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A living room is a key room in any home. It’s where hosts entertain, friends and family gather to chat and where, from their surroundings, guests will glean a better idea of who the owner is - this room acts as your calling card, albeit in decorative form.

A living room is also a retreat where, after a long day, you can relax and be yourself. It’s where you can close the door, shut out the world and enjoy your unique surroundings - after all, no two people have exactly the same taste. So, paradoxically, a living room is a public, yet at the same time a very personal space and can set the tone for the rest of your home.

With that in mind, the design of this room should be carefully thought out to reflect your own interior style, as well as the room’s functionality. Marrying these two key ingredients is where luxury interior designer Rene Dekker enters.

Being able to meld aspects of personality and practicality through design is a skill that takes years of experience. It’s a seamless blend that involves ingredients including colour, light, fabric, material, proportions, shape and texture. Done correctly, these elements will not only help create the scheme you’re after, they’ll also dictate the mood of a room, whatever that maybe - warm and comforting, casually elegant, effusively luxurious.

In addition, a professional will also be to push those boundaries just a little bit further. René encourages his clients to think beyond their comfort zone, to make the space the very best it can possibly be, while still staying true to the client’s requirements.

Creating a new feel to a room, doesn’t have to mean a totally new look. A few simple changes can make all the difference – adding a focal point, or mixing textures can all have a huge effect. The perfect ornate mirror, collection of sumptuous cushions or group of classic prints, can create a real topic of conversation.

Meanwhile colour and fabrics can change the mood and aesthetic temperature of a room, helping create a fresher, more updated look or, conversely, a cosier more intimate feel.

A total transformation can be either a very exciting or daunting prospect. But with Rene’s skill, expertise and an abundance of ideas he is able to navigate any pitfalls, and introduce beautiful furniture and features ranging from opulent metallic touches, to a stunning bas relief.

While it's tempting to play safe with a neutral palette, vibrant accessories, statement lighting or unexpected design touches can all help create a room that's full of character. Even small pops of colour (whether through whimsical or funky items) can help break up the consistency and add interest – a luxury interior designer should be able to juggle this equation to create a harmonious balance.

Furnishings, should be carefully chosen (sometimes for aesthetic value, others simply because you love them) and well placed, allowing the pieces to “breathe”. Similarly, with accessories or pictures having a “visual break” from items allows them to be appreciated properly and not lost in the melee - too many things and too much going on and there’s the danger that cosiness soon becomes clutter.

Whatever you requirements, having a plan in mind is essential, but the most important thing is to have a room with a scheme and furnishings that you love - where you can bask in your surroundings and relax, or conversely open up the cocktail cabinet and say goodbye to the cares of the day, in cosy, elegant or luxurious surroundings.

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