8 Tips to Spruce Up Your Home

Whether you are decorating from scratch or simply want to refresh your space, let these expert ideas be your guide.

When it comes to choosing an interior style there’s always a lot to consider, from how much money you’re willing to spend to the colours and materials to go with. Planning the space and deciding on a look or theme are good places to start. From there, it’s about adding your personal touches, finding ways to stretch your budget, and taking the chance to try something bold (or not). We asked Jason Pan, Senior Creative Lead at local interior design firm Design Identity (www.designidentity.com.sg), for tips to help bring an interior project to life.


1) Find your unique decorating style

Home decorating is just like dressing up. Everyone has their own idea of what’s stylish and visually appealing, so be true to your individual preferences and don’t feel like you have to follow the trend. To determine your style and get ideas on what would work in your space, Jason suggests looking through magazines and websites, like Pinterest. If you see something you like, think about ways to make it your own.


2) Use visual tools to guide your decorating journey
Get your imagination going with a mood or vision board. Collect images of furniture, accessories and other items that inspire you, and arrange them on a large board so that you have a clearer idea of the vibe you’re after (you can also use a mood board app). Jason says that a vision board helps you see if the colours and styles work. It will also guide you when you renovate or go shopping for furniture.
3) Put samples and swatches to good use
Whether they’re fabric, wallpaper, flooring or paint, samples and swatches can help you make better decisions when it comes to renovating and decorating. “You still need that ‘touch and feel’ element,” says Jason. “Playing around with swatches and samples also helps you see what a certain colour or material looks like, in person, in natural light and at different angles, as opposed to just viewing the product online. Plus, you can mix and match before settling on a final combination.”

5) Think twice before committing to a trend

Want to try something bold, gimmicky or unusual, like an animal-print theme, two-tone walls or gold everything? Jason encourages you to go wild (it’s your house, after all). But he suggests asking yourself if you can live with that style for as long as you’ll be living in your home. If not, it’s best to choose a design that’s classic and timeless, so you don’t have any big regrets down the road.


6) Avoid costly decorating and renovation mistakes

Plan your space wisely, Jason advises. “It would be costly if you had to redo your renovation. Many people only think about style, design, colours and so on, but they don’t realise that the single most important aspect of designing is actually space planning. Some questions to ask yourself: Will I be able to open my fridge door fully? Will the top cabinet drawer only open a little because the hood is in the way? You don’t want to have to fork out extra money because you failed to plan the space properly.”

7) Don’t be afraid of the dark
Dark colours can sometimes make a home look small and gloomy, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid them. Go ahead and paint your walls black, chocolate brown or navy blue. To offset these sombre tones, Jason says to purchase accessories in softer, lighter or contrasting shades. Your dark walls will stand out, but they won’t make the space look smaller.
8) Build hidden storage zones
Can’t fit another cupboard or cabinet in your small home? Get a good carpenter to design custom-made pieces with built-in storage, Jason suggests. Think a simple bench or platform bed with tons of storage space underneath.
[TEXT] Sasha Gonzales
[Photos] Design Identity