With 2015 drawing to a close, we felt it would be the perfect opportunity to collate our favourite design tips as featured on our blog over the past twelve months. From introducing contrasting colours into your interior to designing a space that truly reflects your personal style, our top tips are sure to help you create a desirable home and garden without the high-end price tag. Enjoy!
1. An imperfect collection of decorative pillows in a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures are a sure-fire way to add colour and dimension to sofas and settees. Avoid keeping them perfectly plump for a more natural, lived-in feel.
2. If you’re wanting to create the illusion of a taller ceiling or larger windows, hang curtains from as high up as possible to elongate the space.
3. Houseplants are an excellent way to enhance your home by adding an instant fresh feel to interior spaces. Plus, they’re proven to boost productivity and well-being by as much as 47% whilst lasting much longer than a bouquet of flowers.
4. If you don’t have the spare time to care for your garden, aim to have less than a third of your space as lawn in order to reduce maintenance. Decking boards are an excellent substitute to grass as they need very little aftercare, and of course, there’s no mowing required!
5. Who says outdoor lighting is just for Christmas? A garland of large festoon lights is sure to take your outdoor area from noon to night, so they’re ideal for Summer parties and get-togethers. We think they work particularly well draped across outdoor dining tables or our Outdoor Living Pod for an ultra-special alfresco experience.
6. If your kitchen’s looking a little dull, add a pop of colour with a vibrant kettle or piece of china for a fresh and fun feel.
7. Add a slight industrial feel to your home with this season's copper trend, which promises to remain popular in 2016. Metallics should be considered the jewellery for your home with small touches like drawer handles and copper lamp shades making all the difference.
8. If your interior space is made up of largely cool tones, it’s easy to add a splash of warmth with a contrasting colour. For example, a bunch of bright pink flowers will really stand out in a blue room, similar to a purple throw in a room that’s mainly yellow. Simply look around, recognise the missing colour, and introduce a small dose for visual wow.
9. According to statistics, it takes guests just eight seconds to make a judgement of our homes. Therefore, to gain a favourable response from visitors, paint your front door an unusual colour to show your home is well cared for.
10. Try adding an interesting focal point to an otherwise minimal interior with an intricately patterned floor or a striking kitchen countertop. Bold geometric patterns are expected to be big business in 2016, so utilise this look for an on-trend interior.
11. The addition of a patio awning is a great way to create a seamless connection between the interior and exterior of your home whilst allowing you to enjoy the continental alfresco lifestyle all year round. Furthermore, as our patio awnings protect and enhance your terrace or patio, you have the freedom to leave doors and windows open in warm weather and even when it’s raining.
12. Don’t overlook the importance of hanging artwork at the right height. Galleries and museums hang artwork so that the centre of each piece is 57-60 inches from the floor in accordance to the average human eye level. Adapt this principal when arranging artwork in your own home for maximum impact.
13. Keep your porch area tidy throughout all four seasons with a robust wooden box. This is a brilliant way of solving outdoor storage dilemmas, plus it keeps dirty boots and wellies away from the house and, most importantly, any cream carpets!
14. Outdoor furniture is key for any garden gathering, and whether you own a wooden, metal or rattan set, it's vital to care for your furniture in order to keep it looking its best ahead of your guest's arrival. Coat wooden furniture with a stained oil to keep it fully protected, or use a pressure washer to ensure your metal table and chairs remain in tiptop condition.
15. Did you know floors account for as much as 10% of heat loss if they're not insulated? Whilst we love the rustic look of bare floorboards, unlike carpets, they’re often guilty of allowing heat to escape. To avoid this, invest in a couple of high-quality rugs for extra warmth and a luxurious look.
16. When hosting an alfresco party, soft furnishings, cushions and faux fur throws will bring a homely touch to your outside space. Plus, no party is complete without some music, so make the most of the innovative built-in speakers within the post uprights of our Outdoor Living Pod for crystal-clear sound all night long.
17. Choosing the right paving material is key to bringing your garden to life whilst complimenting the aesthetics of your home. Stylish paved surfaces will enhance your outside space whilst creating the perfect environment to enjoy some alfresco dining alongside our innovative patio awnings. If you prefer a contemporary look, Textured Panache paving with its subtle shimmering finish is a guaranteed way to inject some style into your garden.
18. Sunny patios and terraces offer the ideal growing environment for potted plants. Whether you have a large, lawned garden with a paved dining space or a rooftop terrace, patio plants introduce both colour and texture. For a tropical feel, Bamboo Plants are a great low-maintenance choice for complimenting a contemporary patio design.
19. When it comes to merging the inside of your home with the outside, the correct surface material will ease the transition between the interior and exterior. A clever trick adapted by many interior designers is to consider is the installation of the same (or very similar) floor surface to enhance this illusion.
20. Finally, it’s always worth investing in bespoke pieces so your property really reflects your style. This is key for creating a synergy between the design of your interior and your personal tastes so you feel truly comfortable in your own home.