The thing I love about this time of year is that the focus comes back inside. We’ve put summer to bed, accepted that we’re not gong to be lounging outside any time soon, and so we’re all focused on making inside as cool as we possibly can, right? I’ve talked before about little game changing tricks you can do in an afternoon, like swapping out light switches, adding flowers – but this is how you go a bit more high impact…

Add more lighting

Lights are like jewellery – they embellish a space and add a whole different dimension. Whether it’s a floor lamp, table lamp, pendan,t whether its vintage or modern, just add more lighting. Little pockets of glow all around a room is the effect we’re after.

Add some patina

From the odd beaten up, rustic piece to going even more daring and covering a whole wall in say brick tiles, or a concrete effect, or antiqued mirrored tile, or wooden panelling. If you don’t want to go for the real thing, there are also some amazing wallpapers out there to turn spaces around.

Add an area rug

This instantly gives a room a new look, and an immediate facelift. Particularly if you inject some texture, and a pattern or motif.

Play around with scale

There isn’t any room in this house where I haven’t played around with scale. I’ve got table lamps that are too big on bedside tables that are too small. I’ve got a giant anglepoise light downstairs, butting up against the ceiling in the part of the house where the ceiling is lowest. I’ve got giant cactus, large vases, and a tiny concrete chair next to a big dresser.

If everything were in proportion it would read as dullsville. This trick seems to scare people, which I get because it feels a little wrong when you first try it. But I promise once you put pieces that are too big in rooms that are too small something magic happens. What you are doing is creating a bit of tension. In any other area of life tension is bad, but in interiors it’s magical!

Add gloss

Every room needs a bit of gloss. Like magpies our eyes are automatically attracted to it, and glossy reflective surfaces bounce the light around beautifully. You could go small like adding a gloss vase, or you could go big like adding a lacquered sideboard or cabinet.

I’m coveting oriental design of late as I am back and forth to China all the time these days (next week as well) and the simplicity I’ve seen from some of their pieces along with the beautiful lacquer is so alluring. You don’t have to go to China of course – check out The Nine Schools, I’m a bit obsessed with the detailing on their furniture, coupled with the lacquer – beautiful! Especially the trunks (perfect as a bedside or little occasional table), as well as the cool hardware on the cabinets and consoles.

So more light, more gloss, splash out on a cool rug and rough it up a little round the edges with a patina and voila!