What do you crave most for your home? For me it’s light and space.
I live in a terraced house built in 1903. It’s pretty roomy but because it still has its original layout it always ends up feeling cramped. We’ve got lots of dark rooms, without much of feeling of light or flow – which gets even worse during winter when there’s only a few hours of daylight.
I’m always on the look out for new inspiration so I was delighted to have the chance to talk to Linsday Biondo – an expert on interior design. Lindsay runs the online interior design service, Get Decorated, and specialises in utilising small spaces.
So, how can I create that much-coveted feeling of light and space?
“Accommodating small spaces is a speciality of Get Decorated,” says Lindsay. “More often than not, proper utilisation of space is the first element of design that we apply to an area. We want to focus on using every sector of the room to its fullest capacity. Then, we work on maximising light, because like in the UK, we have short and dark days throughout the winter. Which means that it’s very important for us to make sure that our clients’ homes feel light and bright throughout the entire year!”
And what are Lindsay’s top tips for achieving this?
“Invest in a big mirror,” says Lindsay. “It helps the room appear larger through its reflection. It also helps bounce any natural and artificial light as well helping to create a brighter space.’
I’ve got a large overmantel mirror in my sitting room and it really helps to brighten the room (which only gets the light in the late afternoon). I’d also like to try this trick in my narrow, dark hallway.
Next up, storage. “Go modular and go vertical,” says Lindsay. “This helps to utilize wall to wall space and ensure you capacity for storing clothes, books, etc.’
This is such a great idea and I’d love more of this kind of storage in my house. We have a lot of books on shelves in the alcoves. I think it would really help open the rooms up if we had then displayed across one wall in modular storage.
When it comes to large pieces of furniture like sofas, armchairs and sideboards, Lindsay suggests choosing pieces with thin legs. Furniture that is off the floor feels less heavy.
I’d never really thought about this before, but actually it makes perfect sense. I’m always drawn to little mid-century style legs on my furniture. It works so much better in my house than squat, dumpy furniture.
When it comes to lighting a space with poor natural light, Lindsay’s advice is to incorporate artificial light through strategically placed floor and table lamps. “Overarching floor lamps are great because they spread the light over the span of the living room. Wall sconces beside the bed are also an easy install, functional and look great.”
I love lamps at this time of the year and have at least three on in most rooms during the day. I’d love to get more giant, overarching ones.
And colour? “Stick to a monochromatic color palette and light colors, like white, taupe and light grey.” I completely agree, I think white and grey are the perfect colours. You can always add colour, depending on the time of year, with accessories and soft furnishings.
Lastly, “de-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter! The less stuff you have to figure out where to store, the less fuss.”
I quite agree, but decluttering is such a monumental challenge which I often find overwhelming. Lindsay suggests really thinking about your possessions and working out if an item is “essential to helping you live fully functional and happily within your space”.
Which basically means: does this pile of old magazines make me or my home happy? If it doesn’t, then it has to go. I’m terrible at just walking past the piles of junk in my home. Lindsay’s advice has reminded me to stop doing this and really start making my house the place I want it to be.
What should we look out for in 2017? “We are particularly excited to see a trend in mixing metals and metallic with other finishes (such as marble and wood),” says Lindsay. Keep an eye out for “rich colour tones, such as emerald green, burgundy and earthy browns incorporated in furniture and accessories like drapery, wallpaper, throw pillows, bedding, etc. The feeling will be more sophisticated and elegant.”
I love the idea of all of this, and only yesterday spotted a beautiful lamp with copper and marble textures. It’s from Aldi (of all places!) and I’m hoping to find one locally this week!
Thank you very much to Lindsay for all her advice! What will you be trying?
This post was written in collaboration with Get Decorated’s online home decor.