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Wall accents can bring life into a space Image Credit: Supplied

Your home reflects your personality and style. Whether it is a studio, an apartment, a penthouse, or a villa, it requires appropriate planning to set up when you first move in. Madeleine Latti, interior designer at Chattels & More, says it’s important to check on the property’s finishes before moving in. “Dealing with the finishes will give you a design direction to follow,” says Latti.

False ceiling

False ceilings can help alter and enhance the aesthetic appeal with the use of different lighting styles. “Installing a false ceiling with a low ceiling height will result in your space feeling constricted and you feeling claustrophobic,” says Latti. “A great solution for a smaller space is to apply a false ceiling design that runs along the outer borders of the ceiling and can be used to install a frame of diffused lighting, which makes for a relaxed atmosphere.”

And work with a professional who will address the issue of weight.


The right kind of flooring enhances the look and feel of your space. Merete Broen, general manager, Zen Interiors, says, “For a cost-effective solution for the floorings, porcelain and ceramic tiles are generally used. Porcelain tiles are dense, smooth and impermeable, making them suitable for all rooms, including the garden. They have different designs like wood, natural stones and concrete. Ceramic tiles are also popular as they are generally cheaper.

“Marble, granite and travertine look grand and elegant if you have a good budget. One should go for simple and elegant design and not go in for something too decorative.”

Wall paints and coverings

Painting a wall with an accent colour can be accompanied by similar coloured décor around the room, says Latti. “An accent wall is always assumed to be bright orange or blue. It can also be represented as a dark grey wall paired with neutral surrounding walls.”

When applying paint, Latti offers a tip: first apply a sample on the wall as the colour might turn out different from what is advertised. “The colour is easily affected by lighting, artificial or natural,” says Latti.

Pattern and textures

When selecting patterns, colours and textures, Latti says, “Avoid using a busy patterned wall covering in a small space, as it makes space look smaller. If you do use a busy patterned wall covering, do not use the same pattern in the loose cushions. Everyone says matching fabrics will benefit the room, but in fact, matching your wall covering to your cushion cover with exact patterns creates chaos.”

Space planning

When space planning, consider the architectural details such as window size or ceiling height, as this helps with positioning furniture. “If you want to maximise views, place your sofa facing a big window,” says Broen. “Use dramatic colours in small spaces, especially in foyers.”

Latti says if you have a big family, think about the functionality. “Prioritise a relaxing living room that can seat many,” she says. “When you work from home, think about where you would like to place your desk, do you want it in a discrete area? Will it take up a lot of space? When you enjoy hosting guests, then space plan for a spacious dining table.”

And don’t crowd the entrance. “Have only a few items such as a console table, mirror, small bench, accessories, like a key bowl or candle holder, and perhaps some atmospheric lighting.”