Posted on September 09 2014
I’ve made quite a few mistakes in my time from panelling my outside walls in horizontal boards (yuk) to putting a bathroom in one of the largest bedrooms in the house (way to big), to wallpapering the hall in some boho French pattern (double yuk)! Looked good on someone else’s walls not just mine. We all make mistakes nothing wrong with that, especially when you decorate in an eclectic fashion. It’s not decorating by numbers after all. However I thought I would come up with a list of things to avoid having been down the same path many a time so you guys will have fewer mistakes to make!
Fabric: Always get samples sent before ordering online; what looks good on-screen always looks different in real life. I know it’s a hassle but I’ve been let down so many times I sample everything from wallpaper to paint to tiles. Everything.
Budgeting: If you can’t afford a certain look don’t let that put you off. The whole reason I went down the car-spraying route many moons ago was because I saw the most beautiful lacquered piece of furniture from Liberty’s for about 5K. I wanted the same feel and look but didn’t have the bucks so I thought out of the box, found a console at a flea, took the thing to the car sprayers and for £80 got the very same look. Clever no? My point is money or lack of it doesn’t need to constrain creativity. You can create just as desirable a home on a few bucks as you can with millions. Trust me!
Don’t buy everything at once: This is not 30 minute decorating. If you take your time, do your research and rattle around in your space a bit before buying everything you’ll get stuff that you’ll want to hang on for for a very long time.
Dealing with stress: It is stressful revamping things even painting out a room in a different hue can cause all sorts of anxiety. I’ve been there, fears and self-doubt creep in, you’ll not sure anymore, stressful! All I can say is trust your instincts and don’t bail after the first coat goes up and it looks pants! Stay with it, whatever decisions you have made trust your original voice. If it really doesn’t work then analyse why and I’ll bet you will come up with something even better.
Seating Arrangements: No sofa’s butting walls it’s the deadliest sin in the decorating book! No matter how small the room the minute you move them into the room (even a smidge) is the minute you change the narrative of the space. Also don’t always be practical check out the 50’s Italian bar stools in my pad above which I brought after I installed the kitchen island. No space for legs but we angle them, hang out on them and love them to death!
Remember you will make mistakes you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. Mistakes move you forward, fuel ambition and you’ll learn from them.
Happy Decorating. It’s time to knuckle down for me. Big book writing day today I’ll resurface who knows when!