7 Rules of Thumb For Planning An Interior Decorating Project

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A sense of accomplishment is a key goal when re-defining and transforming spaces through interior decorating. But, there are some rules to follow to make sure that the accomplishment itself is something you can be proud of later on.

To bring some of these rules, or guidelines if you prefer, into focus is writer Zoe Williams who is here to help you with setting up a framework for success for your DIY interior decorating project.


Interior decorating can be a tricky and time-consuming path to plot, and often it’s very tempting to call doubt yourself and your vision. But don’t give in! You’re perfectly capable! No matter your level of creativity, follow these seven rules-of-thumb for interior decorating, and you won’t go far wrong!

1. Work out your budget

When decorating a home, you first need to set your budget. The sky is the limit when it comes to interiors but it is also quite surprising how much you can do for very little money. Once you have decided on your budget, add on a 10% contingency fund as you may easily overspend.

2. Complementary furniture

You may like contemporary furniture, or your taste may be for antiques. Perhaps you might like a mixture of the two – you can always combine styles. If your furniture is made of wood, stick to one type of wood as this adds cohesion to any room. For instance, you might put a modern oak table alongside an antique oak dresser. Conservatory furniture is often in pale colours, with the base in wood or wicker

3. Add a focal point

Whatever your colour scheme, there needs to be a focal point. It can be a large vase, a painting, a beautiful lamp or a stunning mirror. This will be the item that will be first noticed by anyone entering the room, so it needs to be chosen carefully and placed in a prominent position. Look at a colour-wheel chart to see which colours go together.

4. Choose furniture before paint

Furniture is the most expensive item in a room and needs careful thought. Paint can then be selected to suit both the furniture and the room. You can never really go wrong with neutral-coloured paint and if you want to change it at any time, you can just paint over it. Paint is something that can easily be changed, whereas furniture is not, so go for inoffensive and classic pieces. However, in a conservatory furniture can be almost any colour as there are no walls to paint.

5. Keep artwork at eye-level

Many people place pictures and paintings high up on a wall and this is a mistake. Artwork is intended to be looked at and it is impossible to do so if it is six feet up in the air. Eye-level paintings and mirrors create the right ambience in a room.

6. Think of color schemes

Deciding on a color scheme can be a real challenge. If in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask at your local paint shop as they will be pleased to advise you. Read magazines and look at websites for ideas too. Generally, in a sunny room you can use any colour you like, whereas in a room which does not get much sun you need paler or brighter colors.

7. Consider the scale of your furniture

The size of your furniture needs to be appropriate for the room. Do not try to cram large pieces such as sideboards and dressers into a small room. It’s better to get rid of these old pieces either by advertising in a local newspaper or on the internet. Use the money for scaled-down versions of the same items which will look better in a smaller room.

Conversely, if a room is large, grand pieces of furniture will look just right. Just look at the rooms in stately houses to see this in practice. In a conservatory furniture needs to be the right size and shape too.

Decorating is how you express your personality in your space

Interior decorating need not be as daunting as it may initially seem. The best tip we can give you is to draw inspiration from your favourite places and see what naturally catches your eye. Use these ideas to plan your rooms one at a time. Interior decorating is a fun process that you have all the control with, so don’t be afraid to unleash your creative side!


Thanks, Zoe!

Zoe Williams is a blogger and copywriter who loves to share her knowledge of home improvement through content on the internet. Tweet your thoughts on this article to @BuildDirect or @bloggingstyle, or just comment below.



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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.