Push the boundaries for that winning look

On a shoestring budget but with a craving for dazzling decor? Aurko S. shows how it’s possible to create stunning looks for less
The Community By Aurko S.
Published on July 1, 2014

Style has nothing to do with money. You must have seen tasteful, colour coordinated spaces that are expensively decorated and yet flat, dull, uptight and bland. They don’t seduce, tantalise or increase the pulse rate because they’ve been decorated to within an inch of their lives. If you want life-changing interiors that make your heart beat faster, you need an open mind and a big dose of self-belief. The trick is to experiment and have fun. Push the boundaries a bit, pick pieces that tug at your heartstrings and make you feel uplifted. Remember, too much tastefulness is dull and too much fun is tacky. So get the balance right. Follow The Community’s guide to creating three of our favourite looks: Classic, Boho and Rock ‘n’ Roll:

CLASSIC COOL

Who does it suit? Those who are bored of passing fads and predictable trends and want a look that stands the test of time, while reflecting the beauty of the past. Calm and order, not be confused with dull, appeal but they’re brave enough to give a home their cheeky decor stamp.
How do you create it? With a nod to the past and a wink to the future, classic style is all about balance, symmetry and order.
It’s a style that marries luxe materials — think metallics — with super-glam fabrics such as cashmere and leather. Woods are often dark, furniture often crisp and defined and symmetry abounds with pairs of lamps, urns, mirrors or vases. Combine dark wall shades with white woodwork for an iconic look, but don’t be too predictable — this style is about beautiful, relaxing order but we also want a jaw-on-the-floor ‘wow’ effect.
The ideal backdrop for the look is moody, earthy colour tones for walls — terracotta, taupe and moss — or the darker tones of olive, peat and charcoal.
If that’s too heavy for your taste, opt instead for linen, lilac and stone, but avoid anything jarring — a classic room needs to feel warm and inviting.
Top tip: Architectural features, curved lines and decorative mouldings work perfectly. Source them from salvage yards, or DIY stores for modern reproductions of cornicing, coving and ceiling roses.

BEAUTIFUL BOHO

Who does it suit? Decoristas with a rebellious, hippy streak who like to do their own thing, have a quirky, eclectic mix of possessions and always have an eye for a bargain because their budget is tight! How do you create it? Boho’s all about experimenting, expressing yourself and being as creative as you like. It’s a fabulously fun approach and you are bound to love it as there are no rules. To pull the look off you need a good eye for colour and a big dose of wild abandon. Styles and shapes aren’t important — it’s all about a mix and match attitude, creating spaces which have a global influence but a casual feel. It helps not to be too precious about what you buy. The coolest boho interiors are filled with stuff gathered from car boot sales and auction houses, as well as hand-me-downs. Boho interiors ooze personality. Dispensing with formality, they are enchanting spaces where you instantly want to sit down, hang out and fling off your shoes! Glam up the setting with lace, beads, sequins and shells — pile on the accessories as the more layers and textures you add, the more exciting the space will be. Walls can be painted in any colour, but cosseting neutrals — ivory, milk and buttery taupe — work beautifully. For a confident hippy vibe, splash on colour, partnering red with green or orange with purple, or opt for jewelled and metallic
colours and get loud with stars and stripes, squiggles, diamonds or flowers.
Top tips: Pieces that tell a story, from flea market art to souvenirs, so it looks as if you’ve travelled the world, is the essence of this look. Comfort is everything, so squishy sofas, inviting armchairs and large coffee tables are the order of the day.

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

Who does it suit? It’s all about bad-boy bling, drama and indulging your wild side. Your decor taste runs to the lean and mean — with sleek, shiny surfaces, animal print and in-your-face glittery accessories. How do you do it? Rock ‘n’ roll decorating is flamboyant, sophisticated and saucy, carried off with a huge dose of confidence. Think animal print rugs, gold accessories, graphic cushions, some super-cool graffiti wallpaper — all statement-worthy stuff. The trick is to scale down the tack and up the luxury vibe. It helps to identify a few anchors. A rock ‘n’ roll interior usually
starts with colour, followed by either a large piece of artwork, or maybe an amazing rug or a massive gold chandelier. No colours are off limits for this look, so think black instead of white, plus cobalt, crimson and other high-voltage hues.
Top tips: Overdose on shine from mirrored occasional tables to metallic wallpaper and lacquered coffee tables and chairs. Cool art is essential, from Banksy graffiti to pieces that you love. So are stand-alone statement pieces for drama which should be strong and masculine in style.

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