We’ve all seen stunning homes on television, in glossy magazines and of course on social media, that look so perfect, you’re sure they’ve been styled by someone with no less than a degree in Design!

So, when it comes to styling your own home, there’s no surprise that it can feel overwhelming, with so many ideas for layouts, furniture styles and décor to consider, but we’re going to let you in on a little secret! In reality, there are a few basic rules that designers and stylists follow, which can help anyone achieve luxury style on a budget, and we’ve got the inside scoop on them, right here.

1 - Choose a focal point

What’s the first thing you see when you walk into a room? Whatever it is, that’s your focal point. The focal point is the first thing that catches your eye and it’s the item you will build your style around. For example, in a living area, the focal point might be a Danish inspired armchair. This armchair could then provoke the use of Scandinavian design elements to fill out the space, such as light flooring, warm lighting, minimalistic window treatments and neutral tones.

2 - The 10-30-60 Rule

After choosing the colour palette for the room, you then need to decide where to use it. The 10-30-60 rule is helpful in making sure you get the balance just right.

  • The dominant colour should be used on approximately 60% of the room, usually on the walls. A reasonably neutral colour is recommended
  • Next is the secondary colour, where bolder shades work best. This colour is to be used on furniture and larger pieces in the room, making up about 30% of the overall colours in the room
  • Finally, the accent colour makes up the remaining 10%. This can be introduced through cushions, throws, rugs and other accessories

3 - Use odd numbers and different textures

Styling your shelves, coffee table and bedside tables with items grouped in odd numbers is more visually appealing. It’s also effective to use items that have different textures, shapes and heights. Bring the whole collection together with a common theme or colour to ensure a cohesive look.

4 - Know common measurements

To get the balance right when styling any space, you need to know the basic measurement rules for key pieces:

  • Leave 40cm between coffee tables and sofas
  • Curtains are to be hung 10cm above the window frame, and should fall to floor level
  • The centre of any wall art should be approximately at eye level (usually 140-150cm high)
  • To determine the correct distance between your TV and seating area, take the diagonal measurement of your TV screen and double it
  • When it comes to floor rugs, bigger is better

5 - Get the lighting right

Advice for getting lighting right could take up a whole blog of its own! Ensure your lighting schedule accommodates your needs by considering the three types of lighting below:
  • Ambient lighting is the overhead lighting that is used to evenly illuminate a room
  • Task lighting is, as the name suggests, lighting that is used for a specific task. An example would be a reading area, where a lamp, or a reading light would be required
  • Accent lighting is any lighting used to highlight a particular object. A light facing a painting is one example of accent lighting

These design rules will certainly support you as you style your home, but the most important design rule of all is your personal taste. Don’t be a slave to trends and make sure you always factor in your likes and dislikes when it comes to style, after all, you’re the one who has to live with it. For more inspiration on styling and décor, visit a Ben Trager display home, where you’ll find up to date and affordable inspiration for your style journey.