Giving your home the ‘wow factor’ isn’t as difficult as it sounds. There’s not always the time or the budget for a total refurbishment, so here’s a few ideas that call for neither.
1. Using a very limited colour palette can have a dramatic effect if used in a large room, or even throughout an entire house. A muted tone is best, so it doesn’t become over bearing. Think creams of every hue – buttermilk carpets, a vanilla sofa, off-white walls and light-oak woodwork. Pale greys work well too, as do soft blues.
2. Pick a super-sized feature and show case it, like a huge wall clock that dominates the hall, or a massive mirror in the bedroom. House of Fraser have a great silver-framed, wall-leaning version that is just gorgeous. Make sure nothing else is fighting for attention, so get rid of most other accessories.
3. Use a motif to its fullest by repeating it in lots of places. The trick is not overdoing it or making it look childish, so tread carefully. It could be an animal, like a stag, bee or bird or a shape such as circles or stars. Include it on pieces such as the curtains, picture frames, and a cushion or two.
4. Lighting can create drama. There are magnificent centre pieces that are jaw-dropping, like the ones at House of Fraser. Another way to add impact is to have a pair of matching table lamps either side of a sofa, arm chair or chimney breast.
5. Point out a view. Do you overlook a fine garden, sprawling city or country scene? Then make sure the eyes go straight to it by clearing the way. Remove any fuss on the walls, make sure furniture is not in the way, and provide an outside light if possible.
6. If you like to change things up seasonally, then decorate in a neutral tone and add easily replaceable and inexpensive accents of bright colours. Imagine beige walls and floors with bright-lime cushions, lamp shades and candles. Next season, swap them for something else, like burnt-orange or deep purple, for a whole new look.
7. If matching accessories aren’t your thing, then go for an eclectic look. Mix up textures and patterns – go a little mad. Tartan throws, faux fur cushions, piles of old books and a wall of mis-matched picture frames all go together to create a look that says ‘this old thing?’ but is actually carefully coordinated.
8. On the flip side – go minimalist for a really powerful look. You have to put everything away and in its place every time to make it work, and chuck out anything that isn’t essential. Clear surfaces, straight lines and hidden storage is what it’s all about.