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6 tips to creating authentic, personal interiors

How to create authentic interiors that are well considered and individual to your tastes – styling ideas from interior designer Stacey Gillies

Expert advice by Stacey Gillies, of Stacey Gillies Interiors

From the interior designer

Our current lifestyles see the living spaces in our homes become more than just a place to relax and entertain; they're a reflection of our values, personality, and connection to the natural world.

With that in mind, I highlight my six tips for styling your living spaces. 

These ideas will help you create authentic interiors that are unique to your tastes and are well considered. 

These tips can be applied across any room in your home.

1. Placement of Furniture

  • Move sofas and chairs away from walls - if you are able.
  • Bring pieces together in an arrangement to create a convivial and intimate space or ‘zone’ – use a rug to help create the ‘zone’ to anchor furniture.
  • Create focal points such as a statement sofa or a large table lamp to draw attention and create visual interest.
  • Leave enough space between furniture pieces to ensure a sense of openness, prevent overcrowding and allow for flow of foot traffic.
  • Ensure furniture is of varying heights so your eye can travel up and down, as opposed to all pieces at the same level.

2. Editing

  • Less is often more – declutter and curate decor items to avoid visual overload.
  • Only display those pieces that you enjoy and remind you of good times/memories and that are aesthetically pleasing.
  • Negative space and a clutter-free environment allow the eye to rest and appreciate key design elements.
  • Ensure you have appropriate storage to hide away any unsightly items – make sure the storage itself is visually pleasing.

3. Shapes

  • Employ a variety of shapes in furniture, decor, and architectural details to add dynamism to the interior.
  • Contrasting organic shapes, such as pairing angular furniture with curved decor, can create an engaging visual rhythm.
  • Repeating certain shapes throughout the space lends a sense of cohesion and unity.
  • Use the wall space to incorporate décor of various shapes.

4. Mixing old with new

  • Combining antique or vintage pieces with modern furniture adds character and a sense of history to the space.
  • The mix of old and new creates an eclectic and curated look that reflects personal style rather than a ‘showhome’.
  • Furniture with a patina or age provides textural interest as well as a point of difference.
  • Pair artworks with vintage frames alongside modern pieces.

5. Scale

  • Properly scaled furniture and decor ensure that the room feels proportionate and harmonious.
  • Play with assorted sizes of items whether it be furniture or accessories – too many small pieces will feel itsy bitsy.
  • Go large where you can and make a statement whether that be a piece of art, a vase or even a pot plant.
  • Place items of varying heights together, for example decorative elements on a shelf.
  • Think about your ceiling height when buying furniture – low ceilings work better with, for an example, a low back sofa and seating.

6. Lighting

  • Layered lighting, including ambient, task, and accent lighting, adds depth and dimension to the interior.
  • Select light fixtures that complement the overall design style while providing adequate illumination.
  • Dimmers allow control over the intensity of light, enabling adjustment for different activities and moods.
  • Try a mix of lamps such as a table lamp and floor lamp so you don’t always need to rely on your overhead lighting.

About the designer

Stacey Gillies is an interior designer and decoration specialist, writer, and ex-personal stylist.

Her most recent business, Stacey Gillies Interiors delivers bespoke interior design and decoration for residential spaces for busy corporate professionals in Auckland.

Always surrounded in creativity and with a love for art and fashion, Stacey brings an international design sensibility to her interior design projects.   

Her expressive spaces are infused with a mix of modern and vintage decor set against beautiful materials, quality finishes and painterly colour palettes.

Designed by: Stacey Gillies

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Jackie Meiring

04 Feb, 2024

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