Want to transform your rooms from fine to fabulous? Use our mini masterclasses to introduce the finishing touches that’ll give your schemes a style boost
1. Make sofas inviting
You’ve opted for a living room scheme that’s elegant – or even fairly formal – with a shapely sofa like our Barcelona (above), and classic designs such as furniture with turned legs, but you want the room to feel welcoming, too. Simple! Add cushions to the sofa, but don’t arrange them precisely. Casual is the effect you’re after, striking just the right note of comfort.
2. Make an impact in the hallway
Since it’s the entrance to your home, create a great first impression. We like using a console table – above is the Tuvan – then creating a smart look with matching table lamps and a pair of square mirrors above.
3. Try not-quite symmetry
An alternative for a console, side table, sideboard or mantelpiece is an arrangement that’s symmetrical-ish. What do we mean? Well, the arrangement above is balanced in that there are accessories at either side, but rather than two lamps there’s just one teamed with a group of three decorative pieces opposite. The effect’s more relaxed than our hallway table (see 2, above), but means the items work together to stylish effect. Shown above is the demi lune table.
4. Prop don’t hang
Leaning pictures against the wall is a feature of many gorgeous homes in magazines and online, but it’s not exactly practical for most of us. However, you can get the look without fear of falling over the artwork by using a desktop. Choose different height images and don’t be afraid to overlap them to create a display like this. Above is our New Hampshire modular desk
5. Sort out shelves
You’re going to have to be ruthless here and leave room to breathe between decorative objects. You can mix books, magazines, vases and so on happily – variety is interesting. Do put larger items lower and pick a colour or two to repeat to pull the look together. For best results, don’t forget to step back from time to time while you’re arranging to check the overall effect. Above are New Hampshire double tall bookcases with doors, and we have a huge range of other shelving choices
6. Include a mirror
Up the impact of an area of your room by hanging a generously proportioned mirror. Here, we’ve teamed the Ashford mirror with our Swedish narrow console table to make an eye-catching feature, but you can pull off the same trick above a mantel, or even over a sofa. Make sure you hang the mirror close to the piece of furniture so it doesn’t look as if it’s floating off, and replicate the lines of the furniture below in your choice of mirror – this table and mirror are both attractively curvaceous.
7. Hide in plain sight
Small rooms that don’t have sufficient storage space for all your paperwork? Make a virtue of what could be room-compromising clutter by stashing your documents in decorative files and folders. On show on the shelves they just need to follow the same rules as in 5, above – that is don’t pack out each shelf and work to a common palette of colours. A contrast of arrangements adds interest, too – check out the horizontal piles of magazines teamed with the vertical files here. Shown are our New Hampshire double modular base shelves