Design to make Visual

Designers’ design and style strategies for a jaw-dropping dwelling room

Designer Candice Stanley purchased the Christchurch dwelling she grew up in from her mum and father eight decades ago, and final yr completed a main renovation.

The household she shares with partner Tom and daughters Ivy (16 months) and Adelaide (seven months) is unrecognisable from how it was, and a lot of that is down to the way Stanley has styled the residing space.

“When Mum visits she states, ‘why did we by no means assume to posture the household furniture like this?’ That’s due to the fact most of us never think the couch and chairs can be moved all around.”

Rethinking the way your dwelling home is arranged can make a huge variance to how it looks and is effective, and the designer’s personal household is evidence. But Stanley (nee Van Dyk), who operates Mooi Style, claims it helps to have a beginning issue for any approach, and it is not valuable to add a stack of Pinterest shots of rooms you like.

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“If you love anything, you can conclusion up with a actual mish-mash of kinds, so I say place the Pinterest stuff apart. Emphasis as a substitute on how the area is made use of, and probably 1 exclusive factor you have, like a portray.

Candice Stanley favours round fabric ottomans that can double as coffee tables.


Candice Stanley favours round material ottomans that can double as coffee tables.

“One of my consumers experienced a massive graffiti-design artwork, and we employed that as the setting up stage, finding up colors and textures from the painting for the furnishings. An additional client experienced an antique sideboard with worn edges. That drove the route for the design and style.”

Stanley is not definitely a fan of extensive corner sofas for entertaining. “A corner couch might be big adequate to seat 6, but you will in no way have that numerous persons sitting in a row and about the corner. It is not conducive to conversation. I feel it is substantially superior to blend your seating with a 3-seater couch and a pair of armchairs, or perhaps two sofas and one chair.

“The benefit of possessing armchairs or occasional chairs is that you can set them in front of a doorway that opens to the outdoor with out blocking the perspective or the exit. And you can do something appealing with the material on chairs, possibly applying a charming velvet or a sample. It’s also cheaper to reupholster a solitary chair than a couch.

“Armchairs can be a lot more rounded, with reduce arms. They don’t experience too bulky in a area – if the base is a little bit elevated previously mentioned the floor, the seem is not so heavy, and there is a far better move by way of the house.”

Stanley states pulling the home furniture away from the wall is important. “Don’t be worried to do this. It does not make the area sense scaled-down, fairly the reverse. And it’s significantly a lot more appropriate for entertaining and dialogue. It can absolutely free up space for a console driving, with a lamp.”

There is a plea from almost just about every designer to not make the Tv the focal level in a residing home. “Think as a substitute of generating a fire or a favorite piece of art the focal stage,” Stanley suggests.

“Put the Tv set on a minimal leisure unit off to a person side. It is a significantly better viewing place than higher up on a wall. If there’s ample in the spending budget, I like to have a designed-in device off to one facet for the Television and storage.”

Round coffee tables contrast square-edged furniture (left); armchairs can add a splash of colour to a neutral interior.

Mooi Design and style

Spherical coffee tables distinction square-edged home furniture (still left) armchairs can include a splash of colour to a neutral interior.

Natina Hellowell, of The Design Depot in Hamilton, states most of her shoppers choose for simple, neutral colours for their sofas. “We do a whole lot of neutrals, layering of textures, wools, chunky weaves, bouclé and distinctive materials, bringing in color with cushions. In common, the seem is a great deal more peaceful than even just a several yrs in the past when we utilised to line up all the cushions and give them a karate chop in the center.

“Today, the appear is not approximately so structured or staged. And there’s a more substantial emphasis on superior-top quality products and solutions, like sofas with feather inners, and certain you could possibly make a dent when you sit. But that is what we really like. If you have people over, you want them to loosen up.”

Hellowell says this also applies to the way we embellish: “We’ve absent from faux crops and almost everything staged ‘just so’, with 3 vases grouped on the coffee table. Now we have earthy pots with sticks or bracken out of the back garden – issues you accumulate together the way. It’s even now a funky, fashionable glance, but far more normal.”

Natina Hellowell of The Design Depot says there's a much more relaxed look to home interiors today.


Natina Hellowell of The Structure Depot states you can find a substantially much more peaceful glimpse to dwelling interiors currently.

The designers also have very good ideas on espresso and side tables. Stanley is a supporter of huge spherical ottomans, which are multifunctional. They may have a slide-absent espresso table above the top, or a tray. But they also work as a footstool, and they are a great deal softer for young kids, who may possibly be participating in in the area.

Hellowell likes round coffee tables grouped in distinct measurements – “it breaks factors up, visually. They look great jointly, but they can be separated to produce aspect tables beside sofas.”

Rugs are also a must have decorating aids. “Rugs can define a zone within just an open-plan dwelling area,” Stanley claims. “And when picking out rugs, make confident they are massive plenty of to have the entrance legs of your sofa and chairs on the rug. This will make positive almost everything is connected, visually.”

The designer states she is a big lover of outside rugs, and also outdoor fabrics on sofas since they are substantially less complicated to cleanse. “You just can’t tell the change to search at them, but they are a must have if you have children.”

Hellowell says rugs are a different way to deliver “depth and texture” into the area – a vital section of the layering that transforms a place. She also likes to “go large”. “Back in the day it was 1.6m x 2.30m, and it sat in the center of the area. Now we like the rug to sit under all the home furniture.”

Curtains, also, will increase the ending contact – or shutters and blinds. “Drapes can genuinely heat up a place and improve the total look,” the designer says. “Window remedies are just as essential as the flooring.”

Polyester fabrics will be a lot more strong than purely natural materials for a home that receives immediate sunlight – you can replicate the search of linen with the assurance of longevity.

Past, but never the very least, be guaranteed to integrate mood lights into your room. If you have downlights, make positive they are on a dimmer. But using floor and desk lamps as an alternative at night time tends to make for a extra enjoyable, intimate room.

This living room teams a small sofa with two colourful occasional chairs, an ottoman, round coffee table and triangular side table.

Jane Ussher

This living space groups a smaller couch with two colourful occasional chairs, an ottoman, spherical coffee table and triangular aspect desk.

Inside designer Shelley Ferguson presents some ideas on how to master the neutrals development. (Video first printed April 2020)