A Guide To Living Design

8 years ago
4 minutes

Narelle Cuthbert, Senior Interior Designer at Plus Architecture knows what is right and what is wrong when it comes to designing your living space. Whether it be a choice on fabrics, or layout, designing your home can be equally as stressful as purchasing it!

How to make your home/apartment family friendly

Select fabrics and finishes that are durable. Leathers or textured fabrics are more forgiving with sticky fingers, likewise timber floors can be easily vacuumed or mopped. Scatter cushions and throw rugs can easily be interchanged throughout the year to inject colour, warmth and texture.

Provide storage such as baskets or drawers at a height children can reach so that they can easily play or pack toys away at a moment’s notice. 

Avoid deep pile rugs or carpets which are harder to clean. Instead select finishes with a lower pile height which enable children to play with their toys or lounge on the floor.

Avoid side and coffee tables with sharp edges which are potentially hazardous at eye level. Instead opt for curved shapes which are more forgiving on both the furniture and children.

A pin board or chalkboard wall is a great space for children to artistically express themselves and provides a great organisational tool for older children and adults.

An open floor plan is ideal for keeping an eye on children, particularly when you have an unobstructed view of the living, dining and backyard spaces. This also provides a greater sense of flow and space in the home.

How to style a small space for maximum usability - 43sqm apartment

Select furniture pieces elevated above the floor to provide the illusion of more floor space. Avoid chunky sofas that sit directly on the floor and will look heavy in a small living area.

Keep major furniture pieces neutral or in a uniform colour or finish i.e. sofa, bed, dining table and chairs. Introduce colour and texture through accessories, styling and key furniture pieces such as an armchair or floor rug.

Select furniture which can provide valuable additional storage space such as. TV cabinets, bedside tables, hooks or even shelves that can be wall hung above dining areas or above the bed in the bedroom.

Avoid angular furniture pieces with sharp corners or edges, instead select pieces with slightly curved forms which help to open up and provide the illusion of more space.

Select furniture pieces to specifically suit the size of your space. That six seater dining table that you inherited isn't necessarily going to work in a small one bedroom apartment. Instead select pieces that allow a multifunctional purpose such as a dining and/or study zone.

Good lighting through floor, table, wall and even pendant lighting is an important consideration to make your home feel warm and inviting.

Utilise balcony space as a second living space during the warmer months. Select plants and outdoor furniture such as a lounge and outdoor table which allow you to create your own outdoor haven.

How to incorporate the latest interior tends into your home

Change your tapware to reflect the latest metallic trend. With so many colour and finishes to choose from, this is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to update your interior.

Lighting is also a relatively inexpensive way to introduce the latest metallic trends through floor, table and even pendant fixtures.

Introduce an armchair in the living area or bedroom space to create a reading nook or much needed visitor chair. A good armchair is a piece of furniture that can be generally moved around and can instantly change the look of a room and can be easily re-upholstered if you tire of the fabric.

Large format stone splashback tiles in the kitchen look expensive and provide a seamless look when matched to the stone benchtop.

The Pantone colour of the year, Marsala, which was seen predominately at Milan Design week in April, is a universally appealing colour that is currently evident in everything from fashion to homewares. Cushions, throw rugs and even accessories are a great way to introduce colour before committing to larger more expensive upholstered furniture pieces.

New glass technology has allowed furniture pieces to be seen in a new light. Previously seen as outdated, glass furniture pieces are now considered sculptural or statement pieces for the home whilst remaining functional.