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How to Jazz Up Your Home

June walked into the room and wondered how to make it look really cool. It had been a long time since she could afford to change the look of her sitting room. How could she add the wow factor? As she thought about this her phone rang.

‘Hello’ she said

‘Hey, hey,’ a cheerful girly voice replied on the other end. ‘It’s been a while.’

‘Ummm, I’m sorry I don’t know this number.’ June replied.

‘OMG! This is Mary, we met at the house showing a while back. Remember?’

‘House showing or expo?’ June replied. No way!!! Could it be her? June had met an up and coming interior designer called Mary at the Homes Expo and they had spoken about home furnishings and improving living spaces. What were the odds she would call her when she was thinking about her space?

‘I may be mixing things up but it could be the expo.’ Mary replied. ‘All the same, did you do your place?’

‘Actually I was just looking at my sitting room and wondering about the same thing.’ She replied

‘Want some quick tips that you can do for yourself?’ Mary asked silently hoping that June would be open to some ideas about how to make her space more attractive.

‘Always, anything to add some flair would be appreciated.’ June replied

‘Ok, here goes. Flair is easy to add by adding accessories.’ Mary said.

‘Just that?’ June asked.

‘There are several things to think about when upgrading your space.’ Mary replied. ‘First is colour. The easiest upgrade is to add a few pieces that are a different colour from your current set. Say your sofa is brown suede; you could add several throw cushions in red, yellow and bright blue. Alternatively, you could add a multi-coloured blanket on the arm of one arm of the sofa or have one wall painted a bright colour to add brightness. If you have a plain coloured book shelf you could add a very colourful vase or decorative piece as a bookend or even a standalone piece. You could also invest in a colour in your dining area with runners or keeping colourful dishes always set on the table. This creates a shocking difference but adds interest.’

‘Sounds simple enough,’ June said.

‘Second, is texture.’ Mary went on. ‘If you could add a coffee table with an intricately carved top or legs or add cushions that have patterned covers into the space. You could also have a set of stools that is unstained so the wood grain is visible as an alternative to the plain finish of your sofas and wall. Texture could also come from a wall hanging or even lampshade made from wool or straw or even wood chips or a knotted rug or a fluffy carpet. You could also add a mirror with a colourful or patterned edge, a lamp with an interesting base, a clock with radial designs on the outside or even a vase and some flowers. The options of texture are limitless.’

‘Oh my…some of these are really interesting.’ June said.

‘Next, you can look at shape. Now this is the one that can take you many places. Bring in items that are different shapes from the existing pieces. Imagine an accent chair, a divan or a swinging seat in one corner of the living room in a different colour from the existing set. Or, imagine cushions with different shapes like triangles or rectangles on your sofa sets. You could also find lamp shades that contrast the lines of the room or even round nest of stools to accompany a rectangular coffee table. How about an octagon piece of artwork for the wall or a statement clock? Shape differences can alter the look of the room quite dramatically if done well.’

‘Wow! You know I would never have considered shape as useful. Mmmhhhh!’ June replied.

‘Good to know because these are as simple but stunning ways to really jazz up your sitting room. You can even combine all the ideas in one place without making it too cluttered.’ Mary replied.

‘How do I know what goes with what? I am not an interior designer like you.’ June asked.

‘Simple. When you are ready to shop, take a few photos of your sitting room furniture layout and go shopping. You will have a point of reference for comparison as you select the pieces. You can also find excellent help in the sales attendants at the shop or better still, check out online sites before going to the physical shops just to get a feel. You don’t need to be designer especially if you are creative. All you need is some ideas and a little insight in the shop.’ Mary replied.

‘Ok, but in case I get stuck can I call on your for help?’ June asked.

‘Of course you can and if I am away, I will send you to my friend who has a furniture shop not too far from you.’ Mary replied.

‘Thanks,’ June replied, ‘you have no idea how this has been so helpful.’

‘No worries, I am always glad to be of assistance.’ Mary replied.

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