Styling your home
Tips from a professional
Mary Donnelly, owner of Hot Properties Staging & Styling, shares the benefits of hiring a professional interior designer and handy tips to consider when having a go at DIY.
Whether you have just built your dream home, renovated or simply feel like changing up the interior of your home, a professional interior designer can help you easily navigate the process of styling.
You may feel intimidated by the thought of hiring a professional to help with styling your home or think it’s too costly. Before deciding whether to hire a professional, here are some benefits to consider.
- An interior designer or professional stylist will work with you to ensure that each space within your home is personalised to reflect you and your family’s needs and wants.
- They will help you save money and time by avoiding expensive mistakes and doing the tedious legwork for you
- Professional stylists have the advantage of resources and knowledge of where to purchase items to suit your needs.
Areas of expertise:
Colour – the colour choices in your home are important for the look and mood of the spaces in your home, especially when considering wall colours.
Space – choosing the right type and size of furniture is crucial and you don’t want to get this wrong. There’s nothing worse than having oversized furniture in a space, making it look cluttered.
Function – your new purchases not only need to look fabulous, but they need to suit the needs of you and your family.
Trends – a professional will be up to date on the latest trends in colour and style, ensuring you will be happy with the new look of your home now and for many years to come!
The cost of hiring a professional can differ considerably so it’s best to do your homework. Our recommendation would be to speak to a few local experts as it’s just as important that you feel comfortable with your choice of stylist. The approximate cost of a stylist starts from $300 for the initial in-home consultation and an hourly rate from $80+ for ongoing services such as sourcing furniture for your home.
Whether you have a natural flair for interior styling or you are just confident enough to DIY here are some things to consider to make the experience more exciting and less stressful!
Firstly, don’t try and take on all areas of the home at once as you may become overwhelmed – finish one area before you move to the next.
Secondly, make a list of items you wish to buy for each area of the house. For inspiration and tips, it is a good idea to do research on websites such as Houzz or Pinterest to get a feel for what style you are going for. If you have the time and the inclination, you could even make mood boards using images of the things you like so you can get a better sense of where you’re going with the styling.
What to consider when styling your home
Colour choices – One of the biggest impacts you can make to the interior of your home, and relatively inexpensive, is a fresh coat of paint. When selecting your colours it’s good to have an idea of the overall look you want for each space and whether you want to carry the same look and feel throughout your home. Consider the natural or artificial lighting in the space, for example if you are looking at a dark, rich colour for the bedroom, make sure there is enough natural light and space so it doesn’t feel oppressive and too dark.
Spatial awareness – Consider the size of the space you’re working with and placement of furniture and other items. You wouldn’t want an oversized sofa making the space look cramped or an undersized artwork on a massive blank wall! Alternatively, you may have an extra-large living space in which case you could bring the furniture around a rug to make a more intimate conversational area and define the space better.
Lighting – Lighting is important! Consider using dimmer switches in areas where you sit to relax and wind down or alternatively use lamps to give you softer lighting in the space. In areas such as the kitchen and bathrooms, ensure there is enough lighting over preparation and cooking areas. Pendant lights over the benchtop look lovely but they also need to be functional and give off sufficient lighting.
Furniture and decorations – The fun part! Purchasing the larger furniture items is a great place to start. When choosing large items such as sofas or bedroom furniture, function is just as important as aesthetics. Make sure each piece will serve the needs of the people using it. Styling tip - you don’t need to be too “matchy matchy” with items such as your coffee table and entertainment unit or your bed and bedside tables, it’s ok to mix it up!
Once you have selected the larger pieces, you can then focus on items such as rugs, artwork, cushions and decorations. If you have a fairly neutral pallet with your paint and large pieces of furniture, here is where you can bring in the colours and textures you want to introduce. You can choose one piece such as an artwork or rug and then introduce some of the colours from these pieces for your cushions, throws and decorations. These are also the most affordable items to change every now and then.
Whether you engage a professional stylist or you go it alone, planning of the spaces and working with a budget is key! With good planning and research you will make better decisions. After all, you will want to enjoy your newly styled home for a long time to come. Happy styling!
With over 16 years of experience as a qualified Interior Decorator, Mary Donnelly is the Owner and Creative Principal of Hot Properties Staging & Styling. Mary has a passion for interior design and home makeovers, specialising in the area of pre-sale staging and styling. Website: hotpropertystyling.com.au