We may well metaphorically drool over the pristine homes of celebrities or show homes in the glossy magazines, but what most people want is a balance between chic and homely, preferably minus the drool! Even without a celebrity budget – and their inevitable army of interior designers – we can strike that balance with a few simple steps.

Keep it simple

While a stark interior with too few decorative touches, such as ornaments and pictures, can give a ‘cold’ feel, too many features can leave even a spacious area feeling cluttered and uninviting. Additionally, the more design elements you include in a room, the higher the chance of introducing something that doesn’t really fit the aesthetic. Choosing a relatively narrow colour palette with one or two strong accents makes it easier to find fixtures and fittings that blend well and give the right impression.

Keep it inviting

Certain factors always give a room a look that suggests comfort: cushions, subtle lighting and warm colours, for example. Placing throws and mismatched cushions, that adhere to your colour scheme, across the seating raises it out of the ‘show home’ zone and sets it firmly in the ‘home’ zone instead. An obvious bonus of this approach is the ease with which a cushion, unlike an armchair, can be thrown into a washing machine after the children have added to the colour palette with a glass of fruit juice or a chocolate bar.

Keep it clear

Nothing ruins the effect of a well-designed room quite like being strewn with unnecessary additions, such as laundry, dirty crockery and lazy cats, although there’s not much you can do about the cats. Making sure you have plenty of effective and attractive storage to keep the clutter under control is a great way to preserve the tidy appearance that allows you and your guests to relax.

Balance, as is so often the case, is the key to a homely yet stylish house. With equal measures of simplicity, warmth and tidiness, you can be as pleased with your living space as any celebrity is with theirs, even if your home won’t be featured in a glossy magazine!