How to start decorating

It can be intimidating, facing a room that you want to start decorating from scratch.

So I’ve compiled a handy list of my top tips if you just don’t know where to start.

Choose a Style

This is just a good place to start, as whilst you don’t necessarily need to stick to this rigidly, if you have an general look in mind, it will make sure you create a coherent space.

I did a whole post on the different styles which you can read here – https://designled.io/findyourinteriorstyle

Choose a Palette

When it comes to choosing a palette for your home, keep it consistent – either through tone or the actual colours used. A masterclass in this second option is given by the wonderful Zilverblauw (https://www.instagram.com/zilverblauw/). Virtually everything in their house is a either white, a soft pink or a strong, almost neon yellow.

Mixing tones like is not for a colour novice though as it’s easy to get wrong! It works in Zilverblauw’s home because of the mostly white backdrop and the purposeful embracing of the jarring feel of the bright yellow stairs with their maximum impact approach. Every element of the stair section is painted out the same colour, they’re in the centre of the house and the accents they’ve used to pick it out are eye-catching in themselves.

Try this if you feel brave but if you’re new to colour, one of the easiest places to start is to keep the tones in the room similar. That way when you move from room to room, there is no jarring because a strong tone has been put up against a soft one – as can easily happens. So soft colours with soft colours, deep ones with other deep ones etc.

Choose a Focal Point

Choose something to start your design. It could be a piece of furniture or favourite piece of art. This is your jumping off point for designing your room. The colours are picked from this or to work with it and the objects are picked to work with it. A palette and design will naturally emerge. In the image below, it was the rug. The rest of the room design developed from that.

Matching or Mismatch

Some people like everything to be coordinated, others more of an (artfully!) thrown together look. It’s important to figure out which group you fall in as it will make all the difference to whether you can feel happy in your room. People in the first category will never be able to fully relax if the patterns are clashing and their room isn’t put together correctly whilst those in the second will feel exactly the same if everything is just a little bit too formal for them. (The beautiful home with the yellow sofa below is from https://www.instagram.com/nudeandthenovice/.)

This is less about style and more about how you live. Are you someone who likes a bit of structure in their life or someone who doesn’t mind a bit of chaos? I’m definitely the latter!

Structure your room like you live your life and you’ll be happier in it.

Trust your Gut

If you’re really drawn to something and you keep coming back to it, I insist that you go and buy it immediately! This is YOUR home you’re designing, and the thing that will make it yours are things that you like and feel connected to. If you really love something, that’s all that matters.