Do You Have a Minute? Quick and Easy Ways to Style Your Home
Author: Georgia Madden Date Posted:28 July 2017
Decorating pros reveal the secrets to giving your home a fresh new look in record time
5 minutes free?
Go super-sized: Adding in an oversized accessory is one of the quickest and easiest ways to add drama and interest to a space. And you don’t always have to look far for ideas – an oversized lamp or some bold greenery that you’ve picked from the garden will do the trick. Little touches such as these instantly draw the eye and add character to your home.
Create a beautiful vignette: If you’ve got a window of 10 minutes, use the time to create an eye-catching arrangement on a coffee table or console.
You don’t need much to create impact; stack a couple of books, top with a scented candle, a small bowl and some greenery. When it comes to scent, try lime, coconut, jasmine and mango as they smell like summer and make you feel as though you’re on holiday.
Learn to decorate a coffee table
Switch things up: You don’t necessarily have to go out and buy new pieces to update your interior – sometimes it’s enough just to rearrange the things you already own.
Moving your artwork is a great starting point. Many of us hang our artwork and just leave it there, but bringing something in from another room can transform the space and allow you to enjoy the piece all over again – and at no extra cost.
Rearranging glassware and ceramics into groups on a unit like this can give you the look of a beautifully styled magazine. Plus, it means that everything will be right at your fingertips when you’re cooking or entertaining. Put items you use regularly within easy reach, and those things you use less regularly, such as platters and appliances, at the upper and lower levels. Group pieces according to size, colour or material. For example, a medley of white vases and vessels, stacks of identical plates and similar glassware would all look great grouped together.
5 minutes free?
Add in something new: It’s amazing how different a room can look when you simply change the position of a lamp, add a vase of flowers, or rearrange a bookshelf to look a bit more easy on the eye.
Arrange flowers with care: People often plonk flowers straight from their wrapping into a vase, which doesn’t tend to look great. Cutting the stems low will make a big difference, and it barely takes any time at all. I like to cut them low enough so the flower heads are positioned just above the lip of the vase – this way the flowers themselves are the focus and not the stems.
Edit your bookshelf: Bookshelves can be such a dominating visual feature in a room and yet they’re often stuffed with books and clutter. If you’ve got a morning or afternoon free, give your bookshelves the attention they deserve.
Start by editing what’s currently there. Remove any tattered books or objects you no longer love. Allocate space on your shelves not just for books, but for collectables and picture frames too. Using shelves as a space to showcase your personality and what matters to you is a really nice touch. Resist the temptation to overfill shelves – allow for plenty of breathing space around each item so the eye knows where to fall.
30 minutes free?
Upcycle old vessels: Give old vessels and decor items you might have tucked away in the back of cupboards a new lease on life by turning them into a beautiful vignette, using simple foliage picked from the garden.
To work out how to create the most appealing set-up, lay everything out on the dining table or kitchen benchtop and try different combinations – usually three is the magic number for grouping decor items. For the greatest impact, look to mix pieces of different shapes and heights, but with a unifying element, such as colour. Pop your foliage in the most suitable one and place on a console, sideboard, shelf or mantelpiece.
Create a cosy reading spot: Love nothing better than curling up with a good book? Take a couple of hours to set up a cosy reading corner.
Reposition your favourite comfy armchair to a corner of the room that’s close to a powerpoint. Splash out on a stylish new floor lamp, add in a gorgeous cushion and throw, and finish off with a little side table or ottoman to pop your feet or a book on.
Make a gallery wall: Creating a photo wall is a great way to make use of all those photographs filling up your hard drive, and gives visitors to your home a hint about where you’ve been and what matters most to you. Doing it right will take you a day or two.
Start by choosing your favourite photos or prints. Take them with you when you shop for frames so you can choose the perfect sizes and finishes. Black, white and pale timber frames will give you a smart and timeless look.
Once you have mounted pictures in their new frames, mark out the size of the wall on a flat surface, such as the floor or kitchen table. You can then play around with different arrangements until you find the one that works best. Rather than nailing pictures into the wall, consider using removable picture hanging strips, which won’t leave a mark on walls if you change your mind.
1 hour free?
Freshen up your surfaces: An hour is the perfect amount of time to refresh surfaces such as the mantelpiece, dresser, sideboard or coffee table. Give them a wipe down and then look at ways to re-style them – move things around, add in a different piece that you’ve had tucked away, or swap old magazines for new ones. Put loose items such as coins and keys in pretty bowls, trays or pots and either group them together in odd numbers or place on top of a stack of books or magazines.
Create a warm welcome: The entrance to our home is often neglected, yet it’s the first thing visitors see, so it’s worth showing it some love. Start by giving your front door, steps and verandah a good sweep and wash, and then polish your front door handle. If you’ve got time, consider giving the door a new coat of paint – a whole new colour will give your home a dramatic lift (fire engine red, periwinkle blue and primrose yellow are some of my favourites).
Add in a new (or well-vacuumed) doormat and a planter. If you have the space, pop in a chair or two and a small table. Wash and dry any outdoor upholstery and consider adding a few new outdoor cushions and a throw for cooler days.
1 hour free?
Add in seasonal soft furnishings: One of the easiest ways to update your living room once spring rolls in is to swap heavy throws and textured cushions on the sofa for lighter ones. Coral and pale blue are refreshing replacements for the rich jewel shades that have dominated this winter.
For a relaxed look, layer up cushions of different sizes, styles, patterns and textures. Make sure they have one or two unifying colours between them to create a sense of cohesion.
Update the small details: Never underestimate the power of little things, such as doorknobs and handles, to affect the look of your interior. If you have an hour or two free, consider replacing dated ones with smart, new styles. Leather handles are one of my favourites – they look amazing on drawers and bedside tables, and can add softness and texture to very solid furniture.
Up the chill factor: Give your bedroom a luxury overhaul by adding in soothing colours and sumptuous textures. Changing heavy bedlinen for crisp linens, cottons and bamboo will take nearly no time at all. If you’ve got more time on your hands and want to give the room a whole new feel, consider repainting the walls. Muted blues and greens are perfect for creating a relaxing vibe in a bedroom, and they look great paired with a white trim.
What will your next styling project be? Tell us in the Comments section below. And if you enjoyed this story, don’t forget to like it, share it, bookmark it and join the conversation.