Type to search

Savvy Styling Solutions


Ask an expert

Here at Early Settler, we love hearing from you. You’ve asked a number of interior design questions and Donna Gilligan, our National Visual Merchandising Manager, has shared her expertise on these tricky dilemmas below. From weirdly shaped rooms to pairing sofas and chairs, Donna’s got some savvy styling solutions for getting your home looking its best.

An awkward situation

“How do you decide what size furniture will best fit awkwardly-shaped rooms, such as a lounge room?” — @kellyg92

Begin by working out the following elements in your room: function, needs, space and style. Consider what function the room needs to serve. If it is the television room, then the sofa must be configured so that it is facing the television. Take into account where the electrical points are and how many people you’ll need to comfortably seat at one time.

Next, start taking careful measurements of the dimensions of the room, taking into account where you intend to position the sofa and television unit, as well as other elements like coffee tables, side tables and armchairs. If you have no idea how you would like to set out your furniture — which is often the case in awkward spaces — you could use a furniture layout app like MagicPlan or the old-school trick of cutting out paper ‘patterns’ to relative scale to set out on your dining table and move around easily until you find the configuration you like. You may even find the perfect configuration that you hadn’t even considered, or discover surprising elements you haven’t thought of — such as using a round coffee table to make it easier to walk around with no sharp corners.

Once you’ve decided on your sizes, layout and furniture requirements, the fun begins. You have a much better idea of what you’re looking for when you scroll online or browse in-store. When you find the pieces that tick the right boxes, get ready to start decorating!

The Dos and Don’ts of Decorating

Make an entrance

“What furniture do you put in the walkway by the front door?” — @vlenka20

What you use in your walkway depends on your needs, space and style. If you’re looking for something that is largely decorative, consider a console table, buffet or sideboard. Not only will it make a statement, it will also provide additional storage and/or handy surface space for a key bowl, mail basket and so forth.

If you’re looking for a more practical solution with ample room to tuck away school bags and work boots, opt for some cube storage or a bookshelf and allocate a cube or shelf per household member. It’s a great way to keep kids organised. Bench seats are also practical for family living. There’s somewhere to sit when you tie your laces and you can tuck boots underneath or slide in a basket or two for shoes and bric-a-brac.

Finally, make a beautiful statement with a framed print, wall art or mirror hung directly over the table or shelving unit at eye level. Personalise the space with a potted plant, flower vase, family photos or pretty ceramics and roll out a skinny rug (runner) to tie it all together and make your entry warm and inviting.

Ask the experts How do you furnish an entryway?

Which chair to pair?

“I’m thinking of a 2-seat Slouch sofa in grey. What armchair could go with this?” — @suelee8824

As always, start by considering your personal requirements when you’re thinking about adding new furniture to a room. Ask yourself, are you looking for a chair that will be super comfortable to sit in every day or an accent piece to make the room pop yet only be sat on occasionally? Do you want to make a bold statement or would you rather it blends in with your existing furnishings?

The Jive occasional chair, for instance, really makes a statement with its jungle and leopard print and it pairs well with the Slouch. The Nelson has a mid-century aesthetic that’s very sophisticated and it’s extremely comfortable. The Axel is pretty, pocket friendly and ideal for occasional extra seating.

Alternatively, as the Slouch is modular, if there’s a chance you may upsize your home in the future, a great option is to consider buying an additional piece. It will give you the versatility of being able to position it where you want or attach it to primary sofa to extend it. It’s also incredibly comfortable.

Window shopping

“I want to update my window coverings — at the moment, I have very dated curtains. How do I decide between curtains and blinds?” — @hira8287

This is a good question! — and it largely comes down to personal taste. However, there are a few things to consider, such as household requirements, budget and the look you want to achieve. In a nutshell, blinds provide privacy and can offer total block out, which is great for controlling the light and also offering some insulation against summer and winter temperatures. Blinds are quite sophisticated, minimalist and fairly easy to keep clean with a wipe down.

Curtains, on other hand, offer privacy too and come in an enormous range of options. As a soft furnishing, they add warmth and texture, and can also infuse colour or a motif — depending on your fabric selection. Choose sheer curtains if you need some privacy but don’t want to block the natural light. Opt for drapes if you want the block-out quality of blinds.

Confused? Well, in truth, you can’t go wrong. It’s all about what works for you. Many contemporary homes have both rollerblinds and sheer curtains over the top — it’s a win–win. And here’s a sneaky tip: if you want your room to look bigger, hang sheer curtains from ceiling to floor.

Magic carpet

“How do I choose the correct rug size for a chaise lounge?” — @kellsz11

Rugs are a beautiful way to add warmth and texture to your living spaces or bedrooms and also buffer against icy tiles or floorboards. In essence, there are two ways to go about finding the right rug for your space. You can get a large rug that most of your furniture will sit on — including the entire sofa and chaise — or you can get a smaller rug and position it so only the front legs of your sofa sit on it, as well as the chaise. Either way, the idea is that, when you’re sitting on the sofa, your feet rest on the rug and not the cold floor.

Once you decide on the look you want, measure the length and width that you need. If you’re not sure, you could use a furniture layout app like MagicPlan or the old-school trick of cutting out paper ‘patterns’ to relative scale to set out on your dining table and move around easily until you find the configuration you like. Budget, too, is ultimately a factor, so select what works for you. We’ve got a huge range to choose from to meet the needs of every buyer.

coastal cool

Problem solved?

We’ve got great solutions for styling your home and outdoor entertaining area in-store and online. And don’t miss our guide to creating the sleek modern minimalist look — it’s the height of sophistication.

Do you have any tips, tricks or queries? Comment below.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.