Styling basics: What to consider when picking colours, shapes and furniture?

Where the heck do you start when styling a room? It’s a question we get asked a lot and we’re so excited to have Jessica Bellef, head of styling at Temple & Webster, here today to help break things down for us.

When you’re starting out, try to keep things simple. Minimise your colour palette to just 2-4 colours — using key colours and highlight colours — and keep patterns simple and of a similar scale.

Related article: Where I started when designing and building our new home
Related article: Secrets of coffee table styling from the experts

Soft living room palette
Styled by Adam Powell and photographed by Denise Braki

“Texture palette is also important. Too many shades of timber can make a space feel hectic, try to stick to no more than 2 or 3.

With furniture and artwork scale is key. If anything is too big or too small, it can seem wonky and make you feel uneasy.

“Look at your floor plan and take note of the entry and exit points. What’s the function of the room? What do you need to use the room for and arrange the furniture accordingly with seating in a conversational layout.

“It’s not just about the floor plan though, look that the height of the ceilings. If you’re blessed with high ceilings, consider ways you can take advantage of that so not everything is anchored to the floor. Some ideas could be resting a decorative shelf ladder on a wall, hanging pot plants or having a tall floor lamp.”

Shop our favourites from Temple & Webster

Rattan coffee table
Rattan coffee table
Seagrass hanging planter
Seagrass hanging planter
Rattan armchair
Rattan armchair
Wooden and rattan bar stool
Wooden and rattan bar stool
Rattan bar stool
Rattan bar stool
Black rattan pendant
Black rattan pendant
Tall pendant
Tall pendant
Round pendant
Round pendant
Amalfi pendant
Amalfi pendant
Rattan pendant
Rattan pendant
Luna pendant
Luna pendant
Jute baskets
Jute baskets
Rattan floor lamp
Rattan floor lamp
Dining chair
Dining chair
Wooden floor lamp
Wooden floor lamp
Black and white forest print
Black and white forest print
Bin
Bin
Wall organiser set
Wall organiser set
Ceramic stationery holder
Ceramic stationery holder
Leather notebook
Leather notebook
Metal file holder
Metal file holder
Wall art
Wall art
Faux leather armchair
Faux leather armchair
Canvas artwork
Canvas artwork
Fabric dining chair
Fabric dining chair
Sideboard
Sideboard
Table lamp
Table lamp
Thomas Edison chandelier
Thomas Edison chandelier
Fruit basket
Fruit basket
Bean bag
Bean bag
Floor lamp
Floor lamp
Palm print cushion
Palm print cushion
Banana leaf print
Banana leaf print
Black pendant light
Black pendant light
Glass coffee table
Glass coffee table
Small jute rug
Small jute rug
Black replica wishbone chair
Black replica wishbone chair
French linen bedding
French linen bedding
Black pendant light
Black pendant light
Pink velvet stool
Pink velvet stool
Ceramic vase
Ceramic vase
Ottoman storage
Ottoman storage
White coffee table
White coffee table
Abstract wall art
Abstract wall art
Velvet dining chairs
Velvet dining chairs
Faux cactus
Faux cactus
Ceramic vessel
Ceramic vessel
Bronze oyster ornament
Bronze oyster ornament
Cockatoo canvas print
Cockatoo canvas print
Ceramic planter
Ceramic planter
Leather loop hangers
Leather loop hangers
Pear lamp
Pear lamp
Iron pendant
Iron pendant
Metal pendant
Metal pendant
Ocean canvas
Ocean canvas
Leather teak bench
Leather teak bench
Rattan pendant
Rattan pendant
Indoor/outdoor cushion
Indoor/outdoor cushion
Pastel Polypropylene rug
Pastel Polypropylene rug
Stainless steel pet bowl
Stainless steel pet bowl
Wicker pet bed
Wicker pet bed
Pet deodoriser
Pet deodoriser
Luxe pet sofa
Luxe pet sofa
Indoor/outdoor rug
Indoor/outdoor rug
Cat dome
Cat dome
Leather cushion
Leather cushion
Plush blanket
Plush blanket
Sideboard
Sideboard
Striped outdoor cushion
Striped outdoor cushion
Neon cactus light
Neon cactus light
Rainbow wall decals
Rainbow wall decals
Seagrass wall hanging
Seagrass wall hanging
Floral garden canvas
Floral garden canvas
Rainbow lorikeet print
Rainbow lorikeet print
Pink Costa Rica quilt set
Pink Costa Rica quilt set
Mandarin velvet cushion
Mandarin velvet cushion
Lemon tassel cushion
Lemon tassel cushion
Wooden bar stool
Wooden bar stool
Rattan armchair
Rattan armchair
Palm print cushion
Palm print cushion
Tropical art print
Tropical art print
Lounge chair and ottoman
Lounge chair and ottoman
Faux plant
Faux plant
Arched mirror
Arched mirror
Black office desk
Black office desk
Brass book ends
Brass book ends
Yellow rainbow mug
Yellow rainbow mug
Pink wall clock
Pink wall clock
Round outdoor cushion
Round outdoor cushion
Black metal lantern
Black metal lantern
Sand outdoor rug
Sand outdoor rug
Brass lamp
Brass lamp
Oak oval dining table
Oak oval dining table
Hide cushion
Hide cushion
Diffuser
Diffuser
Pink sheep skin
Pink sheep skin
Line artwork
Line artwork
Grey cushion
Grey cushion
Grey rug
Grey rug
French linen sheets
French linen sheets
Linen quilt set
Linen quilt set
Floor lamp
Floor lamp
Charcoal sofa
Charcoal sofa
Console table
Console table
Mulberry cushion
Mulberry cushion
Wall art
Wall art
Wooden lantern
Wooden lantern
Outdoor couch
Outdoor couch
Outdoor dining set
Outdoor dining set
Festoon lights
Festoon lights
Outdoor rug
Outdoor rug
Black bath tray
Black bath tray
Bamboo bath tray
Bamboo bath tray
Desk lamp
Desk lamp
Pink velvet cushion
Pink velvet cushion
Elephant bookend
Elephant bookend
Seagrass basket
Seagrass basket
Orchid
Orchid
Hand sculpture
Hand sculpture
Olive aztec pot
Olive aztec pot
Decanter
Decanter
Muddling spoon
Muddling spoon
Corkscrew
Corkscrew
Cocktail shaker
Cocktail shaker
Ice bucket
Ice bucket
Champagne glasses
Champagne glasses
Billie bar cart
Billie bar cart
Personalised journal
Personalised journal
Peach cushion
Peach cushion
Garden tools
Garden tools
Linen gardening gloves
Linen gardening gloves
Watering can
Watering can
Raised garden beds
Raised garden beds
Seagrass bowl
Seagrass bowl
Velvet cushion
Velvet cushion
Colourful vessel
Colourful vessel
Floor lamp
Floor lamp
Wooden spoon
Wooden spoon
Tassel cushion
Tassel cushion
Leather mirror
Leather mirror
Dining chair
Dining chair
Day bed
Day bed
Hanging chair
Hanging chair
Umbrella
Umbrella
Bookcase
Bookcase
Toy storage
Toy storage
Bolga basket
Bolga basket
Textured towels
Textured towels
Coastal artwork
Coastal artwork
Bean bag
Bean bag
Beaded lamp
Beaded lamp
Porcelain compost bin
Porcelain compost bin
Ottoman
Ottoman
Rattan sofa
Rattan sofa
Vintage-look rug
Vintage-look rug
Pink pot
Pink pot
Basket planter
Basket planter
Pot planter set
Pot planter set
Terracotta pot
Terracotta pot
Ring light
Ring light
Coffee table
Coffee table
Fringed cushion
Fringed cushion
Palm tree print
Palm tree print
Bookcase
Bookcase
Dino print
Dino print
White sheepskin
White sheepskin
Bamboo pot stand
Bamboo pot stand
Self-watering rail planter
Self-watering rail planter
Watering can
Watering can
Basket
Basket
Fluffy stool
Fluffy stool
Gold sidetable
Gold sidetable
Bar stool
Bar stool
Outdoor chair
Outdoor chair
2 piece artwork
2 piece artwork
Fire pit
Fire pit
Woven bench
Woven bench
Garden cart
Garden cart
Garden shed
Garden shed
Dining chairs
Dining chairs
Distressed pink pot
Distressed pink pot
Pot and plant stand
Pot and plant stand
Rose gold cup
Rose gold cup
Mint SOL cup
Mint SOL cup
Bodum joycup
Bodum joycup
Ride-on car
Ride-on car
Shelf
Shelf
Linen quilt
Linen quilt
Moses basket
Moses basket
Eucalyptus cushion
Eucalyptus cushion
Koala print
Koala print
Rocking chair
Rocking chair
Boho rug
Boho rug
China creamer
China creamer
Seagrass plant stands
Seagrass plant stands
Buffet
Buffet
Outdoor cushion
Outdoor cushion
Glass vase
Glass vase
Two set white pots
Two set white pots
Garden mirror
Garden mirror
Outdoor cushion
Outdoor cushion
Print cushion
Print cushion
Dining chair
Dining chair
Steel candle holder
Steel candle holder
Luxe sheepskin
Luxe sheepskin
Coral accessory
Coral accessory
Hammock swing chair
Hammock swing chair
Wooden police car
Wooden police car
Tumbler compost bin
Tumbler compost bin
2 piece gardening tools
2 piece gardening tools
Garden spotlight
Garden spotlight
Linen gardening gloves
Linen gardening gloves
Lavender blue living room styling basics
Styled by Adam Powell and photographed by Denise Braki

“A lot of people have dark furniture in their homes which is beautiful but too much of it can feel heavy and cramped. Again, scale is important and consider how you can balance with lighter, brighter décor and rugs.

“It’s important to think about your focal point in the space — the thing that draws your eye and please don’t make it your TV!” laughs Jess.

“Having a focal point such as beautiful artwork in highlighted colours or an armchair in a gorgeous print, can break the monotonony of a room, especially if you get into the trap of a beige-out.”

Bold artwork in living room styling basics
Styled by Jessica Bellef and photographed by Denise Braki

“Once you play around with those basics you can get more adventurous and add to your space over time — balance is key.”

Thanks so much Jess for sharing all these great styling basics and tricks to create a winning interior. We certainly learnt a few new things and hope you did too! Do you have any other questions or what’s your take away from Jess’s advice?

Check out more styling tips

Rattan coffee table
Rattan coffee table
Seagrass hanging planter
Seagrass hanging planter
Rattan armchair
Rattan armchair
Wooden and rattan bar stool
Wooden and rattan bar stool
Rattan bar stool
Rattan bar stool
Black rattan pendant
Black rattan pendant
Tall pendant
Tall pendant
Round pendant
Round pendant
Amalfi pendant
Amalfi pendant
Rattan pendant
Rattan pendant
Luna pendant
Luna pendant
Jute baskets
Jute baskets
Rattan floor lamp
Rattan floor lamp
Dining chair
Dining chair
Wooden floor lamp
Wooden floor lamp
Black and white forest print
Black and white forest print
Bin
Bin
Wall organiser set
Wall organiser set
Ceramic stationery holder
Ceramic stationery holder
Leather notebook
Leather notebook
Metal file holder
Metal file holder
Wall art
Wall art
Faux leather armchair
Faux leather armchair
Canvas artwork
Canvas artwork
Fabric dining chair
Fabric dining chair
Sideboard
Sideboard
Table lamp
Table lamp
Thomas Edison chandelier
Thomas Edison chandelier
Fruit basket
Fruit basket
Bean bag
Bean bag
Floor lamp
Floor lamp
Palm print cushion
Palm print cushion
Banana leaf print
Banana leaf print
Black pendant light
Black pendant light
Glass coffee table
Glass coffee table
Small jute rug
Small jute rug
Black replica wishbone chair
Black replica wishbone chair
French linen bedding
French linen bedding
Black pendant light
Black pendant light
Pink velvet stool
Pink velvet stool
Ceramic vase
Ceramic vase
Ottoman storage
Ottoman storage
White coffee table
White coffee table
Abstract wall art
Abstract wall art
Velvet dining chairs
Velvet dining chairs
Faux cactus
Faux cactus
Ceramic vessel
Ceramic vessel
Bronze oyster ornament
Bronze oyster ornament
Cockatoo canvas print
Cockatoo canvas print
Ceramic planter
Ceramic planter
Leather loop hangers
Leather loop hangers
Pear lamp
Pear lamp
Iron pendant
Iron pendant
Metal pendant
Metal pendant
Ocean canvas
Ocean canvas
Leather teak bench
Leather teak bench
Rattan pendant
Rattan pendant
Indoor/outdoor cushion
Indoor/outdoor cushion
Pastel Polypropylene rug
Pastel Polypropylene rug
Stainless steel pet bowl
Stainless steel pet bowl
Wicker pet bed
Wicker pet bed
Pet deodoriser
Pet deodoriser
Luxe pet sofa
Luxe pet sofa
Indoor/outdoor rug
Indoor/outdoor rug
Cat dome
Cat dome
Leather cushion
Leather cushion
Plush blanket
Plush blanket
Sideboard
Sideboard
Striped outdoor cushion
Striped outdoor cushion
Neon cactus light
Neon cactus light
Rainbow wall decals
Rainbow wall decals
Seagrass wall hanging
Seagrass wall hanging
Floral garden canvas
Floral garden canvas
Rainbow lorikeet print
Rainbow lorikeet print
Pink Costa Rica quilt set
Pink Costa Rica quilt set
Mandarin velvet cushion
Mandarin velvet cushion
Lemon tassel cushion
Lemon tassel cushion
Wooden bar stool
Wooden bar stool
Rattan armchair
Rattan armchair
Palm print cushion
Palm print cushion
Tropical art print
Tropical art print
Lounge chair and ottoman
Lounge chair and ottoman
Faux plant
Faux plant
Arched mirror
Arched mirror
Black office desk
Black office desk
Brass book ends
Brass book ends
Yellow rainbow mug
Yellow rainbow mug
Pink wall clock
Pink wall clock
Round outdoor cushion
Round outdoor cushion
Black metal lantern
Black metal lantern
Sand outdoor rug
Sand outdoor rug
Brass lamp
Brass lamp
Oak oval dining table
Oak oval dining table
Hide cushion
Hide cushion
Diffuser
Diffuser
Pink sheep skin
Pink sheep skin
Line artwork
Line artwork
Grey cushion
Grey cushion
Grey rug
Grey rug
French linen sheets
French linen sheets
Linen quilt set
Linen quilt set
Floor lamp
Floor lamp
Charcoal sofa
Charcoal sofa
Console table
Console table
Mulberry cushion
Mulberry cushion
Wall art
Wall art
Wooden lantern
Wooden lantern
Outdoor couch
Outdoor couch
Outdoor dining set
Outdoor dining set
Festoon lights
Festoon lights
Outdoor rug
Outdoor rug
Black bath tray
Black bath tray
Bamboo bath tray
Bamboo bath tray
Desk lamp
Desk lamp
Pink velvet cushion
Pink velvet cushion
Elephant bookend
Elephant bookend
Seagrass basket
Seagrass basket
Orchid
Orchid
Hand sculpture
Hand sculpture
Olive aztec pot
Olive aztec pot
Decanter
Decanter
Muddling spoon
Muddling spoon
Corkscrew
Corkscrew
Cocktail shaker
Cocktail shaker
Ice bucket
Ice bucket
Champagne glasses
Champagne glasses
Billie bar cart
Billie bar cart
Personalised journal
Personalised journal
Peach cushion
Peach cushion
Garden tools
Garden tools
Linen gardening gloves
Linen gardening gloves
Watering can
Watering can
Raised garden beds
Raised garden beds
Seagrass bowl
Seagrass bowl
Velvet cushion
Velvet cushion
Colourful vessel
Colourful vessel
Floor lamp
Floor lamp
Wooden spoon
Wooden spoon
Tassel cushion
Tassel cushion
Leather mirror
Leather mirror
Dining chair
Dining chair
Day bed
Day bed
Hanging chair
Hanging chair
Umbrella
Umbrella
Bookcase
Bookcase
Toy storage
Toy storage
Bolga basket
Bolga basket
Textured towels
Textured towels
Coastal artwork
Coastal artwork
Bean bag
Bean bag
Beaded lamp
Beaded lamp
Porcelain compost bin
Porcelain compost bin
Ottoman
Ottoman
Rattan sofa
Rattan sofa
Vintage-look rug
Vintage-look rug
Pink pot
Pink pot
Basket planter
Basket planter
Pot planter set
Pot planter set
Terracotta pot
Terracotta pot
Ring light
Ring light
Coffee table
Coffee table
Fringed cushion
Fringed cushion
Palm tree print
Palm tree print
Bookcase
Bookcase
Dino print
Dino print
White sheepskin
White sheepskin
Bamboo pot stand
Bamboo pot stand
Self-watering rail planter
Self-watering rail planter
Watering can
Watering can
Basket
Basket
Fluffy stool
Fluffy stool
Gold sidetable
Gold sidetable
Bar stool
Bar stool
Outdoor chair
Outdoor chair
2 piece artwork
2 piece artwork
Fire pit
Fire pit
Woven bench
Woven bench
Garden cart
Garden cart
Garden shed
Garden shed
Dining chairs
Dining chairs
Distressed pink pot
Distressed pink pot
Pot and plant stand
Pot and plant stand
Rose gold cup
Rose gold cup
Mint SOL cup
Mint SOL cup
Bodum joycup
Bodum joycup
Ride-on car
Ride-on car
Shelf
Shelf
Linen quilt
Linen quilt
Moses basket
Moses basket
Eucalyptus cushion
Eucalyptus cushion
Koala print
Koala print
Rocking chair
Rocking chair
Boho rug
Boho rug
China creamer
China creamer
Seagrass plant stands
Seagrass plant stands
Buffet
Buffet
Outdoor cushion
Outdoor cushion
Glass vase
Glass vase
Two set white pots
Two set white pots
Garden mirror
Garden mirror
Outdoor cushion
Outdoor cushion
Print cushion
Print cushion
Dining chair
Dining chair
Steel candle holder
Steel candle holder
Luxe sheepskin
Luxe sheepskin
Coral accessory
Coral accessory
Hammock swing chair
Hammock swing chair
Wooden police car
Wooden police car
Tumbler compost bin
Tumbler compost bin
2 piece gardening tools
2 piece gardening tools
Garden spotlight
Garden spotlight
Linen gardening gloves
Linen gardening gloves

Disclaimer: this article was originally published in September 2015 and has been updated with new information and images. It contains some affiliate links. This means, if you purchase an item we may receive a small commission on the sale of that product at no extra cost to you.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here