“Pretty” can be bland and generic, but when it comes to “stylish” or “chic,” there’s inevitably a uniqueness implied, a singular quality or set of qualities that makes an interior immediately stand out. Appealing as it is, achieving this degree of mastery can be a challenging task. There are dozens and dozens of books and guidelines that tell us which colors pair well, but few will provide advice on how to avoid the impression of yet another go-for color scheme. The same applies to shapes and textures.
This being said, our desire to live and flourish in an environment that looks like no other demands answers, or, to put it more precisely, a set of certain best practices. Before you jump to conclusions and dismiss any recommendations as being contrary to the very notion of “unique,” do give them a try. You’ll almost surely see the difference.
Use Themes to Divide or Unite Spaces
It’s a common fact that children love themes, but let’s admit it: so do grown-ups. Each environment that’s clearly inspired by a particular experience enables us to relive it in our imagination, unlocking precious memories and associations.
You don’t even need to take any effort on the mental level to bring back your last trip to the seaside in a room that’s all white and blue stripes with red accents and beachy straw and shell decor. Your mind will gladly welcome the cherished memories. Is there a particular location you’ve always been a fan of? Why not fill your room across the ocean with Parisian ambience? Use graphic allusions to the place that inspires you here and there so that the theme is obvious yet unobtrusive.
For someone who’s always dreamt of taking part in La Tomatina, or maybe even had such an experience, the red color should be an infinite source of inspiration. Play with spherical decorative items and pretty much anything (the color, shape, and texture of a tomato) to create an immersive space for connoisseurs in your home.
While it’s almost always a safe bet to devote a whole room to this or that theme, there’s nothing to prevent you from using several to break up bigger spaces into cozy and inspiring nooks. Just make sure the color combinations you scheme will work together when you take a perspective.
Combine Contrasting Materials
If you like all things sleek, smooth, and shiny, why not emphasize these qualities through contrast? Put a wooden world map on your total white wall to show off the natural roughness of wood. Add a couple of cushy pillows so that your high-tech-inspired sofa can feel more welcoming. Buy a couple of concrete holders to put your most delicious perfumed candles in — it won’t harm the overall coziness; in fact, it often does the opposite.
We humans have a soft spot that’s high-contrast as long as both parts are well-balanced. As a rule of thumb, try little bold accents against a neutral background to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Buy a Statement Decor Item
Quantity doesn’t necessarily translate to quality when it comes to decor. Since our focus is rather limited, it might be a good idea to use a single eye-catching centerpiece to set the tone for the entire space.
From contemporary art to timeless pieces to mesmerizing Oriental rugs with so much in between, you can find an ornament that’s worthy of your interior no matter which theme or style you have picked for it. The main thing to remember is to make sure quality is your top priority.
Be Careful Not to Overdo It
Nuanced and cluttered are two different impressions, but to cross the line is easier than you might imagine. Ultra minimalist interiors don’t have to be everyone’s cup of tea, but limiting the amount of decor you have to the point where you have enough room and enough basic colors and textures to take in as the backdrop for all the elegant details is common sense.
For those of you who don’t feel particularly enthusiastic about tidying their abodes, less is definitely more. Remember that heirlooms and highlights tend to only turn heads in a clean environment.
Pick a Color
If you are redecorating your entire house, it’s a great opportunity to pick a signature color that will make a leitmotif for everything you do. Here are some possible options:
- Neutrals are safe to bet on except they usually need a catchier counterpart to breathe life into them.
- There are some whimsical pastel hues that have every chance of making a perfect fantasy background, too.
- Radiant colors that appear here and there can be a great way of putting everything together even as you move from room to room. Color accents are an immensely powerful cohesion tool, so don’t shy away from statement hues.
Feel Free to Show Off Your Lifestyle
Whether you are a sports aficionado or an enthusiastic amateur bartender, there are many ways in which your parafernalia can spice up the space you live in. After all, personal is the new beautiful, isn’t it?
Be sure to surround yourself with the things you love and showcase them with flattering light and textures. Play with shapes: why not pair a golf club with that flamingo sculpture somebody presented you with? The two do have something in common, after all.
Add Some Textile
The best thing about textile is that it’s relatively easy to replace and thus experiment with in a most non-committal way. Why not take advantage of this and play away until you get the perfect balance of soft versus rough and weightless versus heavy. It’s also the best possible arena for trying out crazy patterns. Don’t miss an opportunity and add a splash of colors with curtains and/or pillows.
A Home to Your Personality
If we were to offer a bottomline summing up all the recommendations, it would be simple as that: make sure things do get personal. Show off how unique you are as a person with all your preferences; that’s the only secret there is.