When you decorate in an eclectic, push-the-boundaries sort of fashion you are going to fall victim to mistakes. These happen. There’ll be pitfalls along the way that make you question yourself and wonder why you bothered. Well I’m here to say that I make many mistakes, still do in fact, but it’s from those mistakes that great things have happened.

In my time I’ve karate chopped pillows down the middle (only in my early days, I promise), had rug amnesia, totally ruined great furniture with a botched paint job, created flat, textureless spaces, on and on I could go. Mistakes happen. We all make them, but you know what – through analysis, trial and error they teach us what works and what doesn’t. Don’t fear mistakes I say, in life and in decorating! Here’s just a few of my biggest decorating mistakes:

FOLLOWING TRENDS

I once painted our downstairs basement in an eggplant-y aubergine colour that was so bad I was impatiently waiting until it dried to repaint it instantly. It was one of those “on trend” colours and I learnt a lesson the hard way. Don’t follow them unless you completely and utterly love. What I did learn though is that colour can almost immediately change how you feel in a room (in this case I suddenly hated it!) and if I could nail the right colours, just imagine how amazing my space would be.

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WORRYING MORE ABOUT PHOTOS THAN THE REAL THING

I wallpapered a wall in my bedroom in a faux panelled wood look. It looked fabulous in images and terrible in my bedroom – it felt a little too unnatural if you will. But I loved the vibe so opted for the real stuff instead, and now behind our bed is a beautiful wood panelled wall that I can’t ever imagine replacing.

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GARDENING ERRORS

We panelled a garden wall in horizontal planks one day and when done it looked so awful I had to sit with my back to the garden. It came down a few days later, as soon as we’d mustered the energy to take down. I realised that I didn’t want such a full-on anchor that drew the eye. I wanted the planting to look natural, jungle-y and beautiful and not have some crazy wall taking away the attention. So I grew the plants up to create the biggest, tallest green wall imaginable. I’m aiming for them to reach the moon.

 

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FOLLOWING CONVENTIONS

The standard formula of a sofa and two chairs shoved against the wall – not for me. I’ve tried it and I hated it. Now I am a lot more confident with my arrangements, and I’m really into arranging cosy little nooks or sociable seating zones. Heck I’ve got our Wild Bill sofa in the middle of floor right near the fire, I’ve got another sofa floating in the den. It’s a higgledy piggledy mismatch but it works, and most importantly nothing is shoved up against the wall!

Abbi005_0112LACK OF LIGHTING

I used to only have four lamps in a room. What’s so wrong with that I hear you ask? Well now I actually have 14 in the same space… maybe a couple more. In my defence it’s a big open plan space! I didn’t understand the power of lighting and how it creates the most magical mood until I started experimenting. Lighting should never wash out a space, instead it should create intriguing little pockets that look and feel fantastic. A warm glow of light and little pools of illumination is what I’m after, it draws people in and creates intimacy. I am obsessed with getting it right.