5 Things You Need to Know Before Decorating Your Home
It's forgivable and we all do it. No sooner do we have the keys to our new nest than we're on the road to IKEA to source a three bedroom semi worth of flat packed furniture. But after an afternoon of playing happily ever after in a giant warehouse of pre-made living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms, you wonder to yourself over some questionably cheap meatballs, 'maybe I did go a little overboard?'...
Moving into a new home is exciting, so its only natural that we may lose the run of ourselves a bit and we can be forgiven for wanting to rush into everything at once. All this initial excitement can lead to mistakes and before you know it you have a shed full of things you never use. Training yourself to distinguish between what you need from what you actually need is a skill in homeware buying. Aside from just skill you'll need patience and persistence too. But before decorating your home starts to sound like the spec of a full time job, ease yourself into the process with these valuable pointers:
1. Vary Complimentary Colours
Because let's be honest painting every room the same shade of off-white may just make things a little bland! Where possible opt for a few varying shades. But in doing so consider the colours for each room and how they relate to the adjoining spaces. Using complimentary colours ensures that when doors are open and the colours can be seen together, they won't be a clashing disaster that makes your head hurt! The image below shows how a black, grey and off white combination work really well in creating a dynamic, open plan space through the use of complimentary colours!
2. Seek and Store Inspiration
If like me you find yourself drawn to lots of different styles then pay close attention to this point. As eager as I may be in the early stages of a design, I force myself to channel my enthusiasm into gathering things that inspire me for the space in question. I fill inspiration boards with images that convey the look & feel I want to achieve or images of furniture that can be used as a reference point for colours and/or style. I also like to include a few materials on the board, and by combining all these elements together I can bring the room I am envisaging in my head to life. This gives me a clear vision of what will work in the room so if I like something but it won't work in the design, I'll have saved myself from buying something unnecessary.
3. Experiment With Layout
In the early days of a new place we can learn a lot from simply living in the space. In the first few months experiment with the layout of each room, move things around, swap things from room to room and most importantly put things where you think they won't work for a day or two and see if you can surprise yourself. Sometimes things can look best where we least expect them to. For example, beds can look particularly good in front of windows and sofas can work particularly well positioned diagonally. So don't waste time worrying about what will or won't work and just experiment with your layout on a regular basis until you find what works for you. Something is guaranteed to surprise you!
4. Hit Up Some Second-Hand Hot Spots
Although we all love new stuff for a new home, it never ceases to amaze me the things that can be snapped up in charity and second hand furniture shops. Search for charity or vintage shops in your locality and make a habit of dropping by every so often. Or like that, auctions are full of one-of-a-kind pieces with lots of character and charm. Admittedly they won't be amazing every time but patience often pays off and rewards you with a few vintage gems! New homes + pre-loved stuff = charm central.
5. Invest in Quality Curtains
This was one of my biggest mistakes when I first decorated our house. I bought fabrics that weren't good quality and very quickly I fell out of love with my curtains. Learn from my mistake and invest as much as you can afford on curtains and if possible get them made by a really good curtain maker. Fabric shops often sell second hand curtains for a fraction of the thousands they were once bought for, so do some research to see if you can find a style that will suit.