7 hacks to transform your living space

We can all agree 2020 has been a year that none of us had anticipated. After months of restrictions and self-isolating, one thing that’s become apparent is the importance of our homes as a place to feel safe and escape the outside world. If you’re tired of looking at the same four walls after months of working from home, we spoke to interior stylist Gina Ciancio for her favourite 7 hacks that will transform your living space in a flash.

Pull out the paint

Few things create more bang for buck than paint, which is why it’s an interior decorator’s best friend.

If you’re a confident painter, why not give all four walls an instant lift with a fresh coat of paint. There’s a strong connection between colour and emotion so consider the feel you want to create in the space and find a colour to suit. Or if colour isn’t your thing, a soft warm white, such as ‘natural white’, is always popular.

For a quick cheat, you could also use paint to create accents around the room. A black feature wall with floating shelves in front to lean artwork and books for example is an affordable way to add a designer-look to your living space.

Create a cosy nook

Got a large bay window or a favourite chair that could benefit from a new cushion? There’s a fab new custom cushion service from Clark Rubber that allows you to create any shape and size cushion you want – and in whatever fabric you like!

Create the illusion that an interior designer has worked their magic in your living space by getting a perfect-fit cushion made and create a cosy nook in the process.

Revamp your lighting

One of the most under-looked areas of interior decorating is lighting. With the huge range of affordable floor and table lamps on the market now, an easy hack to completely change the atmosphere of a room is by embracing lamps for ambient lighting.

This also reduces the need to turn on down lights, which can cast harsh shadows in rooms or over-light spaces.

Channel indoor jungle vibes

Plants are one of the most affordable interior decorating props and they’re said to have loads of health benefits too, such as improving air quality, reducing stress and even helping with insomnia.

Create your own mini indoor jungle by clustering plants together. This looks great in a bookshelf or even using a combination of pots and pot plant stands to fill an otherwise void area of a room.

Refresh tired furniture

It isn’t always possible – or necessary – to buy new. With a little creativity, older items can be given a new lease on life.

Got a piece of furniture that’s looking a bit drab and dated? Try looking at it through a new lens and envision how it could be refreshed.

There are some fab spray paints on the market that can create a chalk-like finish in minutes – no need to pick up a paint brush! And old or worn cushions can be replaced with a modern fabric using that same custom cushion service by Clark Rubber mentioned earlier.

Create a vignette

Flick through any interiors mag or stalk gorgeous homes on Instagram and you’ll notice a common thread is the use of vignettes, or styled arrangements, to create moments of interest in a room.

The art to creating a vignette is to start with a base, like a tray or stack of books, and then layer items on top. Look for a mix of objects in terms of height, scale and material for interest.

By creating several arrangements around your home, you create cohesion between spaces and give the illusion you’re a confident decorator!

Add your own personal style

While we all strive for stylish homes, the most beautiful houses are those that tell a story about the people who live there and the best way to do this is by injecting more of YOU into spaces.

Displaying items from your travels or family heirlooms, using more framed photos, and finding ways to celebrate your personal interests through your décor are some of the best ways to do this.

You can also look for less obvious ways to showcase your personal style, such as using one of your favourite colours to form the colour palette of a space. It only takes 3-5 pops of colour across a room to create impact, for example a cushion on your sofa, artwork on the wall, vase on the coffee table, and another decorative piece elsewhere in the room. If you struggle to find a cushion in the perfect shade, this is another opportunity to get a cushion custom made.

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