Living Room Styling Tips With Interior Secrets

The living room is our most used room in the home. It’s Not only a place to relax, but also where we are gather and connect. So it’s important that not only is it a comfortable and functional space, but one that looks great as well. Even though each living room in each individual house is different, there are some key decorating tips to keep in mind that can help you create a homely and inspiring space.


Mood board design by The DIY Decorator

Above is a living room mood board I created using items from popular furniture and homeware retailer, Interior Secrets. An example of what furniture pieces to use, from coffee tables to entertainment units and seating, it shows the key pieces often required this room to make it both a functional and attractive space.

A mistake often made in homes is using the incorrect amount of furnishings, or the wrong sized pieces within a room. Using too many items in a smaller space or not enough in a larger one instantly puts the rooms proportions out, which can result in it not looking or feeling right. Use smaller scaled furniture and not too many pieces in a smaller space. And for a larger one, select larger sized pieces that fill the space rather than get lost in it.


Image Via Interior Secrets

A common problem people have is not knowing how to arrange their living room furniture.  Furniture doesn’t just need to be pushed up against the walls of a room. Position them facing a focal point. In the past, furnishings were usually directed to a focal point of a room which was the fireplace. These days that focal point is the generally a television. So the seating should be arranged in the best position to it for comfortable viewing. If you don’t have a TV in the space, create a focal point using an item such as large artwork to direct the seating at instead. Also think about positioning furnishings so that they create conversation areas as well. Consider too the traffic flow in the room. Position the pieces so that they are easy to walk between and not in the way.


Image Via Interior Secrets

In modern times, there are two main pieces to focus on when decorating a living room is the seating and entertainment unit. These are the pieces that in modern times we need in the room to make it functional. After including them in the space, everything else added in can work around them. If there is room, add in items such as a coffee or side table. When it comes to choosing matching furniture pieces or not, I don’t think its a must. As long as the pieces are of similar style, they can work nicely together even if they aren’t from the same matching range.

If you don’t have wall space to hang art or wall decor, or perhaps you are renting and can’t hang items at all, use pieces such a floor lamp and tall plants to add some height and interest instead. When it comes to adding decorative pieces to your living room, remember that they are simply the items to compliment your furnishings. Not take over and distract from them. Adding just a few items on top of a piece such as a coffee table or console table, is all you need to give that stylish look without creating a cluttered or over-decorated space.


Image Via Interior Secrets

If you struggle with setting a colour of style theme for your living room, start with adding in larger items such as art or a floor rug.  From those pieces, pull the tones, textures and patterns from them to decide on what soft furnishing and homeware items to use. Repeating colour and texture within a room is a great way to help it flow while feeling homely and inviting. Choose your decor items depending on the size of the room and use what the space needs, remembering the important decorating rule, sometimes less is more.

My biggest tip when styling your living room, or any room in your home really, is to plan first. Like everything in life, planning ahead can save both time and money by saving us from purchasing the wrong item or perhaps too many of them. Using the above tips, arrange and style your living area so that it’s both a practical and attractive room. But most importantly, remember to use items that you love and ones that reflect you and your family to make it an enjoyable space and the heart of your home.







Zoe Gilpin – The DIY Decorator 

A Better Night’s Sleep Thanks To IKEA

IMG_20190811_142142_037Sleep is something that is very important to me. Unlike my husband who can fall asleep at a drop of a hat anywhere and any time, I can only catch some zzz’s in the comfort of a bed. And the best sleeps of course, are always had in the comfort of my own. So naturally, I should spend the time to not only make it look great, but also on the items you don’t see which are where the real comfort is coming from.

PhotoGrid_1565596659988Thanks to IKEA, I was able to recently visit their mattress and bedding studio and select all new items to assist me in not only getting that better nights sleep, but helping to protect our existing mattress as well. I was quite unaware until my visit, that you could purchase everything bed related from the frame or base, to the mattress, inserts and protectors, all the way though to bedding and decorative cushions and throws, all at IKEA! Your one stop bedroom shop if you will. And if I can get everything I need in one store, that’s a big tick to me! So now knowing that you can do just that at IKEA is news that I had to share!

PhotoGrid_1565597079552The staff at IKEA Perth were more than helpful when it came to showing me around and helping choose the right products for our bedroom. Their knowledge of the extensive bedding range was amazing and I left knowing a whole lot more about all the ways to improve your sleep with their products. My brief to what I wanted to get from my visit was simple: Soft, fluffy, warm bedding items that I love due to the feel and look. As well as items suitable for my husband who runs hot and so needs to right product to help him get a better nights sleep.

Below, I have broken down what items I selected for our bed and why, as well as links to them all on the IKEA website.


a. Rosendun Mattress Protector (Queen size $99). A mattress protector is a must to help prolong the life of a mattress by protecting it from stains and dirt. The quilted mattress protector I chose is made from a lyocell and cotton blend fabric, with a lyocell and polyester mix filling. The lining contains tiny wax capsules that store and release excess body heat. If your body temperature rises, the excess heat is absorbed, and when it drops again, the heat is released, helping you maintain an even body temperature and get a restful nights sleep. I chose this one with my husband in mind as I mentioned before he runs hot and often sweats in his sleep. So with this protector, paired with some other bedding items I chose, he should now get a better nights rest and wake up dry in the morning.

b. Sotvedel quilt, warmer (King size $149). A warm quilt made from soft cotton, filled with duck down and feathers. I chose this as I often feel the cold at night so wanted something that would keep me snuggly and warm, and which also looked great as well. The stitched inner walls retain the heat which gives me a warmer sleep environment and is also a breathable insert as well. This quilt also comez in a cooler and extra warm design to suit all sleepers preferences.


c. Kungsmynta pillow protector ($9.99). I selected these protectors for the front pillow inserts which we use to sleep on because they are again made from the lyocell and cotton blend fabric and a lyocell and polyester mix filling, which absorbs moisture and helps to give a comfortable and dry sleep. So not only are they protecting our pillows, but helping us get that better night’s sleep as well.


d. Angsvide pillow protector ($3.49). I chose these pillow protectors for the back pillows that are more decorative than for use. By saving a few dollars using these cheaper covers on them, they are still being protected from stains and dirt, and I’ve still got a few extra dollars in my pocket. This pillow protector is made from of polyester and cotton blend with polyester filling.

e. Jordrok pillow, firmer ($16.99). A firm pillow made from a soft cotton, filled with duck down and feathers. I tend to be a side or back sleeper, so the support of the firmer, higher pillow, is perfect for me. I am a fan of duck feather inserts for both my pillows and cushions as they are nice and fluffy and sit really well as well. The perfect choice of insert for someone like me who likes their bed to look amazing at all times.

IMG_20190811_141047_232f. Blavinda quilt cover set, beige (King size $89). I chose this design to go with our new bedding items as it fits in well with my decor and suits the relaxed, fluffy look I was going for. I love not only the look and feel of this cover, but also that it has the zipper opening and comes with a set of 4 matching pillow covers. For under $100 for the largest bed size, this is a great quilt cover which works for so manh interior styles. It is also available in a grey stripe.

g,h,i. Nattjasmine flat sheet, fitted sheet pillow cases, light beige (From $6.99). This is another temperature controll item that I chose with my husband in mind. The sheets and pillow cases are a sateen-woven bedlinen, made from a cotton/lyocell blend that absorbs and draws moisture away from your body. Keeping you dry all night long. The items themselves, with a 310 thread count, feel very soft and look great as well. I chose the beige to compliment the other chosen bedding pieces and fit in with our natural interior.

j. Aina cushion cover, beige. (50x50cm $9.99). To finish off the bed, I added this 100% linen cushion to add some detail and texture to our bed. The ties make the cover easy to remove and adds a decorative detail at the same time. 

k. Jofrid cushion cover, natural (65x65cm $19.99). This cotton & linen blend cushion is ideal to use as a backing cushion against the wall, behind the pillows. It adds both height and another layered item to the bed. I’ve filled mine with a duck feather & down insert to give it a great shape whilst making it extra comfy too. It works perfectly with the natural, inviting look I’ve created on our bed.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I will admit that it took a few nights to get use to sleeping with new pillows, but I can gladly say that bed time has become that little bit sweeter with it’s makeover! The addition of the new items has softened our bed and helped us have a better nights sleep thanks to the combination of the temperature controlled items mixed with the fluffy, breathable, cosy ones. So now I can go to bed knowing that my mattress is protected and that my husband and I will be getting the best nights sleep we can with the help of the new additions from IKEA.


Zoe – The DIY Decorator 

Stylish Storage Solutions

IMG_20190808_190318_215Gone are the days of unattractive storage solutions. With the likes of Marie Kondo and thousands of organisation obsessed people inspiring us to live a more clutter free life, we are seeing home storage front and centre rather than hidden away. From pantry and laundry storage to smart wardrobe solutions, we are always on the lookout for on trend, affordable storage options to showcase in our homes.

Australia’s favourite home improvement store Bunnings, has listened to the masses and are offering a great range of home storage solutions as a part of their special buys this month. Currently, items including storage boxes and baskets, garment racks, coat stands and free standing wardrobes are available in stores for fantastic prices!

IMG_20190808_193049_707As soon as these items appeared at my local Bunnings store, I grabbed a few pieces to style up and share with you guys to show you just how easy it is to make a standout in your home rather than hiding it away. The items I chose to work with are the following. (Hit link to go to item on Bunnings website).

The garment rack is a perfect addition to a bedroom if you have a tiny closet, or perhaps an overflowing one. A freestanding wardrobe is a great piece to have on show in a room and perfect for dispaying either your best clothes or bulkier items such as coats and jackets. Having the extra clothes storage space out in the open may even force you to keep your clothes nice and organized instead of in an avalanche pile in the closet 😉

I love the Bunnings coat stand because of its simple design. It’s not often these days that you see coat stands for sale in stores. Espcially not affordable and on trend ones! These are the perfect addition to spaces such as entries or bedrooms, for popping bags, scarves or coats on. An item which is a stand out piece decoratively, as well as as being super functional.

As both a decorator and a product stylist, I love matching pieces within a space via colour and texture. So when I spotted the assorted baskets from the new Bunnings range, I knew they would work well in my home. The baskets are made from thin rope, so are light but durable. The rectangle baskets are perfect for storing items such as belts, scarves and small shoes like sandals in. The large hamper style basket makes for a great place to store shoes.

Storage doesn’t need to look perfect. For this blog I have styled it in a presentable way, however in real life it’s quantity over quality and we are more likely to fill our storage items to the brim so that they are doing their job rather than just looking pretty. However, I have a few tips on how to make your storage look more presentable whilst being functional at the same time:

  • Match your storage. Pick a theme. Wether it be a natural theme like I have gone with, or perhaps a more Scandi style using grey baskets, by keeping all the storage items of the same colour palette, it instantly creates order and cohesion.
  • Use hampers or large baskets to store shoes away. You can still chuck them in there after a long day at work with ease and not worry about seeing a messy pile of shoes on the floor.
  • Clear baskets and containers are great to use as you can see the items from the outside so they are easy to find, but still neatly tucked away. Or if you dont want items on show, opt for a non transparent stosge option and add a label on the outside for a stylish look.

IMG_20190808_190718_556I hope this blog has inspired you to get your clothes storage under control with the help of just a few simple items which are both on trend and easy on the budget! I’ve even inspired myself to give our walk-in wardrobe a much neaded clean our and organise!







Zoe – The DIY Decorator