When interior-blogger pal and professional interiors stylist Maxine Brady from We Love Home recently visited my house to style it for a magazine photo shoot, it was so interesting to see how she personally styled my home. It is easy to fall into the trap of 'getting used to' our decor and home ware items - everything has a 'place' - so it is really helpful to have a fresh set of eyes come in and shake things up! I was amazed at how Maxine added a few new pieces, or styled things differently, and completely transformed the space I was so used to seeing everyday.
Although I love my blue living room, I hadn't made any real changes to the room in over a year. It needed a refresh, so I headed over to Maxine's article on Bairstow Eve's website (which she wrote as part of their Styled To Sell campaign) to copy some of her top tips on styling a living room.
One of Maxine's key tips is to include some statement art, which I totally agree with. I was bored with some of the art on my walls and couldn't get the Liljebergs blue butterfly print off my lust-list after I used it to style some shelves as part of London Design Festival. I brought the print, but to save money I kept the same frame that displayed the old artwork. The new print was smaller than this frame, so I just purchased a cut- to-size mount from my local framers for £8. By having a custom mount, your art print will look like it has been professionally framed, even though this frame is from IKEA. It also gives you the option to choose a colour mount that suits your print, other than the standard white you get in most off-the-shelf frames.
Another budget way to add new art to your walls is to frame beautiful greetings cards. There are some lovely cards out there, but my favourite designs at the moment are by The Curious Department. I framed their Beetle and Koi cards in cheap 99p frames and placed them on my DIY gallery wall shelf. The cards are £2 each so that is £2.99 for a new piece of art for the wall!
Another of Maxine's tips is to 'add leafy greens.' House plants are not something you'd usually find in my home - mainly because I will forget to water them (or over water them) and then they are ready for the compost bin! I was therefore over the moon to discover Audenza's artificial trailing fern - it looks SO real and only costs £16.50!
I purchased a brass pot from H&M home for £8.99, placed some dry oasis inside, inserted the faux fern then feathered and tussled out my plant until I was happy with it. It adds another layer to the room and adds an element of vibrancy with the luscious green!
Cushions are an easy way to change the look of a living room. Plus after a year of being sat-on, my old cushions were also looking a bit flat and tired! Maxine advises being clever with pattern and texture, so I just had to add in this GORGEOUS Deco Martini cushion from new brand Divine Savages.
Just look at that stunning print! It is detailed and interesting and stands out in the room rather than blending in like plain cushions would do. It is also made from vegan suede which makes it so lovely to touch.
For weekly refreshes to your living space, I always suggest making sure you have a beautiful bouquet of colourful flowers displayed. I often try and go for flowers that match the season, but sometimes if it is dark and gloomy I buy bright, vivid flowers to brighten up the room. You do not have a to spend a fortune to have great flowers in your home. Avoid expensive florists and boring supermarket flowers and instead get yourself down to an early morning flower market. I always buy my flowers from Columbia Road in East London and pick up a variety of flowers for around a fiver for a large bunch.
What do you think to my living room refresh? What is your favourite new item? Let me know in the comments section below....
* This post was a collaboration with Bairstow Eves.