Durban-based interior designer Ruth Duke of Ruth Duke Interior Design is known for her bold aesthetic and great use of contrasts. She’s a master of layering, too, with interesting vignettes of objets on display, gallery walls of artworks, touchable textures and bespoke pieces characterising her projects. On page 68 of October’s issue of House and Leisure, we showcase a home where Ruth was called in to refresh the existing decor and create a new look. Here are her top 10 tips for revamping a house without making any structural changes.
1. Paint is a simple but very effective way to give a room an instant facelift. Choose a rich hue to add some personality, and a pale or neutral shade to allow artworks or furniture to stand out.
2. Always have a bit of black or charcoal and a little cream or white in any space to create balance.
3. Adorning walls with large statement pieces or a gallery wall of smaller artworks is a quick way to add interest to a space.
4. Mirrors help invigorate interiors and make them feel bigger. Consider mirroring a whole walkway to bounce light and add depth and drama.
5. Accessories can completely transform a room. I like to group objects in the same colour hues for a monochromatic statement, and love placing paperweights and beautiful glassware in spaces with a lot of light.
6. Invest in a new pendant in your lounge – it’s like a piece of jewellery for the home.
7. Replace faded and worn out fabrics to update your chairs and sofas. Adding details like contrasting piping or tufting a chair to modernise a dated piece.
8. Texture immediately adds a sense of depth. Wallpapers, fabrics and rugs can all add touch-me appeal to a scheme.
9. Rugs pull together a room and can be used to define spaces in open-plan living areas. Sisal or jute rugs are a cost-effective solution for big areas.
10. Plants instantly add a fresh feel. Place them in planters that pack a punch and you have an instant focal point indoors or out.