Decide on the kind of atmosphere you want to create before you start decorating. “I wanted my home to make people feel like they’re somewhere special, like a cool hotel or café,” says Kara, who moved into her apartment six months ago. “I find a lot of my inspiration from going to new restaurants or coffee shops to see how they’ve been designed.” She started with a monochrome base as a clean canvas, then layered up different textures using textiles and plants. “I think texture is everything.”

Don’t be afraid to mix and match to create your own style. “I take a no-rules approach to interiors, I don’t design my space using any guidelines,” says hair stylist Kara. “I buy pieces I love individually, not because they go with something I already have. My last home was like a bohemian jungle, a kind of congested, beautiful mess! When I moved here, I wanted something more clean and modern.”

Keep your home feeling fresh with house plants. “I’m a real nurturer, so plants make me happy,” says Kara. “Their colors, shapes and textures bring life to my home.” She loves switching things around to make it feel like her home is living and evolving. “Nothing ever seems finished here, I’m constantly rearranging my space. I get bored easily, so switching things up fulfills my need for ‘new.’”

Plan your home to make space for the things you love. “I love hosting dinner parties – I really enjoy the act of cooking for people,” says Kara. The open-plan layout means the party can flow from the kitchen, to the dining table, to the living room. “My dream kitchen would be much bigger, quite dark, with booth-style seating… I’ve used a trolley to recreate the island unit I’d love to have.” Trailing plants help to soften the sharp lines of Kara’s kitchen units.

IKEA Ideas - Modern loft living

Use color and layered textiles to make your bedroom feel cozy. Kara painted her bedroom wall one night after a spontaneous visit to the DIY store. “I wanted an accent wall but not something typical. I couldn’t afford wallpaper, so I just bought four paint colors and did it! My bedroom is a mix of colors people might not put together, but I think it works – I’m really proud of the result.

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