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expert interior design tips to make your living space feel better

expert interior design tips to make your living space feel better

Take your lounge room up a few style notches with these tips in partnership with interior design course provider Ulleo.

There’s a difference between a house and a home. One is purely shelter, the other is full of heart. One person who’s in the business of knowing the difference is interiors expert Robyn Levin, Creative Coordinator at one of Australia’s leading furniture business Jardan. Robyn’s job is to create and style warm, inviting spaces you want to curl up in and never leave. She also features in the Ulleo interior design course. Lucky for us, Robyn has shared her interior design tips and tricks to make your own living space feel better.

Give yourself a brief 
Before you begin the styling process, think about the purpose of the room and how you want the space to make you feel. If it’s the living room, you’ll want to feel cosy. If it’s a workspace, you’ll want to feel productive. Make a simple checklist of what you do and don’t love when it comes to interiors. “Taking cues from this will help you make smart decisions when styling and bringing furniture, lighting and homewares into your space,” says Robyn.

How to build a scheme 
Robyn suggests using colours in an existing piece of artwork, furniture or rug in your space as a starting point when building your interiors scheme. “If you’ve got a rug with a really strong colour, opt for a more neutral sofa,” she says. “Or if the artwork has a really beautiful feature colour, integrate homewares or cushions in a similar shade.” Using similar tones with restraint results in a cohesive look without being too matchy-matchy.  

Consider the scale of your room 
“A lot of my content in the Ulleo course is me talking about the importance of choosing appropriately sized pieces for your space,” says Robyn. “Choosing big, bulky furniture in a small space will make it feel claustrophobic.” In compact living and dining areas maximise your space with lightweight looking furniture, such as a circular dinner table or couch with legs. “Having said that, one thing that’s always better on the bigger size is rugs, always try and find the biggest rug you can for your space and it will actually make the whole room look bigger and cosier.” 

Look to wardrobe for colour inspiration
“My advice is to fill your space with colours that resonate with you as they will always bring you joy instead of following colour trends,” advises Robyn. “Look at images you’ve saved on Pinterest and Instagram or go look in your wardrobe because you’ll be able to easily see which colours you’re naturally drawn to and will be able to live with.” You can instantly change the look of a room with colour by painting walls to integrating colourful or monochromatic artwork, homewares and soft furnishings. 

You can never have too many lamps 
One of the simplest ways you can transform the mood in a room is with lighting. “I think it’s really lovely at the end of the day to close all of the blinds and turn on all of your lamps as it helps you transition from day to night and it makes the space super cosy as well,” says Robyn. Pop lamps on bookshelves, side tables and wall units. Robyn also suggests layering your lighting. “There’s a place for task lighting and a place for mood lighting and the more types of lighting you can incorporate into a room the better,” she explains. In the kitchen and dining area, have the downlights on when you’re prepping dinner but switch to diffused light or pendant shade when it’s time to eat. 

Mix and match textiles and texture 
“I think the key with textiles and texture is to create variation in the room,” says Robyn. “If you’ve got a linen sofa, it’s really nice to contrast it with a leather chair and velvet pieces work well with tight-knit wool to create balance.” This mix and match philosophy applies to styling homewares as well. “You don’t want an onslaught of the same thing, so mix glass, timber, ceramic homewares with books.”

Add personal touches 
“It’s really important to add personal touches to a room and mix where things came from,” explains Robyn. “If you buy all of your furniture and ornaments from the same shop in one go, your space may look like an Instagram shot but it’s probably not going to have a tonne of personality, so make sure you include pieces you’ve collected along the way, photos and knick knacks that layer up really beautifully.”

Move things around regularly 
Keep your space feeling fresh by rotating your ornaments. “People get very set on objects having specific spots but I think if you do that for too long you stop seeing them,” says Robyn. “So next time you do a big clean, pull everything out and put everything back in fresh places and you’ll kind of enjoy your things more because you’ll see them anew.”

These handy tips were brought to you by our mates at Ulleo. If you’re keen to learn more about interior design from experts in their field like Robyn, check out the industry-led interior design short course Ulleo offers at ulleo.com