Twelve tips to improve your home's decor

When it comes to interior design, there are no hard and fast rules. The best approach is to give your imagination free reign and follow your intuition. Having said that, there are some tips and tricks of the trade that you might find useful.

  1. When you move into your new home, wait till you have all your furniture placed around you before you choose a paint colour for the walls. The light in every building is different and what works in one place might not in another.
  2. Leave room to breathe and avoid overcrowding rooms with too much stuff. Spend your money of fewer but better quality pieces. Your rooms will look better if things don’t have to fight for attention. Good news if your budget is tight!
  3. Hang art so that you can see it. The average human eye level is 57ins high, so galleries hang artwork accordingly. They keep the centre line at between 57ins to 60ins from the floor. Not sure? Take a picture to see how it looks before you commit.
  4. Know how to arrange furniture with rugs. There are three possibilities: Fully on with all four legs for a luxurious feel; all four legs kept off the rug; just the front legs on the rug to tie the arrangement together visually and create a well-defined, yet open, space.
  5. Resist well-worn themes, like the bathroom-as-beach hut feel using a blue and while palette and wood panelling. Stamp your individuality on a room without drawing on obvious clichés.
  6. Create a focal point with your star piece or feature and let it anchor the room. It may be a fireplace, a range in the kitchen or a stunning table. Whatever it is, everything else plays a secondary role.
  7. Be prepared NOT to display a collectible if it doesn’t fit in. It may be a vase, an ornament or a piece of art, if it’s not working for you, put it away or find it a new home.
  8. Know when to stop. Find the balance between colours, styles and space. Less usually has more impact.
  9. Vary the scale and proportion within a room. You might have an oversized mirror on the wall above a group of small elements on a table or chest. Make groups of odd numbers – threes and fives – to create a more interesting feature.
  10. Be creative with lighting and add layers to create the drama and depth that one central fixture just wouldn’t manage. Pick a focal point, with a secondary focal point if you like, and highlight those. Add general ambient lighting and some lower lighting, like table lamps, for interest.
  11. Personality makes a space great, so be bold and stamp your mark on your home. Incorporate unexpected elements for drama and charisma. Incorporate the unconventional and unexpected to achieve the wow factor.
  12. Finally, have fun. Go with something personal that makes you smile and, above all, go for comfort. Uber designed rooms and modern life aren’t always the best friends and style comes in many packages!