Home Design & Decorating Ideas

Contemplating a new home or renovation to your existing residence? Thinking beyond the current style and incorporating unique character elements will set your home apart from others. Not only is this a benefit for future resale value but it involves elements of your personal taste and colour flavour which will create the nurturing space you and your family will enjoy instantly.

I was briefed for the schematic design on a new home project, featured in this article. The clients had enjoyed a home which, uniquely, had stained glass windows inherited from the previous owner, some flavours of Mediterranean influence but an older home and one soon to be handed over to new owners. For the new home, apart from creating a contemporary, northern beaches home, design chiefly by the architect, my brief was to work with the stained glass windows which were to be installed on the new home, add exterior and interior finishes to allow a modern Mediterranean design to evolve and to create a home which showed the personal eclectic mix of soft furnishings gathered by the owners.

My tips for blending and experimenting with design and colour to create the perfect balance between a brand new, contemporary home and one which emits the individual warmth and personality of a particular style are:

  1. Identify key features to start a colour palette, e.g. the stained glass windows, the outside colours of the particular location for settling a home into the landscape, a particular piece of furniture which is a definite for placement in the new home, and a single colour which will form the thread between all elements of the home. Use this single colour to create the difference between your new custom built home and that of a project home where everything is neutral.
  2. Identify rooms which connect to others from viewpoints and link those flow with harmonious or complimentary colour or elements of texture. Rooms that are discovered around corridors or contained in areas separate from the general flow can feature a more individual palette and texture.
  3. The kitchen is probably the most used area of the home and today often features in the generally most used open plan living space of the home. Rather than opt for a modern, safe design, (often timeless is requested), it is still possible to create a kitchen with those elements, but try to tweak either in cabinetry style, a more unusual countertop or with decidedly different cabinet handles.
  4. Thankfully today’s homes are full of light and space, using lots of glass, but don’t forget to leave two or three good sized walls for incorporating art. Invest in one good sized artwork which is as major focal point in the home.
  5. Whether you like lots of ornamentation or the more minimal look, when adding your final touches, stand back and study how each piece bounces off the other, form mini scenes in a room rather than placing one item here or there individually. The whole room has to work in size, scale and shape of furniture and furnishings. Treat that room like a canvas of art rather than a space to drop things where they fit.
  6. Once your beautiful new home is established, don’t forget to think beyond the norm and establish a complimentary landscape and gardens to support your design.