I recently asked readers to complete a survey for me in regards to what challenges you struggle with when it comes to your home and interior design. My goodness, was that insightful! The same issues would come up over and over again, and to be honest that survey provided the perfect platform for me to be able to gain an insight into the sort of content you may find useful in the future.
A reoccurring answer was that many of you felt overwhelmed when it came to decorating your house and felt lost as to where to actually start. Especially for those of you who lived in a new-build property where every room is basically a white canvas.
Today I wanted to share some tips on how to tackle a decorating project – whether that be a room or a full renovation project - without feeling exhausted before you’ve even started.
So, you’ve just moved in and all you’re faced with is white walls? Every room. White walls. The key here is to not rush into filling every room with furniture and slapping any old paint on the walls. You’ll regret it, trust me. The house isn’t going anywhere.
You need to work out which room is the space you’ll spend the most time in and which will you bring you the most happiness if decorated first. For me, it would be the bedroom, for others it could be the living room or the kitchen.
If you work from room to room, you’re more likely to make considered choices and you can then transition certain design elements into the next room so you have a cohesive style throughout if that’s something you’re aiming for.
Before you decide what furniture the room needs, you have to decide what your needs are from the room. Is it going to be a relaxing space, a creative space, somewhere for the kids to be, somewhere for you to escape to?
As part of my £99 Room E-Design service I offer, I ask myclients what the room will be used for? It’s all good wanting to create adining room perfect for elegant dinner parties, until the reality sets in that lifeis more dippy eggs and playdough on the table. Be truthful with your needs, andwork around that. That’s not to say you can add a little glamour, or have adual-working space, but you need to know these things at the very beginning ofthe project.
OK, so this is potentially my favourite part of the whole process – gathering inspiration. When I’m decorating a room, I’ll normally have some idea about a colour or piece of furniture I’m working around.
My recent living room project was based around my new light grey sofa. With that in mind I took to Pinterest and started to search for “grey sofa” images. This brought up a whole host of ideas, and I quickly fell in love with the use of terracotta with grey, which then formed the basis of my inspiration folder.
You, however, might have a piece of art work you love and would like to work around. In that case, draw the colours from there and see what kind of palette you can create. Or if you’re stuck with a brown leather sofa, for example, search for that on Pinterest and you’ll see all the amazing schemes other people have created in a similar situation. Aside from Pinterest, I love to read other people’s blogs, and searching for interior hashtags on Instagram (#interiorinspo, #LonnyLiving, and #myhousethismonth are always full of great ideas).
Once you’ve gathered your inspiration, start to look for products online that will fit into your scheme. Save the pictures in your folder and then you’ll start to get an indication of those pieces work together. Even if you’ve spotted something that you love but is too expensive, save it regardless. Because it reminds you to look for a similar piece with a more affordable price tag.
A great idea is to create yourself a very simple moodboard. My recommendation is to head to a website called Canva, create an A4 document, click Elements on the left-hand side, go to Grids, and then choose your favourite grid template and start adding images. It’s a really easy way to create a moodboard which you’re then able to save as PDF and email it your phone so you have it with you when you’re out and about shopping.
Breaking the room down into bitesize chunks makes it feel a heck of a lot less overwhelming than thinking you’ve got the full space to redecorate.
Make a list of every single job that needs sorting, from choosing paint colours, to ordering furniture, to sanding woodwork, to adding new lights. Even if they list is as long as your arm, you’ll feel instantly better for having everything out of your head and onto paper so you can start working your way through.
My tip, if possible, is to order cushions, curtains etc first, especially if you’re ordering online, to see if the colour is true to what you imagined to be before you invest in tubs of paint. As silly as it sounds to some, I always order my decorative items and soft furnishing first and store them away until it comes to choosing a paint colour. I’m working from a moodboard so I know what the final scheme is set to look like, but sometimes just one shade too dark or light in paint can ruin the whole effect.
The feeling of overwhelm can often come from the lack of time to be able to complete the project, so blocking out certain days or evenings when you can get the work done makes it much easier to stick to as opposed to trying to do niggly jobs here and there and feeling like you’ll never be finished. Plus, once you’ve written something down on your calendar or in your diary, you’re much more likely to get the job done instead of using another excuse that you’re busy this Sunday.
Although this may seem like a slightly longer alternative than slapping a coat on paint on the walls, sometimes it’s easier to start in small chunks and work your way through until you’re happy with your home. And remember, start with the room you’re most likely to use the most in the house in you’re renovating or putting your stamp on a new build.
However, if all of this seems too much and you’d rather use my £99 E-Design Service, where I do it all for you – apart from the actual decorating itself - just click here to register for more information and I’llget straight back to you.
How do you approach a new decorating project? Full throttle or a little bit at a time, scared to make any decisions?
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