10 home decoration tips

It’s just the "odds and sods" that make the difference! Take a good look around your home and see what you can move to improve.

Here are ten tips from interior designers that could make a big difference to your life and lifestyle:

1.Show off your prints, pictures and paintings to best advantage. If you hang-em-high they will be lost to view. Hang them at eye level (the height of the average person) and they will be far more noticeable, enhancing the room and furnishings.

2.When it comes to ornaments and accessories, make them odd! Arrange them in odd-numbered groups to achieve balance. This may sound a little odd in itself, but try it and see — remember two’s company, but three makes an eye-catching crowd!

3.Outline your rooms with borders to define your lifestyle. Wallpaper and stencilled or tiled borders are not only decorative and add richness, but they reflect the room-interest. For example, in a child’s room Peter Rabbit hopping around the ceiling is cute and appealing; in the dining room the border pattern can reflect your china pattern; in the bathroom get that relaxing feel with some swimming fish. Be creative. The other advantage is that borders are quick and easy to change when you get tired of them — or they begin to look tired of you!

4.Decorate to make your life easy. Modern families tend to move often — if you do, choose neutral furnishings that can fit into any space and style of home. Use rugs and soft furnishings that are easily replaceable and transportable to add interest. If you have young children and pets, make it easy on yourself by using camouflage colours and easy-clean flooring.

5.A paint-brush can hide a multitude of sins. Used properly, colours and textures can minimise a home’s defects and accentuate the positive features. Light colours, for instance, make a room look bigger — go dark for cosy intimacy. Play with contrasts to highlight room features.

6.Don’t be afraid of wall-coverings. Use textured and printed paper, ceiling mouldings, panelling, even bamboo! Stripes add height and carrying through a pattern or texture (between two open-plan living areas for instance) adds cohesiveness and brings it all together.

7.Colour co-ordinating is important — but it doesn’t have to match! If you are not sure what goes together, buy some decorating magazines and take note; you may be amazed to see red and orange used together, but it can work! Same goes for prints and fabrics — co-ordinated ranges are available to make your choices easier. Just little touches, like co-ordinating your cushions and curtains, add cohesiveness to the overall effect

8.Every room should have a focal point — this can be anything; perhaps the fireplace, a favourite painting, even the hi-fi. Once you have identified your focal point, accentuate it in your decorating — this also adds cohesion to the result.

9.If you don’t like what you have, or are starting from scratch on a new room, it is difficult to know where to start! Make a point of keeping a scrapbook — cut out pictures from magazines of any room you see you really like. When you need to find ideas, page through it and you will probably find you have put together a reference book of your sense of style and what you need to achieve a good result.

10.Never work piecemeal when decorating — before you start you should have an overall plan for your entire home as well as a budget. Start with the basics and keep adding to these as and when you can afford to.

Article by: Lucille Parker - www.iafrica.com