Art + Interiors

8 Design Hacks To Help You Make The Most Of Your Home

By Anna May - 07 Apr 2015

How is it that even though you’ve bought all of the right pieces and done all the hard work, you can never quite get that ‘finished’ look that the guys on The Block seem to pull off effortlessly? We wish we knew.

Luckily, our friends at one of Sydney’s best design stores, BoConcept in Crows Nest and Moore Park, have helped us out. 

Design Hack #1: Edit Your Style

Your style is exactly that: yours. It’s likely to be a hybrid of a lot of different styles you like. The key to getting it polished and magazine-worthy, though, is consistency. Start by pulling together a mood board, use images from Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, and magazines. Refer to your mood board before you make purchases to check your new item suits your style edit. 

Design Hack #2: Shop like a pro; enlist the (free) services of an interior designer

The upside to shopping at a more boutique-style store is that you can take advantage of their in-house experts. 

Eliza Williams, BoConcept’s marketing manager tells us, “At BoConcept, all of our staff members are certified interior designers, meaning they can help you make definitive and well-informed decisions about what pieces to pick out for your home. They can help you bounce around ideas, or you can go nuts and book an in-home consultation so they can see the space you’re working with and create a scheme for you”.

Design Hack #3: Psst… Rooms are made up of three essential layers

Don’t know what that means? Fair enough, neither did we. Basically, without these three layers, the room simply feels incomplete… Because it is.

Layer #1: Essential furniture items. 

To put it simply, room-by-room;

  • Living room: Sofa, TV, and storage.
  • Bedroom: Bed and storage
  • Dining room: Table, chairs, and storage

Layer #2: Essential décor

Again, lost? This simply means the rug, window furnishings, lamps and lighting, as well as shelves or artwork on the walls. This layer is generally the most important, adding that lovely warmth and visual contrast that pulls a room together.

Layer #3: Loose Décor.

This is normally an ever-changing edit of your personal pieces, practically anything from cushions to vases, books, plants, and flowers.

Design Hack #4: Maximising your space

Doesn’t matter if you have a tiny studio apartment or a massive room that is difficult to fill, there are easy ways to make the most out of it. When it comes to small spaces, look for multi-functional furniture with clever storage tricks. Got a big space and no idea what to do with it? Make sure to buy furniture to the correct scale – a large room will need a sofa with generous proportions. Create intimate areas with rugs, lamps, and artwork.

Design Hack #5: In case you didn’t know; lamps are not optional

Scenario: Your room should be perfect, – the furniture is spot on, your style is working and you’ve nailed the colours… So why is something just… missing? In most cases, it’s because a light is missing or not working. In addition to overhead lighting, here are your basics, room-by-room:

  • Living room: A floor lamp. Look for a style and proportions that suit your space.
  • Dining room: pendant lighting over the table. If that’s not possible, consider an arching floor lamp to go over your table. 
  • Bedroom: Two bedside lamps. The type is up to you – Pendant lights above your bedside, table lamps, floor lamps, or even a globe on a chair will work.

Design Hack #6: Rug Rules

Much like the lamp, this single item can completely transform a room. Don’t be scared of rugs, they anchor the furniture, tie the colours together, and add texture and warmth. Everything looks better with a rug. Here are some pointers to get you started:

  • Size: The bigger the better, always. Ideally your sofa legs should be sitting on your rug. 
  • Style: Choose a rug to enhance your chosen style. Go with bold and graphic for contemporary, or Persian for traditional.
  • Rug hack: Can’t get your head around rugs? Go for a cow hide rug; they look good in almost all styles and settings.

Hack #7: Colour made easy

  • Want neutrals? Keep your walls basic. Furniture-wise, make sure to include interesting textures. And when it comes to décor, try to introduce some colour; whether it’s bold or subdued. Just be consistent!
  • Feeling some colour? Go for a wallpaper or paint, then select focal furniture piece in your favourite colours, and tie it together with neutral accessories.
  • If you’re keen for colour everywhere, don’t hold back, paint the walls! Then choose coloured furniture and stick to a consistent palette to give it cohesiveness. For décor, choose accessories that use your selected colours in different patterns to pull your scheme together.

Design Hack #8: Furnish your vertical space

Options for walls aren’t just limited to art. You’ve got a huge range of alternatives to choose from – think shelves, bookcases, mirrors, frames, wallpapers, paint, and lighting. Choose your focal wall and stick something on it.

Don’t be fooled by the idea that you if you can’t afford expensive art, you can’t have art. There are loads of options for us non-millionaires – try an inexpensive print on canvas or framing your own print-outs.

Image credit: BoConcept

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