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Dublin: 14 °C Saturday 20 October, 2018

8 simple steps to make any house feel like a home

We spoke to interior designer Carole Roberts who gave us her top tips.

IF YOU’VE RECENTLY moved house, you probably want to put your own stamp on the place and make it really feel like a home.

No matter what your budget or your design skills there are loads of easy ways to make changes around the house and turn it into a home. We spoke to interior designer Carole Roberts of No Twelve Queen Street Interior Design and Decoration about some of the best ways to do this.

Let us know your own tips and tricks to make your house a cosy home in the comments below.

1. Easy room updates

Green & Yellow wool blanket Source: moon angel via Flickr/CC

The quickest way to change up your living room is with the soft furnishings. If you want to make a difference like right now run out and grab a blanket or throw and a couple of cushions. If the room is a neutral colour like white, cream or grey you can brighten it up with colourful blankets and cushions. If it’s already a strong colour, then neutral, plain soft furnishings are just the ticket.

Carole’s own style of designing is to keep things timeless and elegant, with occasional splashes of colour and texture:

We tend to design in a simple classic elegant manner rather than contemporary. It  can be (contemporary) but I prefer to bring in more classic details such as a pair of tapestry cushions on a very plain sofa.

2. Colour it beautiful

shutterstock_104177837 Source: Shutterstock/Gino Santa Maria

The next, slightly bigger, step to think about is wall colour. Colour is so important and a great way to create ambience in a room. Using pale, neutral wall colours keeps things timeless and elegant, while using warm colours will help to create a welcoming, cosy space. It really is up to personal preference. Carole says:

Sometimes you can have a plain background and curtains that are very simple but then you bring the detail (and colour) in with your fabrics and cushions or other pieces.

3. Make a feature of a key piece

shutterstock_358777955 Source: Shutterstock/PlusONE

If you have a piece in the room that’s really interesting you can make a feature out of it. Whether it’s a colourful sofa, a quirky dresser or a really interesting piece of art, make it the key feature of the room by picking up colour accents from it to use across the rest of the space. As Carole says about coming up with schemes for clients:

It’s very important to base a scheme around something that they (the client) love, like a painting or a piece of china, a rug or any object. It’s so personal and you’re trying to make it very powerful for them.

4. Take it one room at a time

Rattan Club Chair Source: Wicker Paradise via Flickr/CC

If you’ve moved somewhere new it might seem a bit overwhelming to have to do the whole house up all at once. The good news is, you don’t have to.

It’ll be much easier for you, and your pocket, if you take it one room at a time. You can start with the rooms you get the most use out of – usually the kitchen and bedroom, and once they’re done start focusing on the rooms that are seen most by people outside the home, like the living room and hallway.

Remember that you can create a cohesive scheme throughout out the house by bringing one colour through each room in different ways – accents, wall paint, fabrics or furnishings.

5. Storage options

shutterstock_126715016 Source: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

Now this might seem like the least interesting of the options but storing your possessions properly can make a huge impact on the look and feel of your home. Thinking outside of the box (literally) means that you can showcase your possessions in more interesting ways – even making a feature out of something as ordinary as kitchen crockery or your books.

6. Create space

shutterstock_106500842 Source: Shutterstock/Milles Studio

You can visually create space in a room in a number of ways. Keeping the paint colour the same from the skirting board up to the ceiling is one way, as is keeping the walls, curtains and furniture in simple, neutral colours and making your points of interest a bright rug, cushion or piece of furniture.

Mirrors also lend a hand in making a room seem bigger and bring more light to the room – all ways of making the space appear bigger.

7. Make it personal

PastedImage-51138 Source: Shutterstock

A great way to really make your home your own is to print out your photos and create a photo wall family gallery. This can be located anywhere in the house such as the living room or going up the stairs.

You can great different galleries in different rooms, theming the photos by family member, age group or special occasions.

8. Think about the lights

Source: www.bluewaikiki.com via FLickr/CC

Lighting is very important when doing up a room. Most people don’t want to have overhead lights on in their living rooms and opt for multiple table lights or wall sconces throughout the room to create a different mood as needed. Carole suggests separating the circuits for over head and table lights so that the ambience can be changed with just the flick of a switch.

What helps make your house a home? Let us know in the comments below.

To really make your house a home, consider installing natural gas. You can connect to the network from as little as €250. It’s the fuel of choice for over 647,000 home-owners around the country and has many benefits over oil and electricity, including cost savings, convenience, versatility, lower emissions and greater efficiency. When choosing a new home or renovating an older one, choose natural gas. Find out more at gasnetworks.ie/choose-gas

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