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How to give your home a designer look

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Open any interiors magazine and you’ll be met with countless images of stunning homes fit for movie start, full of great design ideas and beautiful accessories. This may seem like an unachievable dream for those of us who lead busy family lives, but it is possible to achieve a designer look yourself without spending a fortune or even having any design experience.  Knightsbridge estate agent Plaza Estates says, “It all comes down to careful planning and coordination, and a few little extra touches.”

One of the first things that designers will tell you, perhaps surprisingly, is to pick the colour of your paint last. This may seem back to front for those of us who believe that you design your home around your chosen paint colour, but it makes sense to choose the furniture you like first and then work around that. When you think about it, it makes sense- you can freshen up the walls with a new coat of paint for less than a hundred pounds, whereas a big piece of furniture is an investment that can go into the thousands. West Hampstead estate agent Paramount Properties suggests “Choose a colour that complements your upholstery and then pick accessories and artwork that work around that”.

Create a sense of space


When it comes to creating a stylish living space, clutter is your enemy. Make sure you and your guests have enough space to move around the room with ease and avoid having too much furniture. Just a few key pieces and some interesting accessories picked up from vintage shops and flea markets should be enough to give you a designer look without overwhelming the room.

Invest in some great artwork and hang it properly


These days it’s easy to pick up artwork without spending a fortune. Online poster shops have everything from vintage movie posters to abstract landscapes, and most offer a framing service so the finished article can be delivered direct to your door ready to hang. Plain black frames work best, and be sure to hang your artwork at the right height so you don’t overcrowd the room. Galleries hang paintings with the midline of each piece at eye level (around 57- 60 inches), and following this simple trick will really add the wow factor to any room.

Use rugs creatively


A great rug can be a real show stopper which can add personality to your room without the expense of wall to wall carpeting. Particularly effective on wooden flooring, investing in a quality brings a touch of glamour that can last for years.  If you have a small room, it’s preferable to keep your furniture off your rugs to create an illusion of space- having chair legs and stools on them can make things look cluttered. If that’s not an option, try just putting the front legs on the rug to make things look less cramped.

Add colour sparingly


Most interior magazines feature homes that use colour, but aren’t overwhelmed by it. Plain white walls accessorised with bright paintings, soft furnishings and ornaments are still a popular design choice which looks chic and creative without being too over the top.

Make a mood board


If you’re not sure where to start, cut out pictures of the styles and pieces you like and add them to a mood board. Think about textures, patterns and colours that you feel represent you, and play around with different ideas before committing. Belgravia estate agent Best Gapp advises, “Avoid trying to follow trends too closely; they come and go and your home should reflect you and your interests rather than fashion.”