5 ways to make your home more unique

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When it comes to decorating your space, it can be hard to know where to start. Here, we ask an interiors expert…

While the likes of Pinterest have transformed our approach to interiors inspiration, it can definitely be said that decorating your home in 2018 is overwhelming.

There’s the avalanche of trends, the bizarre DIY hacks and the temptation to head down to the same store with a big old trolley to get all your shopping done in one fell swoop.

We spoke to Lucy Ward, creative director at Trouva, the online marketplace for independent boutiques, to get her insider tips on shopping from local independent design stores and getting a unique home that stands out without becoming bamboozled.

1. Harness Instagram

“Instagram is a super-visual platform and boutiques are using it a hell of a lot. Before I visit one, I jump on Instagram and check out what their style is. 

You also get a bit of a behind-the-scenes glimpse and often it’s the first way of discovering the new products they have in.”

2. Pick your palette before shopping

“Pick a colour palette and start from there. I’ve been redecorating my bedroom in Hague Blue. 

My next tip would be to pick out your key pieces: bed, mirrors, lighting fixtures. 

Then onto the most fun bit, which is accessorising the room. Personally, I love colour contrast. 

I decided to complement my Hague Blue bedroom by making all the accessories either gold or mustard. I went for mustard throws, mustard cushions, rugs and prints. 

Once you have made this decision it makes shopping more focussed and you’re less likely to get led astray.

It’s a bit like having chips without salt – you need those beautiful accessories to make it your own.”

3. Make the most of small rooms

“I’m a tidy freak, so my first thought would be storage. 

Make sure you’ve got ways of hiding stuff that you don’t want to see every day. And use the wall space – even if you don’t have high ceilings, walls are gold for being able to put great stuff in without it looking cluttered, whether that be prints or mirrors. 

I’d also emphasise shelving. I’m a huge fan of string shelving units and using those to display books, ornaments, vases and flowers. By putting them on the shelf, you’re stopping your accessories from being spread around a cluttered little room. 

Then you can take the perfect shelfie.”

4. Don’t be afraid to mix and match

“I’m a strong believer in us not conforming to the pre-packaged formulas of chain stores.

There’s nothing worse than spending all this time and money on your home, only for someone to come in and go, ‘I saw that in so-and-so’ or ‘We bought that in wherever’. What I love is when people come into my flat and go, ‘Oh my god, where did you find that?’ 

I guess that’s the beauty of boutique shopping with Trouva; there’s so much variety. The products are handpicked, rarely mass-produced and have real stories behind them. They’re not one-offs, but they definitely mean a little bit more. 

Having a mismatched home isn’t a bad thing as long as you stick to the rules about small apartments and not looking too cluttered.”

5. Don’t be wed to trends

“Trends are there to inspire us, but also to be ignored. Gather all the information and absorb it, but ultimately you need to bring in your own style and ideas. 

No-one wants to be the sucker to a seasonal trend that will be in one minute and out the next. 

With fashion it’s a bit different, but with interiors you’re not going to paint your room a colour and then change it the next season.”

For the chance to win Stylist Live VIP tickets and £250 to spend at Trouva, enter the competition here.