As the winner of The Block Fans Vs Faves, Chantelle Ford proved she knows a thing or two when it comes to making a desirable home. Along with Steve O’Donnell – or as ‘Chantelle and Steve’, as they are better known – they set the record at the time for both the highest sale price and biggest profit in the history of the Channel 9 hit renovation reality series.
You, too, can have a winning space by employing some of her styling tips and tricks in your new home build.
Create a relaxing mood with beautiful pieces
“Design really impacts on the way you feel, it’s so important. It sounds so cliché but it really is life-changing,” she says. The biggest thing she learnt about interiors from her time on the show is “every single item that you purchase is an opportunity to present something truly beautiful and interesting in itself”. Decorate your space with things you love and don’t be afraid to splash out occasionally. “Sometimes we love to look at those things but we never think of spending that money on yourself,” she says. The result will be a space in your new home build that you love waking up in and returning home to, which sets you up every day for happiness.
Use colour in your new home build
Chantelle loves the “dramatic, courageous, quirky side” of design and uses lots of bold colours and prints in her own home. Colour creates different moods, so can be used to create a sense of fun in one room, but used to soothe in another. Lighter colours create an optical illusion of more space, while darker colours create intimacy and add sophistication. Bedrooms, in particular, need to “feel really homely, really calm” because this is where you start and finish your day. She suggests using calm tones – like whites, light blues, and adding golden accents – to create serenity when looking to style your new home build.
Create a sense of space
While colour can expand or shrink the sense of space in a room, so too does lighting and furniture placement. Large windows, flooding the space with natural light, connects inside with the outdoors. Strategically placed mirrors can dramatically alter the sense of size by increasing natural light. Artificial lighting can also create the effect of added depth, especially in shelving units, by tucking some strip lights under shelves in bookcases or kitchen cabinets. Tall lamps help draw the eye up, which can also make a room feel bigger. A couple of smaller lamps, rather than ceiling lights, also help in this way. Putting furniture slightly away from the wall, rather than pushing it right up against it, also creates a sense of spaciousness.
Use different textures
Textures create warmth in a room, especially if the floor has tiles, floorboards, especially polished concrete, which can be “very harsh, so it’s important to add different textures” says Chantelle. Floor rugs can soften a space, plus add colour. Layering different textures creates a feeling of cosiness, especially important in a bedroom. Chantelle suggests layering your bed with beautiful linens, scatter cushions and throw rugs to create an enticing environment.
Create different zones
“You can zone out two sections with a big area rug,” says Chantelle of larger spaces. The dining and living area can be separated in this way, or a smaller rug could signal a study nook. With living room furniture, consider adding a “hero piece” – so in addition to the couch and coffee tables, try another piece like a chaise or bench seat in a differently textured fabric or contrasting colour for some added impact.
Use multi-purpose pieces
If you don’t have the luxury of space in all rooms when it comes to furniture, select pieces that serve a dual purpose. For instance, in a small bedroom “have a set of drawers that double as a bedside table” or use decorative baskets or boxes to maximise storage space under the bed. All those scatter cushions on the bed? Chantelle suggests getting an ottoman to store them on overnight, but these too can have in-built storage.
Above all, remember this is your home and the only person who needs to love your new home build is you, so “trust your gut on your own style” says Chantelle.