Home Decorating - your guide to success
Home decorating is something anyone can do.
Discover how you can be creative, and make an attractive and practical home for yourself and your family. You'll get a great sense of achievement, and a beautiful home.
Decorating your home is something you can learn to do with confidence. You just need to get a few basics right, and you're set to go.
Discover new ideas
You'll find lots of ideas and suggestions here for all areas of your home.
There are mistakes to avoid, ideas to try, with many photo illustrations and diagrams.
It's one thing to visit a store or shop online, but if you know how to put colors together or how proportions should work, you'll be able to make the most of all the products available.
Remove the mystery
Because color is a mystery to many people, we've included a whole section on color theory for home interior decorating. And then there's some color charts, with suggested colors to get you started.
There are sections on all sorts of useful aspects of decorating, including painting, wallpapers, window treatments and suggestions for individual rooms.
Many decorating companies produce videos of their products and services. These often contain very useful advice for home decorating, so we've included videos when we think you'll find them helpful.
Anyone can do it
Don't be discouraged by the wonderful ideas you see around you, and imagine that home decorating can only be done by 'gifted' people.
You can do it, too!
Home Decorating is about...
Colors give us our first impressions of a room.
Reflective, matt, rough or smooth, hard or soft - they all affect our perceptions.
Shape and form
Round, square, simple or intricate, shapes have an important part to play.
A rug in front of a fireplace, a mirror over a console table, a sofa opposite a chair - the relative proportions and placement of objects are important.
Plain or patterned, and which can go together happily.
Daylight and artificial light have to be thought about carefully. The placement of lighting units is crucial to successful room decor.
Home decorating is about your family
Whatever you do, put your family first. It's so easy to get carried away with color schemes and furniture designs, and forget that the whole objective is to make a comfortable and practical home for you and your family.
Looks are important, but people come first before your home decor.
What's the main mistake made in home decorating?
Not planning ahead!
It's so easy to get caught up in the excitement of decorating a new home or just one room, and missing out vital stages in the process. So take your time, and make sure you have a good 'road map' for the route ahead.
Many of the sections on this website have pages about planning, here's the living room page.
Use professionals or do it yourself?
It's often a good idea to use local professionals. Try to find out from friends and neighbors if they have used anyone recently for work in their home.
Personal recommendations are the best way of finding reliable professionals.
Professionals make their living out of the work they do, so if your want - or have - to use them at some stage, the cost will be a significant part of your budget.
You, or a member of your family, may be able to undertake some of the home decorating work. By deciding on what you can do yourselves, and how much you'll have to get done by others, you'll have a much better idea of how to allocate your budget.
Six tips to successful home decorating
Make it enjoyable
If your home decorating begins to become too much of an effort, you'll lose interest. Then you'll lose your grip on the details, and lurch from one crisis to the next.
Then you'll wish you never started! Try to keep a balance between getting the work done, and having a life!
Are you taking on too much?
Keep your project size manageable. If you take on too much - try to do too much, too quickly, on too small a budget - it will overwhelm you. So start small, and build up your confidence.
Be particularly careful about employing professional decorators. Get firm quotes so you - and they - know exactly what is expected of them.
What about your family?
Listen and work with your family. Get them involved as much as possible. Some may want to have a say in planning your home furnishings, others may be content to help with the practical side.
Well meaning friends...
Avoid too much input from well-meaning friends. Yes, they may mean well, but we all have different ideas, and having too much input can be a bad thing. And in all probability they don't know any more about home interior furnishing than you do!
So listen politely, accept any good advice given, but don't be ruled by them or greatly influenced by them.
Time for a break
When you're well into your home decorating project and find it's getting on top of you (which can easily happen), take a break. Do something completely different, and then return to it refreshed.
Get to grips with the basics!
Spend time understanding the basics - especially color.
A small amount of commitment at this stage will pay dividends later, and save you disappointment. (This is why we've included a comprehensive section on color schemes).
Not sure where to go next? Here are the most popular pages as viewed by our visitors in the last few months.
Color schemes - the introduction page to the section on color basics
Decorating color schemes - how to use the color charts which give ideas for room schemes
Kitchen color - suggestions for decorating your kitchen
Living room curtains - how to deal with all the options available
Living room color - ideas for color and the materials you can use
Or make your selection from the menu at the top of the page.
Enjoy your home decorating!