The size of the dwelling in which you reside need not dictate its functionality, flow and sense of style. While not every abode is blessed with soaring high ceilings or an excess of space, deliberate stylistic choices, clever manipulation of lighting and multipurpose storage units can help transform your humble dwelling into heavenly haven; one that is as liveable and practical as it is beautiful. Bethany Hayes speaks with Dianne Bayley, director of Pasco Design, and seeks her advice on evoking a sense of luxury within the home, when starting from the very basics.
While the thought of living in a spacious, double-storey abode is certainly inspiring, smaller, more modest dwellings can share just as much appeal – especially when utilising a clever layout and distinct interior design choices. For Dianne Bayley, whose Pasco Design team has more than 20 years of experience in delivering impressive buildings and interiors, the key to making your abode something truly special is to capitalise on
the abundance of unique materials available, and clever manipulation of natural lighting.
LET’S TALK LIGHTING
You may have heard it all before, but when working with a modest-sized home, natural light is the key to giving the illusion of extra space; it adds an air of clean, crisp openness, and an undeniable sense of calm. Bearing in mind that non-hues attract light, a white or bright, neutral
colour scheme can effectively make your room appear bigger than it is, and can transform it into a warmer, more inviting space. “[I would recommend homeowners] paint walls in white or a light colour, and remove heavy window furnishings and expose windows to daylight,” the
director explains. If you’re lucky enough to have a soaring high ceiling, Bayley recommends installing some uplights – which will not only work to highlight the ceiling, but create an ambient atmosphere within the home as well.
If you’re looking to renovate or add an extension to your small-scale dwelling, Bayley recommends implementing a rear living area extension, and “using lots of glass, bi-fold or sliding doors for light”, which will also allow a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living. “98 percent of client requests are for open-plan living,” she explains. “However, post COVID requests have actually been for smaller, more enclosed spaces
[which allow for] working at home.”
If you are one of the many homeowners who find themselves working from their humble abode, Bayley recommends having a good de-clutter, which will ensure your space is filled with the essentials, and is not an assault on the eyes or the senses. “Clear the windows, and use light, soft colours [throughout the home]; the walls, floors, furniture and joinery. Using similar tones [will ensure the home remains] seamless.”
With its position at the core of the home, the kitchen often becomes a dumping ground of sorts – with keys, wallets, homework, chargers and the like accommodating precious bench space. “Homeowners should add an appliance cupboard to keep appliances off the bench, andmake the benches look clear and larger,” Bayley notes. “Light colours [also] look bigger – both for joinery and benchtops.” The living room, synonymous with relaxation, can be both improved and appear more spacious by keeping furniture elevated. “Keep furniture off the floor– on legs – so that you can see the floor underneath,” she explains. “A timber floor with rugs [can make] a space appear as if it is endless.”
Another effective way of both enhancing the appearance of space within your home, while simultaneously adding an air of prestige, is through large windows. Instead of restricting your line of sight to the room itself, windowsencourage your eye to travel beyond the room’sparameters, allowing homeowners to take in the views from the window, and immerse themselves in the view. Plus, windows that allow any home to bathe in natural light is always a good thing! “You’re able to see beyond [these windows] to the outside,” Bayley agrees.
Incorporating luxurious materials and rich finishes is another effective way to infuse an air of prestige to your home. Bayley champions using rich materials and finishes – “like timbers and natural stone with character” – which will be both functional, easy on the eye, and last the ages. “Beautifully designed lighting and opulent rugs [are another way to enhance a home’s sense of prestige].” Using statement pops of colour throughout furniture – such as a glossy red dining chair, or colourful throw rugs – can also add an extra layer of visual interest to the home, not to mention being cost-effective.
As the entrance way to the home, your front door also has potential to transform the home’s essence and establish what kind of home awaits the visitor – whether it be something modern, or even something of heritage charm. Something with a lot of glass will let extra light roam the home, while a statement colour like Patone’s
2021 Illuminating, can add undeniable modern flare. The choice is yours!
No matter the size and scale of the home, there is ample opportunity to transform your humble abode into something grand, stylish, and fitting of your lifestyle and preferences. While trends fluctuate frequently, utilising clever sources of natural light, removing clutter and embracing an open-plan style can encourage ultimate ease-of-living. After all, home is where the heart is.
Images courtesy of Pasco Design