It’s all well and good having a gorgeous sofa sitting on a pretty rug next to a lovely side table in your living room. But regardless of how modern, edgy or fabulous these furniture pieces are, they will look flat, dull and lifeless if not cleverly brought to life with layers of decorative items.

Decorative items are the real heroes which tie everything in a room together. They accentuate furniture items, create balance and enhance mood. Go wrong with your decorative elements and you could end up with an uninteresting room devoid of any personality. Or, on the flip side, too many decorative items and you could create a room that’s confused, busy and feels cluttered. It’s a fine line getting it right, and here are my tips to help you perfect it.

Style high and low

To make a room appear more interesting, it’s important to add decorative elements at differing height levels to make the room look more interesting and to tie all the big furniture pieces together. If your sofa sits behind a coffee table that has nothing on it, both the sofa and the coffee table look completely uninteresting, bland and, well, downright boring. Yet add a bamboo circular tray with a candle, a small geometric vase and an elongated glass vase with a long stemmed rose in it and you have something that connects the sofa to the coffee table and brings them both to life. Using decorative items at interesting heights is important in connecting your furniture pieces, and can become the focal point of the room if done correctly.

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Texture it up

Even the simplest of rooms with minimalist styling needs an element of texture to balance the sleek lines and add depth to the space. A fluffy rug, cushion or throw draped over a sofa or a bed does wonders in adding balance. Texture can also come from a patterned vase placed on a console, a bunch of flowers in the middle of the dining table or pile of books stacked up next to the bed. By adding textural elements you’re essentially giving a room feeling. To make a space warmer, add soft textures and lots of them. To make a space feel sleeker, add decorative items such as vases and books.

Greg's room

Colour-perfect your items

Incorporating accents of colour into your decorative items accentuates the mood of your room and makes the colour palette pop. Colourful pieces such as a vibrant artwork in a neutral room or a cluster of red books in cosy study, create more layers, add vibrancy and boost the overall look of the room.

You can also cleverly play with colour to heighten the mood of the space depending on what you’re wanting to create. To cosy up a room, add reds and browns with lots of texture and soft furnishings to make the space feel warm and moody. If you’re going for a more open look, stick with cooler colours including blues, greys and greens to make the room feel serene and calm.

It’s also important to make sure that your colour palette works together and does not compete. Colours that don’t work well together can fight for attention and result in a room that’s hard on the eyes. If every colour in your colour palette perfectly complements the other, you’re likely to end up with a room that looks stylish and works beautifully in the space.

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