Window treatments can make a significant difference to the natural light in your property. Make sure curtains and blinds are set high or wide enough to remain clear of the windows and allow in the maximum amount of light, even on dull days.
2. BE BRAVE - THINK BIG
Oversized skirting, extra-tall kitchen units and extra wide floor boards create impact.
3. TASK LIGHTING
Lighting is a cost-effective way to boost your design aesthetic and create different moods. Lighting should reflect how the room will be used. All rooms need a variety of light, from ambient and accent lighting to utility and task lighting. Where possible, put in combinations of all of these, with adjustable lights, dimmer switches, lamps, skirting lights and under-cupboard lights. One area often neglected is the staircase. LED strip-lighting to wrap around the stairs can turn it into a real feature.
4 DON’T BE TOO TECHIE
Do not overcomplicate when it comes to technology. It is easy to be drawn in by the latest gizmos and apps that will turn your lights on and off, lock your house or turn your heating on before you get home. These gadgets can often be unreliable, break down and, more often than not, will end up unused. The truth is that even the simplest dimmer switch can create all the mood scenes you need. Instead, only consider the gadgets that will enhance your lifestyle.
5 ANCIENT AND MODERN
In recent years, we have seen a trend towards sharp lines, minimal interiors and neutral colour palettes. But sometimes this is not conducive to relaxed living. So think about mixing modern pieces with some old antique furniture. It gives instant character and that cosy, lived-in look.
6 NATURAL LIGHT
If you have a small, dark home, using natural light to enhance the sense of space is essential. Your paint colour choices can really assist in brightening up your rooms, and the first stage is to consider the direction that each of your windows face. North-facing rooms can often look cold and can benefit from warm wall colours to create a cosier space. Dark rooms should stay away from light-sapping yellow and beige colours. Mirrors can really help brighten any room by being placed opposite windows to bounce the light to the rest of the room.
7 ACCESSORISE WITH COLOUR
Colour is back in — whether you paint a feature wall or are brave enough to paint every wall in a single shade. Keeping the large items of your room or living area neutral, such as sofas or armchairs, will help enhance the overall scheme. Don’t be afraid to use clashing colours on small items such as cushions or dining chairs to make a daring statement and brighten the room.
8 FEATURE WALLPAPER
For those who do not feel that they can go the whole nine yards, a really bold feature wall is the most cost-effective way to add personality and style to your property. Pick a wallpaper with large patterns or paint one wall in a striking and contrasting colour. These will help liven up your space and set your property apart from the deluge of beige that so many British homes favour. To tie the feature wall into your décor, use echoes of the same colour or pattern in your soft furnishings.
9 LINK ROOMS WITH COLOUR
A property can feel disjointed if colours vary dramatically from room to room. To create a flow throughout your home, which will maximise the sense of space, coordinate the colour scheme across all of the rooms. Plan floor by floor, ensuring that colours in linked rooms harmonise together. One suggestion is to use lighter and darker shades of the same colour. Or find hues that complement one another and select shades with the same undertones.
10 TILING AS A STATEMENT
Bathrooms are an opportunity to get creative and be bold with tiling. Mosaic tiling behind a bathtub or in a shower cubicle can create a dramatic statement and help move your bathroom from bland to hotel chic. Consider metro tiles for a retro look. As the tiles are small, think about mixing colours or be brave and intersperse with a metallic finish. Kitchens, too, can be enhanced by creative tiling. Don’t overlook floor tiles either, as large bold floor tiles can add to the sense of space.