As the days get longer and the weather improves, nothing welcomes spring into your home like a big refresh of your interior space. Stylist and interiors blogger Lisa Dawson joined us for an online workshop, offering her expert advice on how to arrange objects on a mantelpiece or shelf, using books, vases, candles and ornaments. According to Lisa, texture is key when sprucing up your home and it’s a lot simpler to do than you may think. Watch the entire talk now below and read on for five tips from Lisa and a selection of experts on how to update your living space.
1. Insider trick = play with scale
Playing with scale is the top trick interior designers use to create an impact and it doesn’t take as much effort as it sounds. Trying a large light pendant with an interesting (but not too flashy) design can add an extra bit of sophistication to a room. The Dipcode Design Drum Pendant Shade on Wayfair (£76.99) is in a simple but large contemporary style, as is the Sagres Pendant light from Made (£49), below, constructed in of-the-moment cane. Larger than life lighting usually works well when hung over a table or chair. Ensure the proportions of the two items complement each other and your home will look ultra-stylish.
2. Greenery is cheap but chic
Morag Hill, Co-Founder of online houseplant delivery service The Little Botanical believes investing in plants is an inexpensive way to brighten up your home. “They add colour and structure, and make a huge difference to any space,” Hill says. As we are now officially in spring, it is the perfect time to bring some colour into your home to celebrate the lighter evenings.”
Having plants will not only bring the outside in, but it’s said to be a mental health boost. According to Healthline, being around plants reduces anxiety and can also improve memory and attention span by 20 percent. At a time where we spend most of our days at home for both work and play, that’s an added bonus.
While you can pop to your local garden centre to find the right plant, online services offer sets to get you going on your journey. The Little Botanical has the My Home Bundle (£65), a collection of best selling low maintenance plants. Plant Savers also offers an affordable selection with each purchase like the extra large Calathea Queen Flamingo plant (£69.99) and its ‘Vivid Colours’ House Plant Selection (£34.99). Each comes with donations going to charity too.
And, if you’re looking for a way to have a frequent influx of greenery then houseplant shop Plant Pet Club offers subscription boxes. The Plant Pets Original subscription (£32 a month) includes an easy to look after plant with a complementing designer pot – or if you’d prefer not to receive a pot alongside it, there’s the option of two ‘naked’ plants. There’s also flexibility in the frequency of deliveries if you’d prefer to get a new plant as little as up to every six months.
For those who’d prefer not to have a plant to look after but are desperate for the look there’s faux options available. Wilko does an artificial succulent in a ceramic pot (£10) and a cheese plant in a black pot (£10) that will have you wondering whether it’s actually the real thing. Amaranthine Blooms also has single stems of artificial flowers including a white short magnolia branch (£14) if you’re looking to create a permanent flower display.
3. Add bold pattern to walls, floors and furniture
Try decorating your walls in a large wall pattern such as The Lawn Collection’s Quint Botanical Wallpaper (£58 per yard/3 feet). “Large-patterned wallpaper has negative space within the pattern which really helps to broaden the feel of the room. The large-sweeping florals of Quint Botanical draw your eye across the space, expanding it and making it feel bigger and brighter,” says founder Jess Murphy.
Eye catching patterns on furniture can also freshen up a room. Wayfair offers a Lys Wingback Chair by Marlow Home Co. (£459.99) which has a Chesterfield design with an added selection of patchwork patterns.
Rugs are also a go to option. “An easy way to incorporate large patterns into your home is by introducing a rug,” says Omar Sid, founder of Rug Artisan. “A large pattern creates a focal point in a spacious room as well as being aesthetically pleasing. They work extremely well in minimalist environments and a pattern is a good way to showcase current trends. In addition, choosing the right design can create the illusion of a much more spacious room.” The company suggests its Frizzle and Olivine rugs, which come in a range of shapes, colours and sizes.
4. Reframe and reposition your art
For Lisa, art is the go to way to refresh a home and simply swapping things around can make it seem as if it’s had a makeover. “There’s pieces that have been in pretty much every room of my house,” she says. “You can totally change the look of a space.” Another option is to reframe a piece or put something new up, which she suggests going to Easy Frame to do if you’re looking for a reasonable price for something with odd dimensions.
Choosing the right frame is as significant in shaping the look of your house as choosing the art is. A frame has the power to make a pricey piece of art look spectacular and make a mundane one stand out and you don’t need to go all out. A sleek look can be achieved after a browse on IKEA frames such as with the Fiskbo frame (from £0.75). For a fancier look on budget, La Redoute has a photo frame with black and gold inlay (£28.85) and another with a pink, gold and grey marble design (£14.25).
Creating a gallery wall is another simple way to make small works of art and photos into one large statement piece. Lisa says curating it on the floor before hanging it up helps to envisage what it will look like before putting it up. If you’re not sure how to start a collection, try browsing websites such as Poster Store which has suggestions for both posters and frames.
If you’re not confident in creating a gallery wall from scratch, try investing in a readymade one. The Colours Of The Earth Gallery Wall (£245.57) with abstract foliage designs and oak frames can be bought as the set pictured or individually with customised sizes and frame types.
5. Spice up your display unit
You don’t need to know what will go in a shelving unit before purchasing one (though it doesn’t hurt). The joy comes from filling it up which you can do over time as you stumble on items you’d like in your home. But Michelle Kear, Web Merchandiser for Homes at La Redoute says you should still think practically about what it is you want to do with it. “Make sure to be realistic with your priorities when choosing a new shelving unit,” Kear says. “Think about whether you need something larger with closed off functional storage sections, or if you want open shelving to show off your beautiful décor pieces.” For displaying ornaments La Redoute suggests the Watford Walnut and Metal Stepped Shelving Unit (£385.00) or for storage with a small bit of room for showing off there’s the Lindley Hallway Bench in Solid Pine (£245).
‘When it comes to styling your shelves, try grouping items in threes to inject some depth and symmetry into your displays. Use items with varying heights, textures, and colours to add visual interest,” Kear adds. Candles, plants and vases are popular options. Selfridges has a Hood Ceramics stoneware vessel (£58.00) that can be used as a candle holder and 101 Copenhagen does small square vases (£50) in a style that is very in vogue.