Help! – A short guide to decorating

So you’ve decided you want to redecorate, but where do you start? I’ve put together a few handy thoughts to help get the ball rolling and to hopefully ensure you make the right decisions, saving you time and expensive mistakes.

Why? In order to get the right result, you need to work out why you want to change what’s there and what you’re not happy with. Is it too small/impractical? Are you bored of the colour scheme? Regretting that choice of fabric? Maybe you’ve simply outgrown the room and need to reorganise?

Make a list. I’m a list fan. I have endless lists which I guess I use as a form of brainstorming. List all of your ideas so that you can then go through them afterwards to work out how to process them and make them into your dream design.

Ask Questions. How many people use the space? How do you use it? What do you need to store? What furniture do you think you need? If you had that would you use it? What’s your budget? Can you do any of the work yourself? Will you actually do this work? Can you use any of the existing furniture? Do you have any other furniture around the house that you could incorporate? If you live with anybody else, how do they use the room? Do you have children/animals? Will your design withstand their use?

Window shop. Don’t buy anything just yet – wait until you can get it to work with the rest of your space! Pinterest is a great way to start getting ideas together. Save things you like even if you can’t see how you’d use it right away. You never know what direction your design may suddenly take.

Make a moodboard. Like your virtual board on Pinterest, start creating a physical board consisting of fabric samples and paint colours you like. It’s important to look at the samples in the room you’re actually redecorating. Don’t test the paint directly on the wall, paint a piece of card and then test it all around the room as you’ll want to see what it’s like in the different light conditions.

Design. Once you’ve worked out what you need and the kind of style you’re after, get designing! A simple floor plan is the best way to start. Try and draw the room from a birds eye view and include all of the doors, windows and any main features that can’t be changed. Take the main measurements, photocopy the page and get drawing! Think about the biggest pieces of furniture first. Where will they fit and what do they need to face/be near to? The first stage of designing is all about trial and error. Don’t be afraid that things won’t work, it’s much better to experiment with this on paper rather than once the decorating has begun! Test your ideas and keep going until you’ve got a layout that you’re happy with. Then go back to your list and see if you’ve missed anything.

Mix it up. Now comes the difficult bit. Mix your layout and moodboards together to try and get to your finished design! Personally, I start with the layout and then try and incorporate the furniture I like in the fabrics that I’ve chosen. Keep tabs on the cost – it’s very easy for the budget to spiral out of control before the decorating has even begun!

Edesign. If you get stuck with the designing and visualising, then think about employing some online design help. At Design Eyes we want to help customers visualise their designs before you go ahead with big projects. Our costs are lower than a normal interior designer as we leave a lot of the work to you. We’re not here to project manage but we’re here to show you your ideas before you make expensive decisions. We want to help you make your ideas work and love showing clients their designs in 3D so they can really get a grip of what their room’s going to feel like! Get in touch for more information: laura@designeyes.co.uk

Bathroom 3D Plan

Bathroom 3D Plan

Make a plan. Before you get started, plan as much as you can. This isn’t a promise that decorating projects always stick to this plan, but if you know what needs doing and when, it’ll be a lot less stressful. Make timelines of how processes fit together. If you’re employing professionals, find out what needs doing first – there’s no point getting the tiler in if the plumbing’s not been finished or if the tiles haven’t been delivered. Before making things final, double check the availability of items. Don’t plan your whole design around one piece of furniture only to find it’s discontinued by the time you come to order!

Check your prices. This includes furniture, labour and everything in between. Get quotes in writing so that if things change dramatically you’ve got evidence of what was agreed. Make sure you know what’s included – remember to think about delivery costs for larger items and any extras that labourers may need to include. If you don’t understand something ask – you need to know exactly what you’re paying for and what else you’ll need to buy!

Get decorating!! Once you know what you want there’s no better time to get started!! Get the builders in or that paintbrush out and get going.

Don’t stress. Things won’t go to plan but don’t let this get you down. Decorating can be stressful but if you’ve planned enough it’ll be ok. You’ll have a backup option if one of your tiles smash. You can wait an extra week for those made to measure curtains. Keep your lists handy so you can check things off as they’re done and when you come to the end you’ll realise it’s all been worth it!

Enjoy! And start planning your next project….

If this all seems a bit overwhelming then please do get in touch! At Design Eyes we’re currently offering a free consultation service. This is perfect if you can’t work out what you’re looking for or if you don’t know where to start. It also means you can run your ideas past us before committing – all completely for free! We’re happy to help further too, but let’s have that consultation first so we know how we can help!

Free Interior Design Consultation

Free Interior Design Consultation

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