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How to make your place feel like home..

I am often asked during consultations to help clients "warm up" their home. The living room tends to be the epicentre of all homes and is the obvious place to start. The majority of homes, both landed property or a condominium, are based around open plan living & dining. The key is to ensure that the layout of the room is conducive to entertaining more than 2 people watching the TV. I prefer to focus on layout to make certain it optimises the space, and is incredibly comfortable FIRST before focusing on decorative items.

Layout Plan

Decorating with a sectional sofa or even a 3 seater sofa in a small living room is challenging. We recommend the following items to create mood lighting & facilitate conversation.

• Sofa
• 2 Comfortable arm chairs
• X-Benches or small ottomans
• Ceramic stools
• 2 lamps and 1 floor lamp
• Small coffee tables varying in shape or add more than one piece vs one large overbearing coffee table
• Indoor palm tree to create tropical atmosphere and fill odd corners


Coffee Tables

Coffee tables, no matter how small the room or whether you have small children need to be dressed, otherwise they feel heavy and cold. It doesn’t need to be cluttered but a few key items of varying heights will do the trick.  

•    Faux orchid or real flowers in a bud vase
•    Coffee table book of personal interest or stack of magazines
•    Box to hold remote controls
•    Tray to anchor the pieces


If you don't have a coffee table then consider 2 square or 3 different size round tables rather than one large coffee table. Use nickel or brass finishes or interesting textured sides to add interest to the coffee table. 

Decorative Accessories  

Expatriate Living means one can tend to travel light. I see many apartments that are void of accessories such as  glass hurricanes, books and wall art. These items tell more about your personality than a sofa or a scatter cushion. SO, In my view a room without these things, (that reflect your interests and tastes) is a lifeless room.


Dining Table

The dining table often ends up looking like an unwelcoming conference table. I recommend it is dressed permanently with a combination of tealight candles and flowers in the middle of the piece.


Open Plan Kitchens

The counter tops should be treated as though they are side buffet or console. I like adding a series of glass jars with limes , lemons or star fish or placing 2 large cut glass vases with fresh flowers either end of the kitchen bench. This leaves space to use the counter top but also dresses it for the evening and when not in use. 


The wall behind the sofa must have something on it. You don't have to wait to find the perfect piece of oversized art. Use black and white photographs of your family and blow up to large size. Have 2 - 3 of them or Hand coloured prints which are statement pieces. 



Verandah Living

Living areas in condominiums are usually small. Extra space can be added by dressing the verandah so that is becomes an extension of the living room. $$ should be invested on large planters with star jasmine which flowers all year round. Top it off with battery operated lights to highlight the greenery and create mood lighting in the evening.


Last but not least, every home has its own smell which is a reflection of you. Don't neglect to light a scented candle in the evening. The evening is a time to unwind, relax and recharge. 

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