You got the picture, now use these tips to hang it right
Words: Cayleigh Bright | Photographs: Nick Gordon | Styling: Charl Edwards
Your childhood bedroom probably had posters, magazine cutouts and snapshots stuck up all over the walls, because you knew how important it was to be surrounded by the things you liked. Some would say that these visuals even helped to shape who you are – so why are you neglecting to adorn the walls of your more grown-up space? A few beautifully displayed pieces go a long way in creating a space that's uniquely you.
Add pops of colour to brighten up whatever you've got cooking.
Your kitchen. You know, the part of your home in which you end up spending most of your time, but that you seem to have neglected when it comes to decorating.
Think kitchen classics, with easy-to-change-up additions. For most of us, a set of plain white plates, side plates and mugs are the ideal starting point for a kitchen collection. The good news: that’s an affordable option, and you can get it just about anywhere. The even better news: mixing things up with an assortment of pieces in variations of a specific colour will look creative, considered, and expensive.
The pro tip
Create levels: it saves space, and looks good. This means displaying your crockery and cutlery on shelves rather than all tucked away in cupboards, using stools and chairs as standing and hanging spaces for stuff that you’d really like to show off, and thinking outside the box, literally, by using baskets and cups as attractive storage vessels.
Add splashes of colour to your pretty-much-monochrome space with bold, bright illustrations.
A canvas. Steam and other kitchen stuff tends to get trapped in frames and warp just-stuck-on-the-wall pieces, while a canvas is more resistant and will keep its shape. Remember, we’re talking printed canvasses here – a watercolour on a canvas isn’t going to do too well above a steaming pot of spaghetti. For extra preservation for any artwork on canvas, use a trick you might have learned in grade 9 art class: cheap hairspray does a great job of adding a protective layer to any canvas.
Choose your favourites, and remember that advice about levels: you can keep creating a feeling of extra space and high ceilings by layering large and small artworks, hanging them at different heights, or standing some on surfaces and attaching others to the wall.
The finishing touchAnother thing that tends to be neglected in kitchens: the floors. For a top-to-toe finished effect, add an easily washable rug or mat.
GET IT IN BLACK AND WHITE
A tranquil, decidedly grown-up workspace is all yours when you know how to keep it simple.
If you’re able to set aside a space to get stuff done, you’re pretty lucky – so make the most of it with carefully edited decor that lets you maximise your productivity and enjoy yourself while putting work in.
First up, the big investment: a desk and chair that strike a balance between keeping you awake and ruining your posture forever. What we’re saying is that you want to get comfortable, but ensure that you’re sitting without having to hunch over in order to reach your notepad, laptop, sketch book, potter’s wheel, etc. Take a look at second-hand markets for something that catches your eye, or order an easy-to-assemble flat-pack option. Next, get a lamp that’ll let you burn the midnight oil while keeping your 20/20 vision, then decide on how much storage you’ll need and what shape that should take.
Something to keep you inspired. Whatever your industry, whether you're sitting down to work all day or just to pay a bill, you'll need to think creatively when you're at your desk, and we'd suggest beating boredom any way you can – starting with illustrative artwork in black and white.
A bold black frame that means business – just like you do.
This isn't really about layering or interesting groupings: you need to be pretty decisive and choose your favourites, because if you wanted images on images you'd get a mood board. Order the art in its frames, or choose a store-bought frame if you want to add a favourite black-and-white photo to the mix.
The finishing touch
Something to soothe your senses. Add a candle to your workspace for a fresher scent, and don't underestimate pot plants or flowers to make your seat at the table that much more appealing.
Ready to bring the outdoors in? Think natural textures and embrace the I-wish-I-was-on-an-island-right-now urge with special pieces collected on your last trip home, weekend away or exotic vacay.
Your lounge, or any comfortable corner that can be set aside as a chill area.
Choose neutral shades and you’ll be set to stay cool in summer and cosy up when it gets colder. A day bed, couch or futon is the obvious starting point for for a corner designated for reading, naps and Netflix, but a few oversized cushions go a long way, too. Now that you’ve got an appealingly slouchy space, add a modern touch with metal and marble furniture and bring in a little extra shine with decorations made of copper and glass – just don’t forget to leave space for magazines and your coffee, tea or hot chocolate mug.
The pro tip
When creating a space that looks collected and considered, a mix of old and new is key. Once you’ve bought the bits you need and added your own mementoes, hit up charity shops for the old books, glassware and weird stuff that just speaks to you.
Continue the relaxed, outdoorsy theme with photographic prints of plants, or textbook-style illustrations.
Plot twist: there isn’t one. You’re sticking up your art for a poster-style, just-passing-through feel, and a little extra texture.
You don't have to use Prestik, and you shouldn't, because it'll leave greasy dots or just peel the paint right off of the walls. Hit up your nearest hardware store, Builder's Warehouse or Makro for a putty or double-sided tape that's designed to protect paint while keeping a firm grip on the situation.
The finishing touchComplete your fresh, airy space with flowers or plant cuttings. Whether you go for leaves in a beaker, flowers in a pretty bottle or a succulent living in an old teacup, this is what’ll keep your space feeling fresh even when it’s the setting for a binge-watching session.
LET'S GET WHIMSICAL
We can’t say this enough – keep your bedroom cool, calm and uncluttered: your sleep depends on it, and a lot of your life depends on your sleep. With that serious word of warning out the way, we’ll get to the fun stuff, and so should you – pack away everything that you don’t want to see on a daily basis, then get to decorating.
Your bedroom. Big or small, it’s likely to contain the same things: somewhere to sleep, somewhere to keep your clothes, and a place to balance your coffee, bedtime reading, a midnight snack or the bottle of water that Slightly Intoxicated You leaves out for Future You (and that Future You accepts gratefully). Keeping it clean won’t always be a constant, but you can at least aim for good-quality rest and a serene start to the day.
Keep it simple, and be selfish. This space is all about you (and, if applicable, your partner), so prioritise what you know you like – your favourite colours, the textures that you want to touch, and the stuff you want to keep close – over any efforts to impress.
The pro tip
Remember how we mentioned that you should pack away everything that you don’t want to look at daily? It’s worth bearing in mind that those won’t be the same things for everyone: if you love your sneaker collection and want it on display, by all means line up those kicks on shelves, or if you want to hang your clothes on a rail in a carefully curated colour gradient, you do you.
Choose pastel illustrations of the stuff you love.
Simple and minimal.
Save yourself some time and just order it pre-framed. If you've found a piece that you love but it's an odd size, phone around or post an annoying Facebook status asking for recommendations of a framer who suits your budget.
The finishing touch
Easy – all of your favourite things.