HOW TO Improve Your Living Space

Today, we will examine some basic principles that can really improve your living space. This should not detract from you developing your own quirky, creative, rule-breaking intuition. These principles are foundations for your own style.

Less is More
When working on your space think ‘less is more’ Resist overcrowding a room. Gracious living means space to move around with ease. You don’t need to fill up space with lots of furniture. Spend more of your budget on fewer but better-quality pieces, and your room will look better than when it’s stuffed with low-quality items. Find key pieces
that can hold their own in the space. Do get rid of furniture that don’t work with space. Sometimes we hold on to old furniture because of sentiment. Dash it out!

Focal point
There are leading roles and supporting cast members in any production. The same holds true in design. Choose your star and make it the focal point to anchor a room. Allow other items to take a secondary role. Don’t ask everything to have a leading role it will just look chaotic. Your focal point might be a dramatic hood in the kitchen, a mantel and art piece in the living room or a headboard in the bedroom. Whatever it is, choose something that will draw attention. When working on projects, I/ often like to use pieces of art as a focal point in the living room as this can set a general tone to identify the style of the owner. Also ensure your focal point is free and clear from one room to the next, so that it feels like you’re being drawn between them. That’s why the best spot for a focal point is usually directly across from the entrance to the room.

Hang artwork at the right height
Galleries and museums hang artwork so that the centre of each piece is approximately 1.5 metres from the floor. You should do the same when hanging a piece of art. In a room with high ceilings, we may want to hang the art higher but it’s important to note it needs to relate to human scale, not the structure scale

The look
Resist the look to be to theme. For example, if you are going for sea/beach theme you’ll have blue and white nautical palette, some sailboat paintings. Such themes lack originality. You can achieve the look through a palette, artwork and materials that give the effect without drawing on the obvious clichés. When it comes to painting try to pick the paint colour last. It is helpful as there are so many paint colours with various tones and shades. And each one looks different from home to home, because light sources vary, meaning what looks good in your current home might not in your new one. You want the colour that best complements your upholstery, artwork, rug and whatever else. It is actually better to pick the colour when you have all the swatches for furniture/rugs to give the best look for your space. All the above principles help in creating a space while giving a cohesive look. Don’t forget to layer your lighting as discussed in previous articles and choose pieces that also reflect your personality.

By Tola Akerele

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