What makes the interior design of a home space successful? The aim with interior design, says Richmond, Victoria-based interior designer Hecker Guthrie, is to create a space that’s not only beautiful but also where the feeling speaks louder than the furnishings — and where the levels of charm and comfort outweigh the instant gratification of the merely new.
What this translates to, though, is different for everyone. Gail Adele, Bondi-based interior designer and founder of The Personal Edit, says each and every client has a different objective — a very personal one.
“Some clients want their visitors to feel peace and serenity, others are looking for energy and vitality, others prefer minimalist order — you cannot put everyone into the same box,” says Adele.
That said, there are a few things in your home that almost always guarantee visitors feel a certain way, whatever the feeling is. Ahead, Adele shares some of those visual elements.
As the first thing visitors see when they walk into your home, the entryway sets the tone for the rest of the space. To make it a more appealing space, Adele suggests investing in attractive storage.
“Without storage, it’s almost impossible to make it a beautiful space, as shoes, jackets, hats, keys, and sunglasses end up being dumped on whatever surface is available,” she says.
She says to opt for a console if your space allows it. The console should be big enough that it can also have a lamp or large vase to create visual interest at eye-level height.
“I love using lamps or vases that are special in some way,” says Adele. “Either handmade, architectural, colourful or unusual in some way. And a beautiful wall hanging or piece of art above. These two items, if chosen well, can immediately say that someone interesting lives here.”
Built-in concealed cupboards, seating with drawers underneath, baskets with lids, attractive hooks
Smell is another thing visitors almost always notice in your home. Fortunately, it’s an easy element to control. Adele says she prefers essential oils for home fragrances as opposed to scented candles.
“The natural ones can be pricey but worth it,” she says. “I don’t believe in artificial fragrance anything, especially those diffusers. Nothing beats fresh air – so I recommend open windows and essential oils.”
Lighting is far more important in your home than you realise, says Adele. In fact, it’s one of the most effective ways to create a feeling of cosiness, using candles, table lamps and standing lamps.
“Try to avoid overhead lights altogether. Use your pendants, preferably on a dimmer,” says Adele.
Finally, visitors always notice the details in your home – the personalised touches. And particularly in the bathroom where, if they use it, they’ll be alone, so be more focused.
“I love art in bathrooms and beautiful wall lights,” says Adele. “A little mis-en-scene of a candle, a vase with fresh flowers and a small bowl looks simple and chic and shows the visitor that you care. A beautiful, well-designed hand towel finishes things off.”
In the kitchen and living room, Adele suggests linen napkins, coffee table books and flowers as relatively easy ways to create ‘charm’. If you’re wanting to display family photos, she says to avoid lots of small frames and instead suggests creating a curated wall of black and white images, which you might want to position in the hallway.