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4 Smart Ways to Refresh Your Home

For some, a refresh means surrendering to a full redesign. For others, it’s time to be conservative and deliver that sense of change in smaller, smarter ways. Who better to guide us through these challenges than JOHN MCLENNAN? He’s the founder and executive chairman at Indigo Living, a brand recognised by you (our readers!) with a slew of top gongs in our Readers’ Choice Awards 2020: Best Interior Design, Home Stylist, Living Room Furniture, Dining & Tableware and Home Accessories.

#1 First Impressions

Looking to make a striking first impression on guests? John’s recommendation might surprise you. “Scent is one of the first things you notice when you enter a person’s home – and it’s an easy solution. It shouldn’t be anything overpowering; just having something subtle in the background works. Use a scented candle or reed diffusor to create the mood – and stick to one scent.” He also shares, “Another way to create a great first impression is a signature piece of art or furniture in the entryway. Visually, it’s the first thing a guest will notice.

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#2 Bedroom Bliss

We spend so much of our lives in our bedrooms. Refreshing a bedroom can make an impact on our wellbeing by resetting our sleep routine. John says, “Having the right bedding is the key – and layering is the trick. Start with the bed linens – they should be 100 percent cotton and soft to the touch. A light and fluffy duvet not only makes the bed inviting before you get in at night but also nearly impossible to get out of in the morning! A few accent pillows for colour and a throw at the bottom of the bed will transform your bedroom. I also like to have a reed diffusor in the bedroom as it provides a welcoming scent when you walk in for the first time before going to bed.”

#3 Statement Lighting

Statement lighting can be tricky to achieve in Hong Kong’s smaller spaces. John shares his advice: “In small spaces it’s hard to have any statement overhead lighting unless it’s over the dining table. Remember to keep the size of the light proportional to the size of the table; hanging it at the right height is important as well. Get it wrong and you can find it uncomfortable to sit at the table as the room can be dominated by the lighting.”

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#4 On-trend Textiles

Soft furnishings are an easy way to invite a seasonal trend into your home. John highlights two such trends that are emerging in home textiles. “The stronger one is a palette of muted colours – think wines and berries and subtle textures, with limited tone-on-tone patterns. The second trend is more colourful, but again, with a muted palette of softer colours and hues – pale yellows, burnt orange and chalk greens, for example. With this season’s textiles, the overall feeling is one of warmth, craftsmanship and natural materials.”


Like this? See more interior design tips in our Homes section:

Design tips, trends and what to avoid!
Kids’ bedroom inspo: beds, rugs and more

This article first appeared in the June 2020 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.