5 interior design tips to spruce up your living room for 2018

5 interior design tips to spruce up your living room for 2018

The start of a new year is arguably the best time to set goals for your personal and professional life, so why not reflect positive change in your home as well? It turns out that your home surroundings have a significant impact on your mental state. A well-styled home that aligns with your personal tastes will be a more relaxing, happy environment for you to enjoy.

The hub of many households is the living room, making it the perfect spot to freshen up. Not only will you appreciate the fruits of your labours, but your guests and loved ones will be able to as well. Thankfully, revamping your living room interior doesn’t have to involve serious renovations or a background in interior design.

Here are 5 tips for refreshing your living room space effectively and without any intrusive remodelling.

Modern decorated sitting room

Give your living room a beautiful foundation

When you think about giving your living room a new look it is easy to forget one of the biggest statements in this space – the floor. Your choice of flooring can make an otherwise beautiful living room feel drab, aged or even visually cluttered. Rather than fight with your floor, consider the option of having it removed and replaced with a material that will serve as a beautiful foundation to the rest of the space’s style.

A wonderful choice of flooring that is growing in popularity is modified wood. Modified wood is a real wood product that is sustainably manufactured and free of questionable chemicals so common in residential wood flooring. Modified wood is incredibly smooth and available in clear or high character boards, depending on whether you like the look of natural knots or prefer a plain look. Modified wood is about as durable of a wood floor as you can get.

Diptych artwork on a sitting room wall

Finish your walls with personal photographs and art

Wall art can make or break a room. Many pro interior decorators are well-aware of how important wall art is, especially when it comes to putting personalized finishing touches in a space. Since the living room is an area often used for entertainment and gathering, placing personal photographs or unique art here is ideal.

Rather than dealing with printing photographs yourself and then trying to find frames, opt for custom canvas prints instead. Custom printed canvas is attractively chic and casual, adapting to essentially any type of home design style you can think of. They are also lightweight and fairly easy to hang.

Brown corner sofa in a sitting room

Invest in matching furniture that showcases your tastes

Certain design styles like bohemian and shabby chic may look mismatched, but even these very flowing aesthetics still need to have some sort of cohesive look when it comes to furniture. Furniture is often the biggest statement piece in a room when it comes to personal fixtures. Not only is the style of furniture important, but also the quality.

Forget about trying to get by with boring or cheap looking particle board furniture pieces and invest in a matching set. Real wood furniture is always a good option and if you select attractively simple designs, like those you’d find in a Amish living room furniture set, you’ll be surprised at how versatile it can be. A Mission couch, coffee table and a couple of chairs can fit in essentially any living room, whether you’re going for a industrial or an urban modern effect.

Sitting room with weathered, wood clad walls

Capture the warmth and texture of weathered wood

Weathered, aged wood is highly sought after for its warm appearance and texture that faux products often fail to replicate. While you can find this type of wood used for many interior design projects consider the idea of using reclaimed wood wall panels in your living room.

Rather than going the usual route of painting an accent wall, cover that wall in reclaimed wood instead. Ideally this will serve as a backdrop to your main seating area, such as behind your sofa, though you really can get as imaginative with this product as you’d like. A huge advantage of this type of panelling is that you can have it installed right over your existing walls.

Wood clad sitting room wall

Add sleek minimalist touches with bamboo

Another natural material that offers a bit of a different vibe is bamboo. If you like the idea of wood panelling but want a very sleek, modern look try bamboo panels instead. Bamboo doesn’t just offer a cleaner look than most wood, but even just as a material it is very versatile.

You can use bamboo panels as wall art or a tropical-esque backdrop to a built-in. You can even use bamboo veneer to cover tables, entertainment centres or floating shelves. If you’re striving for a green home and are concerned over organic material sustainability, you’ll also appreciate the fact that bamboo is a more responsible material than new wood.

With a little creativity and enthusiasm you can easily make your living room feel like a whole new space.

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Get their look: Black on black kitchen

Black on black kitchencredit

Most people would think it a bold move to decide on having a black kitchen. In fact, it can be a sensible, practical and downright attractive option. Just look at the results here! The owners of this London family home are architects, Jane Heath and Jeremy Walker.

We especially like the matt black tiled splash-back above the nearly-black gloss units. The stainless steel cooker hood, utensils and other accessories work extremely well against the Farrow & Ball painted wall. The white worktop offers a bit of contrast and reflected light.

  1. RINHULT kitchen components
  2. Poul Henningsen PH 5 pendant light, white matte
  3. UDDEN wall-mounted extractor hood
  4. Farrow & Ball Off-Black No.57 Matt Estate Emulsion paint
  5. Alessi Officina Richard Sapper melodic kettle 9091
  6. Chicken wire egg basket
  7. Georg Jensen Copenhagen Candle Holder
  8. Cornishware red & white stripe stoneware set of 4 egg cups
  9. Wooden mint-coloured pepper mill / grinder

Click here to see more of our ‘Get their look’ features

Get their look: Black on black kitchen | H is for Home

Eco-friendly home decorating tips

Eco-friendly home decorating tips

As looking after the planet has become a more and more pressing matter, many people are hoping to change their ways in order to do their part for the cause. It’s important to become more conscious about how human actions can have severe consequences on the environment, not only in an altruistic sense but also to protect the planet so people can continue to live on it safely. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the process of decorating your home. For those who wish to help the planet while staying stylish, here are a few good tips on how to decorate without harming the environment.

House plant with blue glass lamp and books

Plants

Deforestation is a terrible issue. Natural resources are being used up and consumed faster than they can be replaced. That’s why it is important to help redress the balance in as many ways as possible. Although it may not quite be a forest, if everyone chose to decorate their home with more plant life, the world would surely benefit. Plus, greenery adds effortless beauty to any room. House plants help to keep the air clean whilst also brightening up their surroundings. You won’t need to worry about them clashing with your preferred sense of style either, as plants are timelessly attractive. Just make sure to research the characteristics of your chosen plants as some varieties can attract unwanted pests. You can look here to find out what you need to know about termite swarms to keep your home staying spick-and-span.

Green roofs on urban multi-storey buildings

Green roof

If you’re serious about your decision to help the planet recover from the overuse of its resources, a great way of reducing the amount on your energy bill is to install solar panels in your home. Whilst most are simply placed on the roof of a house, you can turn them into a feature. When the sunlight hits your roof, you’ll be able to store energy that’s completely green and environmentally friendly. If you’re lucky, you might even generate more than enough energy and the excess can be sold elsewhere. There are other ways of decorating the exterior of your home in eco-friendly ways. Why not grow grass or other low-maintenance plants on your roof to blend your home into the natural environment? Whether you live in the countryside or the city, a textured green roof is eye-catching and attractive to wildlife such as small birds and insects. Creepers and climbing plants growing up the exterior walls adds interest to any building and well-maintained window boxes make your home look pretty and will be bursting with life.

Hessian shopping bags

Recycling and upcycling

It’s all about reducing waste when it comes to protecting the environment. Fortunately, recycling has become almost second nature to most households. It might not seem like much, but by separating your metals, glass, plastic and cardboard and disposing of them properly you’re doing the world a huge favour. To extend this into your decorating, you can find or create furniture and homewares created from recycled or reclaimed materials. You’ll get the best of both worlds – stylish, beautiful, original interior design and a clean, green conscience.

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Designer Desire: Esteri Tomula

Mosaic of Esteri Tomula ceramic designs | H is for Home

Another designer from the Finel/Arabia stable, Esteri Tomula (1920-1998) produced many patterns for their ceramic and enamelled wares many of which were designed by Kaj Franck.

A few of her designs are still in production today and can be purchased from Arabia or the Finnish Design Shop. Her vintage wares can regularly be found on eBay, Etsy and Pamono. We’ve got our eyes peeled hoping to stumble across a set of her salt & pepper pots (top, right). Aren’t they sweet?!

She was very prolific during her career; above are some examples of our favourite designs.

Portrait of Esteri Tomulacredit

Additional image credits:

DishwareHeaven

Price Points: Statement pendant lights

Three statement pendant lights | H is for Home

We love our characterful 19th century mill-worker’s cottage but we wish our ceilings were a bit higher. Not because we need to stoop to get around (we don’t) but because we wish we could illuminate the rooms with statement pendant lights.

In our kitchen, we have a group of recessed LED down-lighters which are practical and unobtrusive. However, we’d love to be able to have attention-grabbing lighting hanging from the ceilings of our sitting room and bedroom. Maybe in our future house!

  1. KNAPPA pendant lamp: £18, IKEA
  2. Saloon Flowers 5 designer pendant lamp: £112.90, lights.com
  3. Ballroom glass lights by Grattify: £220 each, Notonthehighstreet

Cakes & Bakes: Ginger stout loaf

Home-made ginger stout loaf sliced | H is for Home

I’ve made a few ginger cakes before, however, this ginger stout loaf is probably the most moist, treacly, dark and delicious of them all!

Porter and black treacle mixture in a saucepan | H is for Home

I’ve had a couple of bottles of Hatherwood Purple Panther porter in the fridge since before Christmas. I’ve not tried them yet, we’re having a Dry January… does cooking with alcohol count as breaking the fast? I’ve only used about a quarter of the bottle, so I’m wondering how to use the leftovers… baking-wise. I’ve used it in the past in chocolate cake and bread, so perhaps something different this time. What do you recommend?

Jar of Opies stem ginger in syrup | H is for Home Mixing bowl with sugars and chopped ginger | H is for Home

I’ve halved the original recipe, which is a Bundt cake that serves 12. It called for 3 large eggs. How do you halve 3 eggs? Well, I whisked up the 3 eggs and poured half of the mixture into the batter. I used the other half in a frittata for lunch… waste not, want not!

Ginger stout loaf batter in a lined loaf tin | H is for Home Cooked ginger stout loaf in a lined loaf tin | H is for Home

We’ve had lots of cold, damp, misty, murky weather of late. This rich, warming cake – served alongside a nice strong cup of tea – or with some piping hot custard – is the perfect antidote.

Click here to save the recipe to Pinterest if you want to try the recipe soon!

Ginger stout loaf
Serves 8
Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 120ml/8 fl oz stout/porter
  2. 6tbsp molasses
  3. 3tbsp ginger in syrup, chopped finely
  4. 2 medium-sized eggs, at room temperature
  5. 1tsp vanilla extract
  6. 100g/½ Muscovado sugar
  7. 100g/3½ Demerara sugar
  8. 100ml/3½ fl oz vegetable oil
  9. 125g/4½oz plain flour
  10. ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  11. ½tbsp ground ginger
  12. ½tsp cinnamon
  13. ¼ tsp ground cloves
  14. ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  15. ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  16. ¼ tsp allspice
  17. ¼ teaspoon fine sea saltHome-made ginger stout loaf ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 175ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4
  2. Grease & line a 1kg/2lb loaf tin with parchment paper
  3. Pour the stout and molasses into a medium-sized saucepan, bring to a simmer, stirring to combine. Remove from the heat, set aside and allow to cool
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped ginger, eggs, vanilla extract, Muscovado sugar and Demerara sugar until the mixture is no longer gritty
  5. Slowly add the oil, mixing all the while
  6. Slowly add the stout mixture and mix until well combined
  7. Carefully add the dry ingredients in two parts, mixing well in between each addition.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared tin
  9. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes away clean
  10. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack
Notes
  1. Serve warm with custard or allow to cool completely before topping with cream cheese icing
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Adapted from New York Times
Adapted from New York Times
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