid to re-invent the study by bringing your laptop to other areas of the home. That’s the original idea of introducing a mobile computer, after all!

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