Ten decor items for the home that are always worth the investment
If you don't have an interior design plan it's easy to get carried away collecting furnishings and accessories for the home that don't fit in. There's also the risk they may date quickly, and let's face it, these dollars add up.
We talk to lots of designers and there's a definite pattern emerging about what's a good investment and what's not.
The items on our "you can't go wrong with this" list will improve the look, comfort and functionality of your home. So it's worth spending a little more time looking for the best example within your budget.
1. LARGE MIRROR
An oversized mirror brings a little magic to a room. It reflects the light and any views you may have, and makes a space look a lot bigger. But take care not to mount it too high on the wall.
2. ONE GOOD ANTIQUE
One good piece can anchor an entire room. It may be a Mid-century Modern sideboard or a fabulous chest of drawers. Contrary to what you might think, antique and vintage pieces can work very well in a contemporary setting, including modern apartments. It's all the better if there's a family history to go with your antique.
3. COMFORTABLE MODERN SOFA
If you can't afford a room full of furniture, then opt for a single great sofa. Choose the best one you can afford. Even if everyone else sits on the floor, your room will look cool – and you will be comfortable.
4. ORIGINAL ARTWORK
It doesn't need to cost a lot; it just has to be something you love. Wellington designer Bridget Foley, who is passionate about collecting art, suggests visiting local galleries and those in different towns you may be passing through. Graduate shows, art fairs, op shops and school fundraisers are all good places to find interesting artworks.
5. BIG RUG FOR THE LIVING ROOM
A great rug will bring your room together visually and make it feel more intimate. But size matters. Annie Loveridge from the Ivy House says it's best if the rug is large enough to beneath the front legs of the sofa and occasional chairs.
There are lots of interesting textural rugs around at present that will provide a good contrast to wood floors and sleek furniture. But Loveridge says when it comes to colour and texture, it often pays to stick with your initial choice.
"Try not to over think it – look at a few appropriately sized options, then stick with your first call. It will also probably be your initial choice (you prefer) after you've considered 10 others!"
6. ONE GOOD TABLE OR FLOOR LAMP
Lighting is one of the most important decorating elements. Harsh overhead lighting can ruin the most beautiful room. Think instead about having a lovely lamp beside your favourite chair or sofa, and overhead lighting on a dimmer switch.
7. WARDROBE ORGANISER
Every home should have one. A wardrobe organiser is essential to maximise space – it also helps you find items easily. You can have a system custom designed, or simply pick up pieces to fit your space from any of the larger home hardware chains.
8. COMFORTABLE BED
This is a no-brainer. We spend so many hours in bed, we need to be comfortable. Fresh, cotton bed linen is also much more comfortable than sheets and duvet covers with a polyester component. Think natural.
9. BEDSIDE FURNITURE
A small chest, a butler's tray on a stand, an old trunk – choose whatever you like, but just make sure you have a place to put your phone and a book. It's even better if there is space for a reading light.
10. LAUNDRY HAMPER
Again, it's all about being organised. If you have a hamper handy to the bedroom and bathroom, you can simply toss your clothes in when you are getting changed. And more importantly, other members of the family will also be encouraged to be tidy.