Looking stylishly good

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 April, 2012, 12:00am


Furnishing a home can be a daunting task, but if you stick to a few interior design rules, it can be a simple and even an enjoyable project. Horizon Plaza is a convenient place to start because it has the largest selection of furniture in Hong Kong. From contemporary to antique, there is something for every style and budget.

'Try to select items you can use in any room,' says Timothy Cheng, owner of TiRon Interior Architecture. 'Ones that work well in small or large rooms offer storage and can easily be moved around the house.

'Start by deciding on the look you want to achieve. Do you want something sleek and contemporary, or are antiques more your style?'

Vince Lau, from OVOstudio, recommends selecting simple and chic pieces that will blend with most things and won't date too quickly.

'Try starting with some well-selected pieces of wooden furniture and add a few bold decorations to liven up the decor,' he says.

Your home 'tells me more about you than the clothes you wear', says Shambala's self-proclaimed treasure hunter Andy Robbins, who travels the globe in search of one-off finds.

Most recently in Chengdu, en route west in search of Tibetan chests, he says: 'Follow your heart and buy what you love - not what you like and not with a mind to what others will think. Your life is a montage of many emotions. Don't get stuck on having chairs matching the table - get out of the box and live.

'If you do this, you will have a collection of items you will cherish for your whole life and to pass on to your kids with memories.'

Cheng says taking into account the scale of the room is crucial to success - does it have high or low ceilings, and is the room small or large? These points will affect your decision as to whether to select small or larger items. 'Next, decide on whether you want a vibrant colour scheme or something more subdued or neutral,' he says. 'The texture of materials is also very important as texture can add to the overall look and feel of a home - do you want a leather or fabric sofa, a dining table in glass or wood?'

Geoff Fuller, from Tequila Kola, says it is important to have an overall decorating plan each time you make a purchase.

'Colours, accessories and lighting should combine with furniture to give you the look you want,' he explains.

Fuller suggests starting with a base colour or colours, such as white, brown, beige or black. Then add splashes of bright colour, as with the Saville three-seater sofa. In this case, red has been used to inject life into the living space. But don't get too carried away. Fuller recommends using a maximum of two bold colours for each room.

'Great quality pieces of furniture create a fabulous backdrop for your accessories and lift the room out of the ordinary,' he says.

Don't forget to select eye-catching accessories, Fuller says. Plump cushions, oversized vases and a variety of lighting put the detail into decorating, so select your accent pieces carefully.

'Lay rugs for visual warmth and warmth underfoot. Plush yet up-to-the-minute rugs create a room that is welcoming and tranquil.

And for a more interesting and less predictable look, add a few controversial pieces such as upholstered mannequins.'

Cheng says it should also be a priority to consider durability and maintenance. Consider how and where a piece will be used. Furniture in high-traffic areas such as family rooms and kitchens needs to be durable and easy to maintain. Textiles with luxurious textures such as velvet are more suitable for low-traffic areas such as formal living rooms.

How well-upholstered furniture will wear depends on the fibre, fabric, colour application, finish, colour fastness and ability to resist shrinking or sagging.