When decorating our homes, the stylish and the practical are two schools of thought that appear to be diametrically opposed to one another. As such, many of us are constantly in conflict. However, just because something is stylish, that doesn’t mean it can’t be practical – and vice versa. Here, we’ll explore a few tips that will help your home not only look good but also have a number of practical design benefits.
Over the course of an average lifetime we will accrue a lot of ‘stuff’ and that stuff needs to go somewhere. That’s why so many of our interior design choices are engineered around storage. The real art, however, is in finding storage solutions that are not only convenient but don’t look cheap or distasteful either. Shelves and hook racks are a perfect way to utilise your wall space as storage and with the right hardware and strategic placement of items, they could even double as decoration as long as they sit the rest of decor. Also, consider modular storage systems that can be expanded as and when you need more storage space as these are cheap and flexible.
A mirror is an incredibly flexible decoration that is affordable and has the added benefit of making any room it is installed in look bigger. Place mirrors on the closet doors in your bedroom, for example, and it will appear to almost double in size. They are also wonderful for covering up cracks in the wall without having to call in a professional plasterer!
Accents can also be practical. For example, a radiator can become a spotlight in the room if it’s painted in a bold colour and lighting can also work as a room accent if you decide to get creative with your lampshades. Choosing one wall as a ‘feature wall’ is also a classic design idea that will never go out of style.
Hanging the television and our entertainment centres on the wall is often the most practical way of making sure they don’t take up too much space. However, the mass of wires and cables dangling lazily from the back of the TV can look rather unpleasant, even at the best of times. A neat way around this is to use plastic rods (shower rods are particularly effective) to hide the cables. To go in the opposite direction, meanwhile, you could even make your cables part of the decoration by using cable ties to bind them to the wall in some interesting patterns.
The longer your curtains, the larger and more open your rooms will feel. Ceiling to floor curtains in either a living room or a bathroom, for example, make that space feel so much more spacious and ‘Mediterranean’. Another tip for making your ceiling seem higher is to use darker colours.
We’ve only just scratched the surface here, but if we’ve managed to ignite a creative spark and you have your own ideas about how to combine the practical with the stylish, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!