I never get tired of talking about our home makeover. It’s so much fun to see something that you’ve dreamed of for so long come to life. A great friend of mine and talented interior designer Lisette of Lisette Voûte Designs, has shared with us some of her top tips for refreshing the space in your home without a major overhaul or any heavy refurbishing. She is so talented with an excellent eye for detail and super chic taste, so I’m really excited to share her advice for bringing a new lease on life to your home! Below are five of Lisette’s top tips.
Add a little Greenery
‘Greenery’ is Pantone’s colour of 2017, and I’m totally sold on this color. You might have read in my book or on this previous blog post about the science of color. Science supports the idea that green evokes a sense of nature and calm, which I think couldn’t be more important for the home. Lisette suggests a soft sage green in a living room or bedroom, a grey-green on kitchen units, a minty green in a bathroom, and a deep dark woodsy green for smaller rooms, such as a study, or if you want to be more dramatic! For a smaller uplift, you could paint an existing piece of furniture you have in a dark or mossy green, or add a couple of green accents such as a green table lamp, or even some foliage (such as eucalyptus stems) in a glass vase for bringing an instant touch of nature into the room. My favorite succulents and tropical leaves!
Choose plain curtains and patterned accessories
Lisette recommends curtains to bring softness and texture to a room. But generally patterned fabrics cost a lot more than plain fabrics and the pattern can be lost when the curtains drawn back. So choose plain curtains instead, and bring pattern into a room through your accessories. In choosing plain curtains you can add colour and texture to the room without making it overly busy; it’s a slightly more modern take but works well in both classic and modern rooms – then I add in pattern through cushions, rugs, throws, and lampshades. If you’re in love with an expensive fabric, Lisette suggests considering making it into a throw, cushion or a lampshade instead – I’m a big advocate of this trick. Ready-made cushions can be very good value and instantly transform a room. Patterned lampshades are also a big trend – it’s another easy way to lift up a room or add a bit of pattern. You could also get one made up in your favourite fabric by a local lampshade maker, or Etsy has quite a few options too.
Update with a rug
Another easy update to a room that packs a lot of punch is putting in (or switching out) a fun rug. Turkish, Anatolian and tribal rugs are very popular and work in all kinds of settings. Lisette really likes the slightly faded look, for a more lived-in feel. When choosing, pick one which ties into your room’s colour scheme to avoid everything looking too busy – you don’t have to spend a ton for a great looking rug either.
If your room already has a lot of pattern and you want to add warmth and texture without creating a sense of ‘clutter’, stick to a natural rug (jute is lovely) with a coloured border for that little pop of colour, or a striped rug – you can never go wrong with stripes!
Switch to warmer finishes
In the past, chrome and stainless steel has been used throughout the house as the ‘standard’ for hardware and finishes – on door hardware, bathrooms, lighting and light switches, stair railings, you name it. But recently there’s been a complete shift to the ‘warmer’ and darker metals such as brass and bronze. They’re much softer and warmer than the cool colours of chrome and steel, so work much better in the homely living spaces of a house such as living rooms, bedrooms, etc. They’ve even become a big trend to use in bathrooms and kitchens, particularly with open-plan living, kitchens often now sit within the living space so it’s nice to have it blend in more with the living room and feel less cold or sterile. Bathware and taps are now also becoming more available in brass and other finishes (I’m obsessed with mine from Brizo). To avoid that eighties ‘gold’ look stick to brushed or aged brass or bronze. These finishes can also be extended to your furniture – instead of tables or chairs with steel legs, go for the warmer bronze or brass options – it’s much softer, works better in a living space and is also more modern.