Home decorating tips can cover a vast area of knowledge.

There are so many different topics to cover you could easily fill a dozen websites with tips.

Here we've divided the page into two sections. The first section deals with general help. Such things as what to think about before you even start your home decorating. Planning ahead, what to do and what not to do.

The second section is about more specific home decorating tips, such as dealing with paint, wallpapers, curtains and ceilings.


General Home Decorating Tips

We all want 'quick fixes', but if you really want to know what you're doing, take half an hour to find out the basics, especially color. This is so important we've put together a few pages about color schemes.

It doesn't matter if you're organizing home decorating, planning a business venture or responsible for a multibillion dollar project, one rule applies. If you're not extremely careful, you'll run over budget.

So work out what you want - or can afford- to spend, and stick to it.

You can find bargains. They are out there. But not as many as you might think.

If something is cheap - paint, wallpaper, items of furniture - double check why it's being offered at such a good price. It may be a genuine bargain, chances are it's not.

We all have our own likes and dislikes. Especially when it comes to how our homes should be furnished. Many lists of home furnishing tips don't include this one, but it's important. Don't let too many people influence your decisions.

Listen to what they have to say, because some of their advice may be reliable. But all final decisions should be your own.

If you intend to redecorate one or more of your main rooms, you'll need to make alternative arrangements while they're out of use.

For example, if you want to redecorate your living room, and it involves a complete overhaul with paint, carpets and so on, all the furniture from the room will ideally need to be stored elsewhere. Which means another room or hallway will have to take the furniture. Which means you now have two room out of action.

If you have a traditional home, select a style of furnishing which won't fight with it. Just because you like french country style doesn't mean it will look good in a modern apartment.

This doesn't mean you can't adapt different styles, but the key word here is 'adapt'. Use your favorite style for inspiration, but be attentive to the overall feel of your home.

You can find more information on styles here.

How many times do you hear about a project not being completed on time? It's easy to find yourself in the same position. That's why these home decorating tips include this one.

There are things you can do to minimize the chances of this happening to you. Make sure you have all the materials you need before you start, such as wallpapers, paint and fabrics. If you're employing professionals to do the decorating make sure they come in the right order and at the right time. Your carpet fitters won't thank you if the painters are still working when they turn up to fit your carpet.


More specific tips

You can test how much light will be lost when installing curtains by pinning up old sheets in the window.

Be careful when laying rugs on hard floors, because the rugs can easily slide when walked on. You can buy special underlay to go under the rug which prevents slipping.

Never make your final decisions in a store. Always look at samples in the room you're going to decorate. Lighting in stores is completely different from that in your room.

Use striped wallpaper or paint stripes on the walls. These will lead the eye up and give the appearance of increased height.

Install a picture rail about 18 inches (45cms) below the ceiling. Then paint the area above the picture rail the same color as the ceiling. This will tend to bring the eye down and reduce the perceived height.

When buying quantities of your decorating materials, if in doubt buy more than you need rather than less. This is especially true if you're ordering by post and not buying from a local store.

It's usually a good idea to get a sample of your paint / wallpaper / fabric / wood flooring etc. before going ahead and placing your final order. If the color match is important, remember that you'll never get a faithful color reproduction on a computer screen or on a printed brochure.

If you're planning on using a wallpaper with a strong pattern repeat, remember that if you want to hang pictures on the walls they won't be displayed to their best advantage. The strong pattern will clash with them.

It's better to use more subdued wallpapers to act as a background in rooms where you want to hang your favorite pictures.

Many paint manufacturers supply small sample pots of their paint. Walls absorb paint at different rates, and this affects the finish. Rough porous walls will soak up more paint, while smooth walls allow more of the paint to dry on the surface.

When you use the sample paint, apply it to opposite corners of the room so you can see how it looks in different lights. Also, don't forget to look at the finish in artificial light as well as daylight.

This page has more information on interior wall paint.

Preparation is important for all home decor, but especially for wallcoverings. It's easy to imagine you can cover up any imperfections, but it just doesn't work.

You need to strip off any old paper and prepare your walls so they are smooth and clean. Many manufacturers recommend you cross line the walls with good quality lining paper before applying the wallcovering itself.

Of all home decorating tips, ones about preparation cannot be overemphasized.


Hopefully these home decorating tips will have given you some help with your projects.



Return to Home Interior Decorating

Return to Home Page