What do you ideally want to achieve? Dare to dream! Make yourself a mood board on Pinterest or just on paper. Don’t try and take everything from these images, just an overall feeling and maybe one brilliant idea.
Next get to de-cluttering the room, even if just mentally, working out what you really need to get rid of and anything you have to keep. Aside from the loose furniture, what are you left with and how can it be changed to achieve your vision? In practical terms the walls and ceilings can almost always be painted, but you’re probably stuck with the flooring, windows and doors for the time being.
Allow yourself some serious time and energy to put into finding your perfect new pieces of furniture, light fittings, textiles and decorations. Try to think back to the finishes and colours you have always loved, not just this year, and Google these words along with ‘furniture’ or ‘room’ to open a window upon what is out there. For me it has been gold, silver and the colour green that have endured since childhood. It may be light timbers and creamy colours or wrought iron and blue velvet that makes your heart beat faster.
Contrast is the spice of interior design, whether achieved through textures, colours or scale it can make all the difference between dull and fabulous in just a few elements. If you have a contemporary monochrome house, build contrast and warmth in the interiors through timbers, textured rugs and textiles, bold artworks and a few random pieces of old furniture. Conversely if you have a more ornate or older home with myriad finishes and colours, minimalist furnishings and a restrained colour scheme help to bring order and harmony.
Once you’ve sorted out the new pieces you’d like, the existing things to re-use and spent 4 hours discussing which shade of white to paint the walls, the art is in pulling it all together. Look for colours or materials in common or that feature in the pieces you’ve chosen. For example, use bright silver frames around your pictures to compliment the polished steel sofa legs and add a lamp with polished steel detailing, or match the colours in the artwork with colours in the cushions. Subtlety is the key here though! Add little side tables, ottomans, lamps and new light fittings for interest and to add balance or complexity to the palette.
But most of all have some fun. Go the oversize palm leaf wallpaper and the pink velvet sofa – because you can.