DECORATING DO's AND DONT's

Interior Design Guide DECORATING DO's AND DONT's
Decorating Do's and Dont's
Every building has its own character. When you buy a new property or take a step back from your current one and consider changing it, you give yourself the opportunity to develop that character in a way that will suit your own requirements.

When it is decorated with sensitivity and confidence, the natural features of any home are enhanced, giving full expression to the taste and personality of the owner.


Choosing the right colours is the single most important decision you will make when designing any room scheme, and getting it wrong can be a costly mistake. There are thousands of different colours to choose from, so choosing the right ones that will combine well and look stunning in your home can seem a daunting task.

Fortunately there is some science to what will and won't work when it comes to choosing and combining colour.

There are also set rules that interior designers apply when they are deciding which colour combinations to use and, with our colour guide, you’ll soon be combining different tones and shades with all the confidence and flair of the professionals.

Decorating Do's Decorating Dont's
Do make structural changes e.g. rewiring, re-flooring or building shelves etc before you start to decorate


Do establish a budget - and try where possible to stick to it


Do note all architectural details


Do consider the function of the room including:
- The time of day it will be used
- How many people are likely to use it at any time
- The amount of wear and tear it will receive
- The amount of time you can commit to maintaining it
- Its location in relation to the rest of the house
- Its light sources, both natural and artificial
- Storage


Do take into account the needs and tastes of the others in the house


Do select a signature colour


Do be aware that the colours of one room will affect those around it


Do experiment with sample boards - creat a mood board. Collect colour samples, fabric swatches and pictures of furniture and arrange them all together so you can see at a glance if the colours, textures and styles all work


Do choose three main colours such as three shades of blue or a harmonious combination of blue and green


Do decorate 70% of the room in your first colour (this can include the floor and walls); 20% in your second colour (this can include furniture, curtains and blinds); and 10% in the third (including accessories such as cushions and throws)


Do add interest with texture and pattern


Do buy tester pots so you can try out paint colours. Try them in different areas of the room and look at them in varying lights. Paint on to small pieces of lining paper or card


Don't make guesses - measure, compare and consider before you buy


Don't be impractical - you will probably regret white carpet


Don't ignore details


Don't mix and match colours before you have compared them as samples


Don't stick to just one tint of a single colour - it can look boring or repetitive - use a lighter or darker shade of the same colour, a contrast or a harmonious (neighbouring) colour with your original colour choice


Don't use more than three colours in your colour scheme, otherwise the result will appear messy and confused


Don't use equal amonts of different colours - it's very difficult to live with and can be overpowering - remember the rule of thumb percentage 70/20/10


Don't rush or hurry! The more time you spend planning, the fewer costly mistakes you'll make. Introduce your new colour elements stage by stage


Don't use a dark colour if you are unsure about it, darker colours are harder to hide or cover if you don't like them


Don't use lots of black and purple - it will have a sombre, oppressive effect


Don't paint over valuable wooden furniture. Sell the piece and buy cheaper wood if you want to use paint


Don't forget to check how your colours sit together on the colour wheel

Print out this checklist and mini colour wheel and keep it with you while you research your ideas and samples
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