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Freshly Squeezed: Hugo Tugman on how to create that WOW factor – Part 2 of 3

Freshly Squeezed Interior Design Ideas from The Unexpected ChicI’m back today with the next part of Hugo Tugman‘s tips on how to create the WOW factor when designing or renovating your interiors! See Part 1 here. The amazing thing about these concepts is that they can be scaled up or down depending on the size of the home, the proportions of the particular space and the budget that you’re working with. Get creative and help your home get that jaw-dropping effect!


WOW FACTOR POINT #4: De-clutter

A super-tidy space is enough to elicit a ‘wow’ from most busy people! Get some ideas for bringing that sleek, clutter-free look below…


Of course the white walls don’t hurt, but this space has also been smartly designed to incorporate sleek storage without looking too clinical. The effect is streamlined and modern – easy to do if you build in enough storage and choose simple shapes without too many fussy extras.


Here again, simple lines and a nearly monochromatic colour scheme help the space feel un-cluttered and easy to look at – read: relaxing! Perfect to come home to after a hectic day. I  bet you’re thinking: this would be impossible with my family! Incorporating some baskets and bins that you can ‘sweep’ clutter into when you need a clean slate or have guests coming on short notice is a great way to make this super-tidy look achievable!


Simple storage units in natural finishes, along with a neutral hotel-like colour scheme make this space very relaxed and easy to live in. If everything has a place (ie plan in enough storage for how much stuff you know you have) then clutter need never be an issue!
WOW FACTOR POINT #5: Visual Focus
Having one object, material or surface in the space that attracts the eye helps to define a starting point for the ‘story’ of the decor. Hugo referred to it as the ‘hero object’ – which could be anything from a found object like some amazing driftwood, to an impressive painting or a jaw-dropping wall colour.


This fireplace surround in patterned tiles attracts the eye right away and gives a starting point for all of the colours and patterns chosen for this room. Although there are other patterns used, none are quite as busy or eye-catching as the tiles, so this becomes the ‘hero object’.


Here the big, distressed-looking light fixture is the star. I could definitely see myself saying ‘wow!’ when I entered this living room!

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Sometimes a good way to think about visual focus is actually reducing focus on something that you want to detract attention from. Here, the dark fireplace surround extends to behind the television to take focus away from it and highlight the lovely flames and logs instead. The coffee table even reflects the flame to spread the warm feeling visually.

{source: alea mcintyre meinster on}

Colour is a great way to direct visual focus. If you stick with one colour group, the bolder the better! This spicy orange works great to grab the eye and then let it meander to the patterned cushions and then down across the smooth white bedspread.
WOW FACTOR POINT #6: Daring Forms
Hugo recommended incorporating curves, offsetting shapes that play with the sense of space, or tall forms to highlight the space that you have an create an impressive effect. Remember, the point is to make the space work even better than it did before, not to impose a slightly ‘out-there’ idea just because you’re set on it.
Example: don’t throw a funky curved kitchen island into a tiny space where you’re not going to have any space to walk around it or function properly. This is where a designer can help you figure out what is best for your space and individual needs!


This angled wall and the hefty wooden columns work very well to accent the height of the cathedral-like space.


Curved shapes here add interest and make a large space feel cozier.


 Playing with the scale of the headboard was a great option here, so that the bed wouldn’t be dwarfed by the high ceiling. It looks lavish and perfectly scaled in the high-ceilinged room.
WOW FACTOR POINT #7: Inside and outside
This point is all about blending the outside and inside of your property. Everyone loves a great outdoor entertaining space, and it’s even more impressive when the borders are blurred between the indoors and some fresh air and sunshine!


Climate-dependant of course, but how lovely to have virtually nothing blocking you from the backyard!


The ‘doorway’ between in and out doesn’t need to be literal, it can be visual! Adding windows to bring in natural light and (if you have one) a view definitely ups the impressive factor.


And you don’t need to own a hot-tub overlooking the mountains to create this feeling; here, a humble upper-storey flat achieves that lovely outdoor feeling by simply opening up some french doors to let the sunshine in. Definitely still wow-worthy!


Sliding doors on a multi-layered track are excellent for blending indoors and out. There are heaps of good options for this type of door out there now, and they are definitely affordable/achievable for your ‘average’ home. Worth it, for that joy of being able to walk right outside when the weather’s nice!
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s WOW Factor tips on daylight, double-height spaces, proportions and staircases! And don’t forget to read Part 1 here!

3 thoughts on “Freshly Squeezed: Hugo Tugman on how to create that WOW factor – Part 2 of 3

  1. Pingback: Freshly Squeezed: Hugo Tugman explains how to create the WOW factor – Part 3 of 3 « the unexpected chic

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