Decorating; Don’t be scared

People often tell me they would love to spruce up their home but sometimes I wonder if they mean it. After all, we have access to so many decorating ideas and solutions now; on the net, in mags, on TV…. So why wouldn’t you give it a go?

I realise decorating can be a little daunting to some people; it’s like entering a new world. I’m the same with things I don’t love or understand; playing sport, watching sport, talking about sport… So I understand how it feels. Here’s the thing; learning what to do to make your house a home will save you money and give you a great deal of satisfaction and pride.

Once you get your feet wet, I ‘m sure decorating will even become fun for lots of you.

Today I’m talking about the beginning of the decorating process. Here are simple, easy but essential (not to mention budget-conscious) basics to get you going.

Declutter (are you sick of that word?)

decoratingI understand there are people in the world with absolutely no clutter and if you fit that profile, skip this step (and share your secrets).

For the clutterbusters… Any project is easier to start with a clean slate. Same goes for decorating. No, I don’t mean move out all the furniture and the kitchen sink. I just mean get rid of unnecessary objects like excess furniture, old paperwork, books and items you no longer have a need for.

Unless you are eligible to go on “Hoarders”, you should be able to manage this job yourself. I’m not elaborating on this topic because I think I’d be repeating what we all know. There is lots of good advice on the internet.

Once this is step is done, I’m sure you will feel a big load has been lifted. Now you can see what will be stay in your home and start decorating!


decoratingFlooring can be expensive to replace. Is your carpet looking a little threadbare or are your polished floorboards pretty much unpolished now?

If you haven’t the funds for new, try placing a large rug on the floor or hanging a large colourful piece of art on a nearby wall. This will help distract visitor’s eyes from the bad spot.

This is a temporary cover up, but it gives you some leeway while you save funds to have the problem fixed.


decoratingDoes your room need a new paint job? Painting is a great way to freshen up rooms.

Choose a colour you love but remember you will be living with the colour for quite some time; don’t use a colour because it’s today’s fashion or a colour you will soon tire of.

Very important! Try samples on the walls first; I have learned this lesson firsthand. It’s no fun repainting a wall because it’s the wrong shade.


decoratingHow’s your lighting situation? I hope you don’t have naked bulbs (unless it’s a light fitting which is supposed to have a naked bulb. Visitors will tell the difference, I promise!)

There are three types of lighting:

Ambient is overhead lighting. It could be a chandelier, a pendant, recessed lights (can or pot lights); the choice is endless.

Task lighting is for a desk, work bench or reading space. It could be a table or floor lamp or pendant lighting. If you have an old lamp, you could update it with a new shade or spray paint the base in a cool colour to suit your new interior.

Accent lighting will focus on something you want to stand out, like a piece of art. Spotlights are usually used for this purpose.

Mood switches can be installed to adjust the amount of light in a room, thus creating a different mood or atmosphere to suit a range of occasions (perfect for a bit of romance).

Lighting is your chance to make a statement. Check out the net for the thousands of options available to you. Don’t be overwhelmed; just pick what you like best and ensure it blends with the rest of the decor.

Check out your things

decorating decorating
How is your furniture looking; is it in good shape or could it benefit from a clean or update? Is it scratched? See the difference a paint job and new handles make to the desk in the above photos. This is an easy job and an opportunity to have fun with colour. Recycling rules!

If your couch cushions are worn, a new couch cover won’t set you back too much. They’re washable, which is practical if you have kids and they come in a variety of colours and textures.

Be careful not to crowd your room with too many pieces; it will make the room look smaller and no one wants that. Swap out excess items to other rooms if they fit in, or call a charity shop or a friend for collection.


decoratingCushions, vases, action!

You can purchase affordable cushions (pillows) and ornamental items at heaps of places, including thrift or dollar stores. If you are a sewer, it’s not hard to make cushions yourself (check Pinterest for ideas) and using fabric you already have will save you money.

If you aren’t happy with your accessories, spray paint them (metallic finishes are very popular at the moment).

Colour will add personality to your space. I feel happier living in a brighter space, but taste is personal so always do what suits your personality. You must be comfortable in your own abode.

If you aren’t a lover of colour, you may still wish to add subtle colour shades in your accessories and cushions to keep things interesting. Leave the rest monochrome.

Once you address these issues, you are off to an awesome start

You will find your preferred interior style and you’ll have your entire home done in no time! (No really, you will!) Please share before and after photos of your changes; I would love to see them.

If you live in Brisbane and would like to contact me for home staging or to design a room in your home, you will find my details here: