1) Dare to add drama to your entrance

A bright idea from Harf Noon Design Studio

When it comes to walls and ceilings, think about what feeling you want to convey – is it soothing and serene with a calming paint colour, or a bold statement with a lacquered, brightly coloured ceiling or fabulous printed wallpaper? This is a great space to have fun, whatever your style preference or size of the home, so don’t be afraid to go a little crazy. It all depends on your level of comfort with pattern and colour, but a good rule of thumb is that if you have a busy print on the walls, keep the rugs mostly solid and vice versa.

2) Lighten up

Lalita pendant lights from Ethan Allen add a modern accent to open-plan living-dining spaces

The way a room is lit can make or break the style and mood. Do not rely on one type of lighting alone – just because you have 10 recessed spotlights doesn’t mean you don’t need lighting. Break it up by mixing table or floor lamps with sconces or ceiling fixtures, like these Lalita handblown recycled glass pendant lights from Ethan Allen.

Don’t forget to install dimmers where possible to allow you to adjust the brightness of certain fixtures. Also, just because a lamp comes with a shade doesn’t mean that you have to use it. Why not try switching out a black shade for an off-white or coloured one to complement the palette of a room?

3) Set the anchor

Make sure your rug is big enough to anchor the room and the furniture within it

When it comes to rugs, the bigger the better! Make sure your rug is big enough to anchor the room and the furniture within it. A rule of thumb is that at least two legs of all the main furniture should rest on the rug. Of course, there are room sizes and shapes that make this impossible, but do avoid the "shrunken rug" look, where only the coffee table sits on top and no other furniture touches it. Nothing makes a space look smaller and more unfinished than this type of set-up. If you find a rug that you love but it is not big enough for your space, layer it over a larger simple sisal for a contemporary bohemian look.

4) Cushions galore

Always opt for down feather inserts as they look and feel more luxe and less stiff than foam fillers

I prefer to use oversized pillows on the sofa. For a smaller sofa, like a love seat or apartment size, try the 50x50cm squares. For larger sofas and sections, two 65x65cm work best. For most chairs, kidney and lumbar cushions fit perfectly. Always opt for down feather inserts as they look and feel more luxe and less stiff than foam fillers.

5) 3 Easy updates

Reupholster furniture to give it new life and to change your scheme; also note how Nisrine has clustered these small vases for a stylish display

Organise cords

This is a dirty task (yes, they collect lots of dust and dirt) not to mention tedious, but it’s definitely worth it. Tangled cords that appear under a television unit or a side table are a blemish on a scheme (especially for Instagram photos!). Simply organising or hiding them inside a suitable box can make a huge difference.

Reupholster something

If a chair or sofa has a nice shape and is still in great condition, a new covering can give it a new life and save you the cash and hassle of looking for a replacement.

Paint trims

Just because your floors have a wooden finish doesn’t mean that the baseboards need to match. Painting them white or a light grey can add a whole new dimension to your flooring

Read more from InsideOut magazine:

Three trending looks that will make your living room the most stylish spot in the house

Discover a luxe Dubai apartment furnished on a budget

7 Eco-friendly stylish flooring ideas to live sustainably