Whether you are renovating, downsizing, or just looking to invest in some new cushions - read this before you hit the shops. It's a great time of year to hunt down some "we need these" bargains: sales are still in full swing and having some idea of what you're looking for will keep you focused.

Our best tip for sprucing up your home is that everything old is new again! Heading out the window faster than a summer breeze is minimalism - think white kitchens and bathrooms - in favour of bold, eye-catching walls, furniture, textiles, and plants. These trends may evoke a seventies flashback but they do have their own twenty-first century spin - and having lived through the '70s, you'll be ahead of the millennials.

Karen Leary, a Perth-based interior designer and editor of popular design blog The Coveted, shares a few styling tips to kick-start your spruce-up.

Choose your interior colour before buying new furniture
The blonde woods and Scandinavian furniture styles that have been hugely popular in recent years are out. Dark, moody timber is in. These darker wood tones signify a resurgence for retro glamour with a new take on old luxury. You will also find sofas will be a bit plumper, a lot more comfortable, and some may even be curved.

Complementing this furniture trend perfectly is dark walls. Bold furniture and artwork really stand out against darkly painted walls, and give a room that wow factor. You may think dark colours will make your room look smaller, however the dark colours recede, making the room look larger.

Think bold when painting your walls - deep navy, purples, terracotta, and of course, emerald green. They all compliment different timber tones amazingly well.

Don't overlook luxurious velvet
Velvet continues to be the super-hot décor fabric. It just begs to be touched - it's luxurious and cosy all at the same time. It's also a great way to add impact to your décor. Don't overdo it though, one piece is enough to lift the style of your room - perhaps an ottoman or sofa.

Cushions are the easiest way to try a new trend or jazz up your décor so why not go for velvet cushions in a rich colour you love? If they don't work in the living room, they will definitely work in your bedroom. Just make sure you complement the velvet with patterned, textured cushions in complimentary colours.

Breath clean air with indoor plants
Possibly the sole element with the ability to modernise any room, the humble houseplant is a great way to refresh your home. These three indoor plants are pretty close to bulletproof.

Fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata)
Ask anyone who owns a Fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) about their plant and chances are, they will tell you how much they adore it. Loved for their large glossy, leathery leaves, they make great house plants and add a fantastic sculptural element to a room. They like frequent light watering and a bit of bright, filtered light - not harsh, direct sunlight, otherwise those glossy leaves will burn.

Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Also referred to as the Viper's bowstring hemp or the politically incorrect moniker Mother-in-law's tongue, the Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) is enjoying a massive resurgence as an on-trend indoor plant. One of its best features is its incredible hardiness - this has to be the most forgiving plant on the planet. It can tolerate most conditions but prefers full sun and only needs watering once a month.

Devil's ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
Boasting a multitude of common names including golden pothos, hunter's robe, money plant, and silver vine, Devil's ivy (Epipremnum aureum) is a lush, leafy, trailing vine prepared to put up with infrequent watering and neglect. A great addition to any bathroom and the perfect plant for a macramé pot holder, it's another blast from the '70s.

If you can't commit to keeping a plant alive, a single tree branch in a vase or a few large tree branches in a basket will add a burst of life and greenery to a space. Your local florist should have a few branches of eucalyptus and they last much longer than flowers.

 

Guest Contributor

Karen Leary is an interior designer and editor of The Coveted who has had a lifetime love affair with all things design; fashion, interiors, food. Her popular design blog showcases beautiful spaces, interesting people and design trends.