Interior Design & Decoration Blog

Top 10 Design Essentials

isolated 3d golden text "TOP 10"

 Design Essentials

This year I want to be able to guide you in the right direction with advice on what to look for when you’re out shopping for your home.

So often people contact me after they’ve made a costly mistake and I’d like to help you from making mistakes when decorating your home.

The first thing to do is take measurements of the space or room you are decorating.
When you’re in a store looking at items you can be thrown by the size of the space, either smaller or larger than what you are decorating.  So often people come home with a purchase they’re convinced will “make” the space and it gets lost in the room as it doesn’t make an impact.  If I have a choice of the small, medium or large when decorating, I always go with the large, you can always exchange one size down if you need to.

Model House

Sticking with a neutral pallet doesn’t always mean white, cream and beige.  I love navy and leopard as neutrals as everything else works so well with them.  If you’re a lover of bold colours then keep them in one signature piece and then accessories.  You might like to have a bold sofa and then the rest of your large items will be in neutrals, but your cushions, throws and table top accessories are all bold.  They can then be changed over to a softer colour to suit a new season or your mood.

The ten items listed below are all basics that you need to anchor a room.

Number 1 – Bedhead

Timber & Fabric Bedhead - The Style Project

Navy Velvet Bedhead - The Style Project

White Manto Timber Headboard - The Style Project

A bedhead anchors the room and adds vertical space to a room
which is dominated with a large horizontal item – your bed.

Number 2 – Lighting

Grey & white table lamp - The Style Project

Eichholtz Flores pendant light - The Style Project


Eichholtz Miles Davis Pendant - The Style Project

Funky floor lamp - The Style Project


From floor lamps to pendant lighting, this is one of the “hero” items you need to purchase.  Lighting is so important when setting the mood of any room.  I add dimmers to all lights so that they can transform from functional task lighting to soft and moody party lighting with the turn of a dial!

Number 3 – Rugs

Bayliss Rugs - The Style ProjectEichholtz Rugs - The Style Project

Bayliss Rugs - The Style Project

A rug will define a space in open plan & warm up a room.
I think of rugs as “Floor Fashion”, the finishing to touch to your room.

Number 4 – Sofa

Leopard sofa - The Style Project

Super comfey slip cover sofa - The Style Project

Custom sofa The Style Project

Comfort and style are so important here.
Think of the number of hours you will spend on your sofa.
Just like your bed it needs to be comfortable and built to last.

Custom sofas can be tailored to fit your exact requirements for far less than settling on

something that sort of works in the space.

Number 5 – Coffee Table

Gold & glass coffee table - The Style Project

Industrial coffee table - The Style Project

Worlds Away Jenny Gold Leaf Coffee Table - The Style Project

Number 6 – Dining Chairs

 Black lacquer dining chair - The Style Project

Dining chairs - The Style Project Blog

Rose dining chair - The Style Project

Rivera Luli dining chair - The Style Project

So you’re probably thinking what about the table?  I’ve never been a fan of “matchy matchy” and this is particularly true
when it comes to dining table & chairs.

You can use an existing dining table, a family heirloom or an op shop find & then totally transform the table with the right chairs.  For a heavy timber table you don’t want timber chairs, go for something that lightens the look
and overall feel.  A glass table top would benefit from a timber chair to balance it out.

Number 7 – Cushions

Custom cushions from The Style Project

Custom Cushions from The Style Project

Custom cushions from The Style Project

How many cushions does one person need?  A question my husband asks me regularly.
There’s really no straight answer except to say that it’s nice to have the option to switch them around whenever I feel like!
If I buy cushions from a retailer I always remove the poly insert and add my own feather insert.  They’re so much more comfortable and add a touch of luxury to your sofa and chairs.
Without a doubt a 60 x 60cm feather filled velvet cushion is my favourite accessory to add to a living room or bedroom.

Number 8 – Side Tables
Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 6.03.24 pmSet 2 Presley Criss Cross side tables - The Style Project

Side Table - The Style Project

You’re drinking a coffee & reading a magazine – you need a side table
Your guest wants to put down her glass of champagne to throw her arms up in amazement about what you’ve done with the room – you need a side table
They’re versatile and so easy to move from room to room, they even make fabulous bedside tables

Number 9 –  Butchers Block

Butchers Block - The Style Project

I love the versatility of a butchers block.
An excellent area for food prep and at any time it can be whisked away to create more space or they make an excellent bar when called for.

Number 10 – Wallpaper

While you might be thinking, really this is essential?
OK essential might be a bit of a stretch, but it will finish off any room and give you the WOW factor!
A wall can be transformed in a matter of hours and is one of my favourite parts about seeing a room come together.
I’ve never had a client who wished they hadn’t wallpapered!

Wallpaper from The Style Project

Custom wallpaper from The Style Project

Custom wallpaper from The Style Project

 Don’t forget the number one rule when selecting items for your home


If you don’t love it
You don’t buy it!


Until next time

The Style Project Blog email sign off

Yours in Style – Kim x

“Because everyone should be living & working in Style”


Thank you for following The Style Project Blog.
If you have not subscribed & would like to receive future blogs email or subscribe at the top of this blog.



Leave a Reply