Decorating is personal, I know that. However there are some basic foundations and rules that if you follow will mean you’re get things right first time round rather than through trial and error. Don’t get me wrong, trial and error can be a lot of fun – it’s how I discovered my style after all! But if you want to fast track rather than spending tons of time and dosh experimenting, it can be helpful to hold a couple of solid ideas in your head. I thought I’d start with the don’ts, and I’ll follow up with the dos tomorrow! I actually had to edit this a tad as I could have gone on and one for ages but here goes…

DON’T… GO MATCHY MATCHY

Too easy, too decorating by numbers, too boring, too bland. Your aim should be to create a beautiful space that makes your jaw hit the floor and you won’t get that if you match things up. Sorry! Forget full room sets and combine things you love with style and aplomb. One of my favourite decorating quotes on this subject is from Bunny Williams – “If you really love it, it will work. That’s the only real rule.” Amen!

Oh, and I should say that the picture above is by no means a “don’t”. I happen to love this space – it was photographed by Ivan Terestchenko for Lonny mag and perfectly demonstrates the mix and match approach. Who’d have thought that rustic shelves, a traditional velvet sofa, chinese lamp, bling gold leaf table and modern plastic chairs would hang out so well together?


DON’T… NEGLECT THE DETAILS

Cool door handles, cushions, candles, flowers… it’s the little things that create magic. Check out my blog post here for more advice on the finishing touches.


DON’T… FORGET THE BIG PICTURE

I think too often people focus just room by room, but don’t often step back to think of the house as a whole. You need to create a link and flow from room to room. I love in this house that as you transition from space to space rooms blend and harmonise together even though every room is painted a difference colour. All the colours are from the same hues and palette (my own paint colours, of course!), and there are repeating motifs, patterns and favourite themes – like vintage Moroccan rugs, all my faux plants etc. Sometimes art creeps through a doorway or round the corner from one room to another. It flows, it links and it feels cohesive.


DON’T… WAVER

Do not, repeat do not listen to anyone else’s opinion when you’re daring to be different. When you’re deviating from the usual style everyone from decorators and mother-in-laws to friends and neighbours will attempt to put you off. Take a leaf out of my book and tell no one, and don’t budge. For example when I went dark here I didn’t even tell the painters. Every time they come round here they think they are painting rooms white! Tell them it’s dark and on and on they go about how drab, depressing, blah blah blah it will be and I can’t stand it. No one else is living in your home, so why should they sway you on how it looks?

 

There you have it! Hope you’re ready to stride confidently into your decorating plans and 2017 makeovers. I’ll be following up with my tried and tested “dos” tomorrow.