White studio apartment interior

When flipping through pages of home decor magazines it’s the images of the elegantly appointed rooms that make us stop and explore. These tastefully decorated rooms all have several things in common – they generally have a cohesive colour palette, are tidy and uncluttered and replete with timeless furniture pieces, but not too many.

Elegance has more to do with style than the price tag. With that in mind, here are the essentials of elegance:

Focus, focus, focus – Position an eye-catching artwork, mirror or piece of furniture front and centre, in a spot that instantly attracts attention and starts conversations. Everything else in the room, such as plants, photo frames and drapes, should blend around it.

Out of sight is out of mind – It’s a catch phrase that applies to home decor too. Find a home for the magazines and newspapers you haven’t read yet or all of the grooming products in the bathroom or the mail that comes into the house daily. Use baskets or artistic storage boxes to their best advantage in these cases. Also, hide the wires of your electronics and keep the knickknacks on shelves, walls and tabletops to a bare minimum so that each stands out. Too many are distracting and detract from the unified, relaxed and welcoming allure that is the epitome of elegance.

Colour connection – Elegance is about timelessness not trendiness when it comes to colour. Choose no more than three main colours for the walls that are neutral enough to remain interesting without being boring. For the furniture, accessories, drapes and artwork, stick to complementary colours that are a few shades lighter. It keeps the look cohesive and avoids being jarring.

Let there be light – Elegance is a mood and lighting is the very element that creates a calming one. While natural light flowing in from a crystal clean window is the optimal source, a dimmer switch is equally ideal for the main lighting in the room. Floor and table lamps offer accent lighting and wash the rest of the room in an ambient glow.

Keep it clean – Polish the table tops and the dust accumulating on the picture frames, vacuum the carpet, make the floors gleam and put away the bits and bobs from toys to books as regularly as you possibly can. A clean and tidy room separates the elegant ones from the unrestrained messy ones.