I’m Clare. I’m an interior designer, educator and Mum of 3 crazy boys.

I help designers, decorators and home renovators with the design and renovation process.

I’ve helped hundreds of clients and students create beautiful homes via my online courses, workshops, design services and renovation resources.

And I look forward to helping you as well! :)

How to style your home like a pro (Part 2)

How to style your home like a pro (Part 2)

Today is the second in a two part post taking a look at how to style your home like a professional designer or decorator.

In yesterday's post (see it here) I looked at geometric throws and blankets, graphic cushions, statement lighting and more. I talked about spending more on your big ticket items that you won't turn over so often like your big furniture and then buying less expensive accessories and styling bits and pieces that you can swap out as your mood changes. Below I've listed my final five styling must haves to create the wow factor in your home.

Image credit

But first, here are some of my top tips, as used by the styling pros: 

  • tuck in throws on the sofa or lounge. Fold them neatly then tuck them down the back and behind cushions

  • for a cohesive look, pick a neutral colour palette as your base and if you want to add colour do this with cushions, throws and accessories. That way, when you're sick of the colour you haven't got a bright red couch that you have to replace!

  • use a colour thread to bring together multiple spaces. For example, if you have an open plan living, dining area, pop some yellow vases and vessels in the middle of your dining table, and pick up on the yellow again with a cushion on your couch, some yellow flowers on the side board and some lemons and bananas in your fruit bowl.

  • when creating a vignette (a group of objects), always place in groups of ODD numbered items. 3 vases, not 2, 5 not 4 - you get the picture. For some reason it always just looks better that way.

  • group a collection of otherwise non-cohesive items together on a tray (in an odd number!). It will make them look like they are meant to be together.

  • Don't forget to put some tall and short together to bring height and difference. So a tall vase can be offset with a smaller object in front, for example.

  • For a modern look, display a big bunch of the same flower in the same colour, rather than a mixed bouquet. Try a big bunch of white peonies - so gorgeous!

Overall less is more. As stated by the always glamorous Coco Chanel "it is always better to be slightly under dressed" and the same goes for styling your home. Be careful not to over accessorize every little nook and cranny. It is better to put a few of your best pieces on show and hide the rest away (or swap them around regularly to keep things interesting).

Now we've covered that, let's move on to the final 5 styling items to have in your home styling 'wardrobe'.

6. Something living

Having something living in your space really brings it to life - not to mention the healthy oxygen it produces for you and your family. If you're like me and were born without a green thumb then the best options are to get hardy succulents or, if you're wiling to sacrifice the extra o2 then you could even get a fake plant - there are some seriously realistic replicas on the market. Try IKEA if you're on the hunt for fake.

For storing your new living item indoors there are a few options. A washable paper bag always looks really good (see picture 3) - you can get one from Uashmama or try a DIY option like the gold succulent planters in picture 2 or the vintage crates. 


7. Vases and vessels 

A group of vases and vessels can create interest through height, colour and texture, but area also a great way to fill up a space you don't otherwise know what to do with, like on the TV unit or in the entrance hall. Try a mix of the same colour palette and vary height, width and texture. 


8. Art (it doesn't have to be expensive!)

An expensive piece of art is always on my wish list, but never in my budget. So I have to think of other options. There are so many cheap prints and even downloadable printables around these days in every colour, pattern and style (try Etsy). There is no excuse for not having something up on your walls. If you're a renter, or less committed to a particular piece, a great trend around at the moment is a picture shelf. The best part of this is you can mix and match your art without having to ruin your paint work and you can change it up as often as you like. You can create one of these by buying an inexpensive Ribba picture ledge from IKEA then framing up your new purchases in coordinating frames and leaning them against the wall (IKEA area also great for cheap frames). Voila - simple and affordable art. 


9. Storage and arrangements

Trays, baskets, boxes and bins are a great way of tying together a vignette or putting away your more unsightly objects (think phone chargers, keys, daily paperwork) that would otherwise be lying around. Getting a dedicated box or tray for Hubby to put his keys and coins in by the front door is also a good idea if you would rather he didn't empty his pockets all over your kitchen bench or dining room table! 

A tray is a great way of tying together a group of objects - and can easily be lifted around as needed. Storage baskets can store toilet paper in the bathroom, rolls of long wrapping paper, kids toys, the list goes on. Put a top on it, like in some of the photos below, and you've doubled the storage as a side table - great for tiny spaces! 


10. Now put in bits and pieces you love

Now that you've got all the styling basics, my final suggested styling item is to inject your personality into the space and bring it to life. Put out the objects and finds that you've collected over your life time and show off your personality. The trick is to be selective about what you put on show. You don't need to have everything out at one time, change things up and move things around as your mood changes. Have fun with it! 


I hope you now have lots of great inspiration and ideas for how to style your home like a pro. Once you have a few tips and tricks up your sleeve it is easy to create a photo-worthy home. 

Leave me a comment below if you have more great styling tips that I've forgotten! And if you missed yesterday's post, check it out here

Enjoy your day! x

Mums in Design | Georgina Wilson

How to style your home like a pro (Part 1)

How to style your home like a pro (Part 1)