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Avoid colour on walls in a small room without natural light to be used as an office

EXPERT: Lifestyle blogger and design book author Will Taylor

Q What’s your advice for colour in a smallish room which rarely gets sunlight? I’d like to use it as an office, but I’m worried about it being too depressing without natural light.

A My advice in this kind of space would be to keep everything white apart from the trim and the door. For those, go really bold, with a bright red or green, so that it sings and doesn’t close the space in. I’m all for going dark all over in smaller spaces, but if there’s no light at all and you plan to work versus rest in there, I think the approach I outlined above would work better.

Q I love my house, but I don’t have the biggest budget. Any advice on where you think I should spend money and where it is good to save?

A I love to mix high and low. It’s best to think carefully and invest in things that aren’t easy to change. For example, pendant lighting, tile work, floors and so on. These are things you can’t just chop and change, and usually require a professional to help with. To be honest, I don’t think it’s worth spending a few thousand rand on a designer throw when cheaper brands offer fantastic options (that often look better, in my opinion). That R1000 would be much better invested in a statement pendant light that you’ll love year after year and is far more likely to bring the wow factor to your space than a throw.

Q We just redid a small bathroom in all white and I think we need colour somewhere. We haven’t done the vanity/sink yet. Do you have a suggestion? It’s an old farmhouse, so I’m thinking a warm-dark natural wood. Painting over the white walls is also at least in the mix of possibilities.

A If you and your other half are butting heads when it comes to adding colour, how about taking a monochromatic approach instead? Adding black to contrast with the white would be a great way to add some visual punch to the space. Perhaps you could go for a black granite vanity? Or go for a white or pale gray vanity and then add a matte black tap as a statement “pop”.

Q I like to change my house so that in autumn it feels cosy and in spring it feels fresh, but my friends think I am crazy to change the decor so often. What do you think and do you have any tips?

A It’s totally okay to change your decor whenever you wish. I also decorate seasonally. Not in every room, of course, but in some. I often repaint a room for a new season because paint is a relatively affordable way to bring a fresh vibe to a room. The best way to make a room flexible is to invest in classic, clean fundamental pieces – furniture, flooring and so on. I love Scandinavian design because it’s effortlessly simple and stylish. Clean lines and pale woods mean I can work the pieces with fresh, light colours for spring or contrast them with deeper, darker hues for autumn and winter.

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