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12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home

January 16, 2019
12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home

A New Year often begets us wanting to make changes to our homes as well as our lifestyles. Half the problem can be knowing where to start (especially if it’s been a while.)

Kitchen makeover using Banana Leaf wall mural from Photowall Sweden.
The I.E. Hubs getting his decorating hat on last year with our Kitchen makeover with Photowall

So whilst this time last year I delved into How To Create a Happy & Healthy Home, I thought we’d take a look at some practical tips moving forward when it comes to updating our homes. You may even want to bookmark/pin to Pinterest so you can keep this as a reminder.

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home

1. Declutter

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Decluttering is a good place to start. Reassessing the amount of possessions you own and clear out shelves and cupboards.
Ceramic ‘Grid’ Pot, Geometric Ceramic Pot |Washable Paper Storage Bag |From
White Black Grey

A good a place to start to give your home a refresh is to assess the amount of stuff you own. Reassessing your possessions can be good for your wellbeing not just your home. There’s something quite refreshing about clearing our shelves and cupboards don’t you think.

If your thinking of updating any part of your home, decluttering is a good place to start as any. It’ll provide you with the opportunity not only to get rid of unwanted/unloved possessions but also make you realise those impromptu purchases where you’ve maybe seen something in the sale and thought was a bargain, really wasn’t worth the time, money or effort.

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Buy artisan (handmade) pieces that you'll love and cherish like this handcrafted mini stool from Vincent Trading which is made from reclaimed wood.
Hand crafted – Vincent Trading Mini Stool

Long Term Buying Goals: To ensure you don’t gather unwanted possessions in your homes in the future. Take time to research key pieces that’ll you’ll love for your homes. Try buying artisan (handmade) pieces that will be cherished and have a makers story attached to them.

2. Storage

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Storage is key to keeping your homes clutter free. Invest in multifunctional pieces such as this Umbra Cubiko Wall Mirror and Storage Unit for your bathrooms will help.
Umbra Cubiko Wall Mirror & Storage Unit – (currently unavailable)
Hurn & Hurn

No matter how amazing a room looks, unless you’ve given due thought and consideration to your storage needs, it will bring stress and unhappiness. Something we knew too well before our bedroom makeover.

Happy with your decor choices but feel overwhelmed with nowhere to put things? Having the correct storage fit for purpose in any part of the home will help with your wellbeing and keep those stress levels down.

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | The smallest of storage solutions can help keep you organised such as this brass stationery organiser from Hurn and Hurn.
Organise your desk with this Brass stationery organiser – Hurn and Hurn

Even the smallest storage solutions can be beneficial from somewhere to put your toothbrush to a permanent place to hang your keys. There are so many clever storage solutions today that there really isn’t anything that can’t be organised and/or stored.

3. Plan Like A Pro!

My easy guide to Drawing a Floor Plan

If you’re going the whole hog and completely redesigning a room, you’ll need to put time and effort in to ensure you reap the rewards of your hard work.

Planning is an essential part of the process. From ensuring your furniture will fit, to where you might need lighting as well as making sure that the room works as you intend it to.

4. Be Brave and Decorate With Confidence!

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Decorate with confidence by choosing decor that you'll love. This Beverly Hills Mint Wallpaper is playful and nature inspired and is a fun way to introduce colour and pattern.
Decoville – Beverly Hills Mint Wallpaper

One of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to decorating our homes is having the confidence to implement our decor choices. More often than not, we’ll fall in love with a bold wallpaper but when it comes to actually buying and papering our walls, we opt for a less conspicuous design and play it safe. You’ll be left with an okay space but not necessarily one you’ll love. And you’ll be thinking if only I had…!!

Decorating Goal: Try to be braver with your decor choices and go with your gut instinct otherwise, you might be left wanting.

I’ve written a few posts over the years to help guide and see the benefits of decorating by thinking outside the box. I’ve included a few of these posts like this one below on decorating your ceilings. Feel free to delve in and out of this post to finally overcome your decorating demons.

Then there are the inescapable thoughts of what others may think that creep in as well as ‘will it add long term value,  should you ever decide to move. I say blah to bland boring homes, give me personality and character any day!

Decorating Goal: Decorate for the here and now and more importantly FOR YOU. Unless you’re going to move tomorrow, decorating your home to suit your needs and tastes now will pay off and, of course, make you happier with a home that’ll you’ll love.

Small Steps To Greater Confidence…

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Try introducing colour and pattern with small details such as soft furnishings. This Velvet Emerald Green Bedspread from The French Bedroom Company.
Image – Plushious Velvet Emerald Green Bedspread – The French Bedroom Company

If you’re still apprehensive when it comes to introducing colour and pattern. Try experimenting by introducing small details with soft furnishings.

Cushions and throws, even a piece of art can help enliven up our homes and make it easier to brave your next paint colour choice.

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Add colour and pattern to your floors with decorative rugs like this Accessorize 017 rug from Modern Rugs.
Accessorize 017 rug 
Modern Rugs

Once you’ve put a stop to your worry monkey, you can then go on to experiment with larger decorative pieces such as rugs.

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Colour blocking adds instant visual interest. This bright and sunny living space benefits from using yellow paintwork to create happy vibes.
Image – Carpetright  SS19 Kahrs Tres Erve Matt Lacquered Wood Flooring In Matt Lacquered, Monte Carlo Puzzle Grey Rug

You may even feel brave enough to want to dabble with the paintbrush. Why not consider colour blocking and paint one wall/section to create an instant visual interest to an area of your home that you want to highlight.

Overcoming our fear of trying something new can have a massive positive impact on the way that we see and use our homes.

This Guide on How To Use Pattern In Your Homes provides you with a more in-depth look.

Once you’ve begun, try experimenting with different patterns and textures to provide a more personable look to a room.

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Introduce pattern and colour with artwork such as these framed Cactic posters from Pixers.
Image – Cacti Gallery | Framed posters

A good place to start experimenting with pattern and colour is with artwork or decorative objects. Think about their forms (shapes) and vary their scale and proportion and introduce different shaped objects to add as much visual interest.

Just think, before you know it you’ll be decorating everywhere with your new found confidence. Such is the snowball effect that has happened in the I.E., household as the Hubs plans his next phase of decorating.

5. Do Your Research!

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home
Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration for up coming projects that you may have. Pin from anywhere on the web and then refer back to your boards for your projects.

Look for inspiration to see how others may have used a similar colour, pattern or paper. Pinterest and Instagram are your one-stop online places for the latest trends and colour inspirations.

Don’t restrict yourself to the web or magazines either. Inspiration for our homes can be found everywhere; from your favourite restaurant, hotel visit or perhaps boutique you’ve visited. Take a quick snap with your phone and you’ve got a reminder of what sparked joy in you.

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Bedroom Redesign Surprise Update & Moodboard Inspiration!
Mood boards allow you the freedom to play with different styles/looks as well as providing you with the foundation to work from when decorating and redesigning a room.Moodboard Bedroom Concept – The Interior Editor

Once you’ve built up a collection of what you love, you’ll be able to see what will work with your own personal style and tastes.

6. The Beautiful Everyday

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Decorative brass handles add interest to bespoke wardrobes.
Dowsing & Reynolds Skyscraper Handles – Bedroom Makeover Reveal – The Interior Editor

Looking to update your homes without breaking the bank? Think about changing up everyday objects.

An example could be as simple as changing up the handles on a cupboard or drawer unit. They’ll not only add visual interest but will be a joy to use too!

7. Something Old…

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Old books are used to style and create a fireplace mantle vignette. Great for creating interest, texture to a space.
I love mixing my love of old books, charity shop finds (Art) with new discoveries like these Anthology Five STEM Vase/Oil Candle

We often fool ourselves into thinking we have to buy new when we are updating our homes. My advice is don’t! Every space benefits from introducing something old whether it be a standout piece of furniture that’s full of character or an object that you may have found in a thrift/charity shop.

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Art Deco statue styled in bedroom makeover. This piece inspired the overall look and feel of the bedroom.
This Art Deco Dancing Lady has been a childhood favourite inspiring and feeding my love of dancing as a young professional dancer. Bedroom Makeover – The Reveal- The Interior Editor

These one-off pieces will add character and make your homes more personable and unique. They’re often conversational pieces too. I often wonder about the pieces I’ve collected and create whimsical theories about where a decorative piece may have lived, who owned it and so on. They hold a little piece of history which new just can’t compete with.

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Vintage butterfly artwork that adds to a botanical styled space.
Charity shop find – Butterfly Artwork compliments my kitchen botanical inspired decor. The Interior Editor

I love that there’s often a story attached to older decorative pieces no matter how small or large they are. They add interest and character that newer pieces cannot. Making your homes unique and personable.


12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Up-cycled furniture to create a unique sink unit for a powder room.
A Home Built on Love & Romance – Melmitchia Home Tour

If you like the look of an antique piece of furniture but it doesn’t necessarily fit in with your current style/scheme think about giving it a new lease of life with a lick of paint or why not decoupage. Both Mel and Elle discovered unique furniture pieces for their bathrooms. This can be cheaper than buying new and adds the wow factor too.

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Decoupaged up-cycled furniture to create a sink unit for a bathroom.
Bathroom from – Elles Scandi Modern French Vintage Home Tour

8. D.I.Y. No Matter How Small

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Alijoedesigns decorative vintage plates are given a makeover with a charity shop find frame and backed with Pearl Lowe, Va Va Frome Wallpaper from Woodchip & Magnolia
I may not have been trusted with decorating the walls in their entirety but by painting and papering the back of this charity shop frame to hang our alijoedesigns plates to me is incredibly satisfying. Bedroom Makeover – The Reveal

Surprise yourself and save money at the same time. I agree that not all of us are born decorators or DIYer’s, myself included. That said, there is a great feeling of satisfaction of accomplishment in applying effort and time into contributing to your home’s decor. Whether that’s trying your hand at wallpapering or grabbing hold of the paintbrush, it really is rewarding to see your endeavours unfold. And let’s face it you’ll never know your capabilities unless you give it a go.

It’s also cost effective and like us, you’ll save money for all those important accessories or longed for art.

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Flower Pressing to create a unique piece of art for the home.
Flower pressing at Sainsbury’s Home Press event – My end picture (Frame and candle – Sainsbury’s Home both of which are adorning our new bedroom.

Or maybe learn to do something new. At Sainsburys Home Christmas preview last summer, I got to have a go at flower pressing for the first time. I thoroughly enjoyed the process as well as the end result. And my little flower press art now forms part of our bedroom decor, I’m that chuffed with my new found skill.

9. Don’t Match!

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home
Try experimenting with pattern and textures to create a more personable unique look. _ Image – Pixers

Unless you want your home to look like it’s come straight out of a Next catalogue, try mixing up your rooms look by buying from different sources. It’s easy to see a look in a catalogue and think you have to buy everything to match. Just think if we all did this, our homes would all look the same and be devoid of our own personalities.

10. Decorate With Books

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Books are brilliant for vignettes and coffee table decor. Here books are styled with STEM vases from Anthology Five.
Anthology Five STEM vases with a selection of my well-loved childhood books form a beautiful coffee table vignette

Books are brilliant for vignettes and coffee tables. They can add height, colour and texture to your homes. It’s a simple and cost-effective way to introduce colour, different levels of height as well as being able to show off your favourite books.

11. Put A Smile On Your Face

12 Essential Design Tips To Help Update ​Your Home | Solid brass Diving Man Wall Hook from Rockett St George adds a fun element to our bedroom makeover.
Diving Man Wall Hook Rockett St George – Bedroom Makeover Reveal

Life can be like a bat out of hell crazy most of the time don’t you think? Whether it’s being your kid’s taxi service, working all hours or trying to keep a grip on your ever-growing to-do lists, life can be pretty hectic. It’s easy to get bogged down with day to day life. It’s good to remind ourselves to smile and take stock. Adding something quirky into your decor will brighten up your day no end!

12. Slow Decorating…

More often than not, when we start to redecorate/redesign a space, we have the view that we have to finalise every single detail. Personally, I don’t think a room is ever finished. As long as you have set the right foundations to creating a room you’ll love, you can take your time to add the finer details. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day and, for me, I love the hunt for a particular missing piece. It’s also immensely rewarding when you come across an unexpected decorative find.

I hope that you’ve found today’s post helpful for this years projects that you may have on your agenda. And please feel free to drop me a line either in the comments box below or the contact form in the side bar.

Have a wonderful week! And thanks for stopping by!

Maria xx

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1 Comment

  • Reply Dylan Peterson September 30, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    I appreciate what you said about mixing and matching the decorations in your home. My wife and I recently bought a new house, and we’d like to give it a personal flair. We’ll be sure to look further into our options for mixing decorations in the future.

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