Styling tips and trends to refresh your home

We asked HOMEmade interior designer, Melissa Greenough her advice on how to give new life to a room without picking up the tools.

Looking to switch up your interior design style? HOMEmade interior designer, Melissa Greenough, shares her top tips to help you find your inspiration, and shares her thoughts on current trends and statements.

What trends have you seen really make a comeback in the last few years?

There’s an eclectic mix of fashions from different eras coming back all at the same time. Velvet has made a huge comeback and I think it’s a bit of a throwback to the 1950’s with the beautiful deco style furniture. There’s also the use of patterned wallpaper that was big in the 1940’s, now again being used to make creative statements in homes. Another trend that is quite common is the use of raw organic materials like timber, being used in a modern way. Playing with different fashions and determining your theme is a really personal thing, so find a style that you love and experiment with that.

What room in a home is the best place to start a makeover?

If your home is quite open plan, generally the best place to start would be the kitchen, dining and living all at the same time rather than starting in one room in particular. Getting the design of your kitchen right first will then lead into your dining room and determine the style for the zone overall. If you don’t have the open plan area to play with, I would recommend starting in the living room as that tends to be where you entertain guests and spend more time in overall.

Where in a home can you make big statements with styling?

It might sound a bit random, but I think a powder room or guest bathroom is a good area to go a bit crazy in. It’s a small area and generally disconnected to the rest of the house, so you can go wild and have fun in there without too much risk. You could try a feature wallpaper, or you could paint it a solid colour that different to the rest of the house. Experiment with unique artwork, lighting or tapware to make a bold statement.

What’s a big styling risk for you?

Personally, I prefer to stick with monochrome and neutral tones in my own home, so I think using bold colour in a big way would be me taking a risk. Usually the way I incorporate colour into a room is subtle, like a piece of artwork on the wall or the rug or other fabrics in the room. But I love being challenged to be bold with colour and using it in creative ways for other people. It’s also helped me to brave and have the freedom to experiment more with colour while still sticking to my aesthetic.

Where are your favourite places to look for inspiration?

I get a lot of inspiration through travelling. I really love finding bits and pieces from different countries that I travel to. I’m especially inspired by Argentina, where my husband is from. I’ve found that in Argentina there is such an eclectic mix of styles present because many Europeans went to live there at the turn of the century. This means that you end up seeing all of these antique pieces that originate from Italy, France, Holland, Spain, Germany and they’ve found their way to Buenos Aires. This blend of styles and cultures really inspire me when I visit, and I just love to see the mad mix.

About the writer:

Melissa Greenough is an award-winning interior designer and an Auckland real estate agent. Her career has seen her lead a design team at interior design company, Antony Todd in New York, where she regularly worked with high profile clients including Martha Stewart. She was also interior designer for TVNZ 1’s popular primetime show, Kiwi Living. Melissa’s clever solutions for planning and decorating a room in only two days will give the HOMEmade audience plenty of makeover inspiration.

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