​What 11 things do all tasteful homes have in common?

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Passive in Park Slope, Sarah Jefferys Design Sarah Jefferys Design Modern living room
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Just like well-created art, you know a well-designed space when you see it, regardless of whether it’s a front garden or a kitchen. The colours work, the mixture of materials is spot on, and the layout of the décor and furniture pieces is both stylish and practical.

So what, exactly, makes a space so tasteful and extraordinary? Is it the work of a certain set of individuals, like interior designers or architects? Perhaps it’s the amount of shiny objects that are added per square metre?

Wrong – it’s these 11 features that, when included in home design, make its spaces feel exquisitely extraordinary…

1. Layers of lighting

A wall sconce here, a table lamp there… a collection of different lighting elements at different angles helps to create depth in a room. And it’s also a great way to customise the atmosphere of a space.

2. Some contrasting colour

Even though a monochrome palette will always remain timeless, they can, at certain times, feel a bit conventional – like you’re playing it too safe with your interior design.

Rather opt to bring in a dash of contrasting colour to give new life to an otherwise “regular” aesthetic.

3. Shapely accents

Church Mews, Hartland, Devon The Bazeley Partnership Modern dining room
The Bazeley Partnership

Church Mews, Hartland, Devon

The Bazeley Partnership

It’s not always about how big you can go in a space; sometimes it’s the smaller elements that command the most attention, like a beautiful pendant, striking cabinet knobs, a mirror frame, the fabric of a scatter cushion, etc.

4. A bit of a surprise

Why not bring in something unexpected, like a remarkable wall art piece in your kitchen? Nobody will expect it to be there! 

Opting for a surprising touch here and there in your home can help achieve a focal point and make those rooms more memorable.

5. A touch of natural fabrics

​Sitting room Bedford Gardens house. Nash Baker Architects Ltd Modern living room Grey
Nash Baker Architects Ltd

​Sitting room Bedford Gardens house.

Nash Baker Architects Ltd

Materials like wood and woven upholstery are great at making a room feel cosy, yet they are not always meant to look rustic. When mixed with the right tones and style, natural materials can look surprisingly modern and chic.

6. Emphasis on art

Always ensure you bring in a touch of art, whether it’s an original Monet or a black-and-white photograph. To maximise that wall art’s exposure, hang it up where you know a lot of eyes will be drawn to, like over the fireplace or above a stylish sofa.

7. Lots of natural light

Winter or summer, doesn’t matter – natural light can light up (and warm up) a room like nobody’s business.

Thus, opt for oversized windows and relevant window treatment that can let in some welcome sunshine when need be.

8. A variety of textures

Porthleven, LEIVARS LEIVARS Eclectic style living room



Think that wool, wood, and stainless steel don’t mix? You couldn’t be more wrong…

Textural elements can contrast quite perfectly when mixed with the right tones and kept in moderation, such as a comfy wool ottoman next to a timber side table. 

As they say, opposites attract!

9. A rug that floors the space

Floreat Residence Moda Interiors Modern living room
Moda Interiors

Floreat Residence

Moda Interiors

Regardless of how sexy those wooden floors are, adding an accent rug is one of the best ways to bring in interesting colours and patterns – not to mention a wonderfully soft underfoot feeling. 

Just ensure your rug of choice complements the tones and/or patterns used somewhere else in the room.

10. A well-dressed entryway

As the entryway sets the tone for your home, it’s important to spend quality time with its design. And whether it’s big or small, it’s the ideal area to take some risks, seeing as it’s a pass-through space where people don’t tend to linger for very long. 

So, go ahead and impress the guests with a bold wall colour, a striking table lamp, or an eye-catching work of art.

11. Attention to symmetry

Whether you’re styling up your living room or your home office, balance and proportion needs to be kept in mind—they are known to have a calming effect, appealing to our brain's inherent need for order. 

So, work with symmetry in mind if you’re planning on flaunting a clean look that can appeal to everyone. 

Want some more design ideas? Then click through to: Interior design basics for beginners.

Which of these 11 tricks will you be trying out?

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