Home décor covers a multitude of design elements, from the type of flooring chosen to the arrangement of furniture, with varying combinations of structure, colour and furnishings being adopted to make the home as practical, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing as possible. With any home design, you start with the type of mood and look you want to achieve and then find and integrate the various elements that will bring that situation about.
An atmosphere of serenity is fostered by choosing furniture made from wicker or light woods, and a more formal and regal quality can be helped by the choice of heavy, dark woods such as oak.
But appropriate design and choice of furniture is only the start, and suitable accessories are needed to turn even the most beautifully designed house into a home. From china teapots to tasteful art collections, home accessories are the warm flesh on the cold bare bones of pure design and functionality and they are the elements that tell people who you really are and where you’re coming from.
Space is always at a premium whatever the size of your home, and storage as a design element is a concept that has really evolved from this need for providing more space to store things, but in an aesthetically pleasing way. The main way in which experts provide this extra storage space is through the clever design of containers and furniture that maximise form and function at the same time, such as those employed by interior design luminary Martin Brudnizki in the Dean Street Townhouse and Club at the Ivy.
Closet organisers are very popular, with numerous designs that include drawers, shelving and units that can take everything from snow boots to scarves. Modular garage units also allow for complete flexibility when it comes to securely organising tools and other hardware.
From sculptures to paintings, art is one of the most accessible and versatile of home accessories. Whatever your taste or circumstances, artworks can be created or found that will enhance your living space. From bold metal wall-hung sculptures and reproduction old masters to classic landscapes and ceramics, art is on the up-and-up in today’s designer interiors, and less is often more.
Rugs bestow warmth and comfort in the twinkling of an eye and have been a favourite for years, with the oldest example being a Siberian Pazyryk rug from 500BC. The Persians and Turks produced some of the finest rugs and even though these can be prohibitively expensive there are affordable ones on the market and these are much in demand for creating an exclusive ambience. Gandia Blasco, Brink and Campman and Donna Wilson are just a few of the brand names that can enliven a room with innovative throws and rugs in Traditional or Contemporary designs.
Candles have been used since ancient times for interior lighting, and they continue to create a warmth and ambience that artificial lights can’t approach. There are hundreds of different types on the market, from small tea lights for a delicate touch to great medieval-style ironwork stands that take a few dozen church candles and create a unique atmosphere to say the least. Even candles that are never going to be lit can greatly complement the decor of a room through their designs and colours.
David Bell is a freelance writer and blogs about interior design, food, travel, business and technology. Follow him on Twitter @DavidBellWriter