Design 101 | Little Details

November 2016, By Nicole Langelier.
Photography by Dylan Lark, Aspect 11.

Design is in the details. Sometimes just a simple shift of the little things in one’s home is all that is needed to transform a space. Often when we style what we call ‘partials’ where we mix our furniture, art and accessories in with the clients existing items to really maximise a space and to emphasise the best features (while distracting from those that are less than). The client is blown away by how quick and easy it can be to reinvent a room with the smallest items.

If you are styling for sale or just for your own pleasure, below are a few of our top tips on how you can do a lot with a little.

  • Scatter cushions and and throws – Simple items that make a world of difference. If you consider your sofa, bed, chair, bench etc. as the perfect foundation – your ‘little black dress’ shall we say, then you can easily transform these items with well selected ‘accessories’ – in this case scatters and throws. When in doubt go with solid colours and avoid prints (unless you are very confident in your styling abilities).
  • Lighten up – Make sure all your lights work, that you have no exposed globes, and that all the globes are the same WARM lumen. If you have any dark corners of your property, lamp light can do wonders to brighten things up and create a great ambience.
  • Plant life – Live green plants are the G.O. If you are living in the property throughout the campaign you should be able to keep them alive. I love cut Australian natives because they last forever, but nothing is stopping you from harvesting some greenery from your yard (if you have one).
  • Art hanging 101 – Art is a styling essential, but do me a favour and take it off your ceiling please! It’s a real rookie mistake, but you would be surprised at how many people hang their art way too high. You want the middle of your art to be at eye height – I know everyone is a different height, but the average mid height to hang at is 150cm. There are exceptions such as when you hang art above a piece of furniture or a bed – you need to make sure the art clears the pillows so you may need to hang it a bit higher. If you are creating a pretty little corner or reading nook with a chair, you may want the art to be a bit lower so it relates to the chair. Clusters are a great way to fill a wall when you don’t have large art – 3 or 4 fingers of distance between them should be enough – they still need to relate to each other. Footy jerseys are not art. Sorry. Given that Melbournians are the most passionate sports fans in Australia, publicising your allegiance to your team may be a deal breaker come auction day.

So remember, you don’t need a lot to do a lot. Before you go buying new furniture, art and accessories, step back look your belongings and apply the principles above. You may just be surprised at what you can do with the things you already have.