When we visit department stores, one of the most striking things is always how the display designers manage to create inviting rooms using very limited space and the items and furnishings they have to hand. Shoppers subsequently covet these rooms, leading them to purchase the items displayed. While you don’t want to convince visitors to buy your living room (unless you’re selling your house, in which case by all means do so), you do want to make the most of what you have and ensure that visitors have the same positive reaction when they visit your home that they experience when they go to these department stores.
Follow these tips to help you recreate a style worthy of a department store showroom within your own home – and ensure that it won’t make a big dent in your finances.
1. Reduce clutter
The first thing you notice about home displays is that the rooms never have any of the clutter you would associate with a normal home. While this is because the display rooms aren’t actually being lived in, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to cut down the clutter in your own home to create the illusion of increased space. When combined with the simple designs and plain colours on the walls and floor, the lack of distracting mess in the room will help draw the eye to the most attractive pieces in the room.
2. Focus on one or two elements of the room
A lot of room displays focus on a few elements or products so customers aren’t distracted by any unnecessary products. The rooms in your home should follow the same principle – concentrate the focus on no more than two elements, such as a bespoke sofa, accent wall or statement carpet. This will help guide the design of the rest of the room and ensure that it bears the stamp of your personality and aesthetic style.
3. Install a lot of lights
Most showrooms are brightly lit and, while you might not want the full-beam effect on your room, you can give yourself the option by including a dimmer switch to control the strength of the light and create differing ambiences depending on what you’re doing and the mood you’re trying to create. You should also make the most of the natural light let in by your windows to make the room look as bright, airy and inviting as possible – don’t draw heavy curtains or even the gauze-like inner curtains, as they will block a surprising amount of light.
4. Increase room height
This might not seem like a budget-friendly tip, per se – you won’t be able to raise the ceilings of your rooms without spending a lot of money, but you can make those rooms look taller with some savvy decorating. Try using vertical stripes on the walls and experiment with light, pastel shades (which reflect light to make the room seem bigger). Coupled with a large amount of natural light (as above), it should make the space look much more extensive than it actually is.
5. Think texture
In order to increase the cosiness of a room, think about the texture of the furnishings within it. Fluffy rugs combined with smooth wooden floors; leather sofas teamed with a reclaimed wood and glass dining table; squashy chairs with a heavy glass coffee table – there’s no end to the effect you can create with different combinations. As long as they fit into an overall theme or style rather than being squashed in together with no visible coherence, the texture of your furnishings can play a key role in the look of the room.