Christine Neil
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Decorating Secrets from the Experts

Interior designers, decorators and architects all have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to renovations. If you're planning to redesign, redecorate or completely start from scratch in your home, take your cues from them for a finished product that is as unique as you are.

Read through these secrets from the experts for tips on where to start.

Utilise Ceilings

Your ceiling is one the most neglected spaces in your home, and should be treated as the fifth wall of a room. While designers don't suggest cluttering this space with artwork and family photos, they do recommend considering how this area can have an impact on the room as a whole.

Ceilings reflect light into a room, especially natural light let in through windows. Consider painting it a different colour to your walls for a striking impact, although bear in mind that light ceilings make rooms appear larger while dark ceilings make them seem smaller.

Use Resene SpaceCote Flat for a flat finish that conceals surface imperfections and can be wiped clean. Off-whites, such as Resene Black White, and Resene Alabaster, are common choices, however you could contrast white walls with a bolder colour for a unique way to brighten up your room.

Use Wallpaper in Unexpected Places

Wallpaper doesn't have to be confined to walls. While it does look great there, it can be an unexpected feature on the ceiling, in a wardrobes, hallways and even inside drawers and cupboards.

Use a textured Resene wallpaper in a unique pattern in smaller areas for a real statement. You can easily brighten up kids' rooms and make them more playful by adding a feature wall covered in a patterned wallpaper, and smaller areas like bookshelves can be lined with a unique print to add personality.

Wallpaper can also cover sliding wardrobe and cupboard doors for an easy update that will completely change the vibe of the room.

Hang Artwork Together

Gone are the days where artwork and family photos were spaced out evenly around a room. Now, groups of framed images sit together in clusters to make a lasting impression, drawing focus to that part of a room.

Rather than viewing your art and images separately, guests and residents can get a bigger picture and a sense of your overall aesthetic when they view groups of images together. You can play around with sizes, types of pictures and colours for a more eclectic design, or stick to uniform white frames spaced evenly apart.

Blend Design with Comfort

Homes can have the best design in the world, but if they don't appear liveable and comfortable they will leave the wrong impression on guests.

Encourage intimate spaces to bring warmth and happiness to a home. This includes seating that is as comfortable as it is aesthetically pleasing, and functional spaces that not only look good, but perform an action. This is especially important in your kitchen, where the flashiest appliances will be useless if you can't use them.

Start with armchairs and sofas. Scatter cushions on these to encourage guests to sink into them, and place side tables next to them for people to rest drinks and other items on when they sit. Outdoor furniture should have throw rugs nearby for those late night gatherings around the brazier, and bookcases should have plush chairs next to them for impromptu reading sessions.

Have Fun

No matter their personal aesthetic, designers and decorators all agree that your home should be an extension of your personality, and therefore you shouldn't be afraid to have fun when decorating it. Paint, wallpaper, flooring and accessories can all be replaced, so take the plunge and choose something unique.

For more colour, wallpaper and paint advice and ideas, check out the latest looks online,, and visit your Resene ColorShop,

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