Use this essential decorating guide, packed with simple tips and easy DIY tricks to style your rooms like an expert.

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Image credit: Andrew Boyd

 A splash of paint, a little wallpaper or clever lighting fixtures can make a big difference to a dull living space. From how to define an open plan space to designing a gallery wall, Good Homes' Editor, Karen Walker lets us in on some simple tips and tricks to cleverly transform a room instantly, and with minimal effort. 

Separate an Open Plan Room

 Good Homes Open Plan Living Room

Image credit: Max Attenborough

Draw a sketch of the floorplan and decide how you want to use your space. Consider creating specific zones for eating, socialising, working and relaxing. Use larger pieces of furniture, such as sofas, sideboards or storage with open shelving that can be accessed from both sides, to break up the room into seperate spaces. Arrange furniture at right angles to the outer walls in order to divide the room neatly. 

Paint a Dramatic Feature Wall

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 Image credit: Andrew Boyd

Start by drawing your design on paper, then mark it on the wall in pencil and masking tape. Choose your colours and apply two coats, only removing the tape once the paint is dry. 

Define a Space with Lighting

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Image credit: Andrew Boyd

A row of pendant lights above a dining table will help to draw the eye and create atmosphere. Ideally, the bottom of the shades should be 90cm above the table. 

Design a Gallery Wall

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Image credit: Oliver Gordon

Fill a collection of frames with your favourite art pieces, print and photos. Try arranging them on the floor before hanging on the wall; start with the largest image and build from there. Odd numbers are the most visually appealing. 

Bring in a Bold Accent 

Orange Living Room Interior Ideas

 Image credit: Andrew Boyd

Colour can help influence how you work and affect your creativity and focus in a positive way. A zingy hue, such as this orange chair, can boost enthusiasm.  

Mix and Match Pattern and Print

 Image credit: Andrew Boyd

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Image credit: Andrew Boyd

Your patterns need to complement one another, so if one if bold, the others need to be less busy. Stick to a neutral palette with one accent colour, such as this mustard-yellow against grey.

Refresh Your Space with Greenery

 Good Homes Interior Nov 2017

Image credit: Andrew Boyd 

Not only do houseplants bring a natural element to a room, they can also purify the air and help reduce your stress levels. From an easy-to-grow succulent collection to larger specimens such as Swiss cheese plant, most will thrive in a bright, warm room.

For more decorating ideas, get your tickets to Grand Designs Live Birmingham, where the range of room sets and tips from top interior designers will leave you brimming with inspiration.  

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