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Top 10 interior design shortcuts

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Sometimes in life we simply don’t have enough time to carry out the tasks that we know need doing, and it can lead to them building up over time.

The same principle applies when it comes to decorating or furnishing our home – a lick of paint to touch up a wall can turn into the entire wall, while a new cushion soon becomes a new armchair if left too long.

This list of handy interior design shortcuts can help you to spruce up your home without needing to take a week off work to do so.

Keep the colours simple

You don’t have to paint every single a room a different colour to distinguish it from the rest of the house; simply using a similar colour can help to add balanced tones that create a consistent theme without looking samey.

Spend your money on statement pieces

When buying new furniture, keep a close correlation between the price you’re paying for them and where they will sit in the room. If you’ll be splashing out for a statement piece, then place it front and centre and save the shortcuts for the background.

Double up on the pillows and cushions

While some people will inevitably go overboard with cushions and make sofas impossible to sit on and beds impossible to sleep on, doubling from two pieces to four can add a sense of both scope and luxury.

Avoid the corporate look

If everything in your home is made of glass or chrome and it all matches perfectly, the look can range from corporate to clinical. Adding an unconventional touch, from different sized dining chairs to mismatched bedside tables, can help to create a warm and quirky feel.

Create an illusion of height

Using furniture of different sizes can help to create an optical illusion that makes your room seem bigger. In spaces that are already large, it can make them feel huge and give both yourself and visitors a different perception of size.

Reflection is perfection

Why buy twice as much furniture when mirrors can make your room look twice as large or full? The ‘barber shop effect’ of strategic mirror placement can substantially increase a room’s perceived size and the amount of furniture in it, reducing the amount of effort you need to put in.

Don’t skimp

Although much has been made of shabby chic, DIY furniture and innovative restoration projects, these all take time and investment. If you’re short on time and willing to shell out, buy the exact pieces you need, which are ready to put in place with minimal effort.

Look to the sky

If you want to make the walls look like they go on forever, then turn your attention to the ceiling. Painting the ceiling a lighter colour than the walls will enable the room to suck up more brightness from the windows and create a greater sense of depth.

Do skimp

Just because you’re going all-in on statement pieces, it doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on all areas of your home. Striking rugs can be bought at low prices, while things such as textiles and lampshades do not have to cost the earth.

Don’t stick to a template

Just because furniture is arranged a certain way in one bedroom, it does not mean that the same system needs to apply in another, particularly if they are different sizes. Changing things up and matching the furniture to the room, rather than vice-versa, is the way to go.


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