5 solutions to common decorating fails

Avoid familiar decorating pitfalls with these solutions

You might recognise some of these common interiors blunders – you’re not alone, we’ve all been there. Expertly sidestep these universal decorating mistakes with our simple solutions.

Fail no.1. Making a room feel cold

The amount of natural light your room receives should be an important consideration when choosing a colour for walls. Using a pale shade in a north-facing room can leave it feeling cold and unwelcoming, as the natural light from the north can appear harsh.

The solution
Try using a warm, cocooning shade in a north-facing room instead of a cool tone. South-facing rooms are full of warm sunlight all day, so if you love cool, pale tones, this is the place to use them – try a pale blue for a coastal-inspired look.

Fail no.2. Considering lighting as an afterthought

Good lighting can make a room look more spacious as well as adding an uplifting feel, yet many of us make do with just the one pendant light in the centre of the room.

The solution
Supplement your room’s ceiling lights with either floor, wall or table lamps that can be used to create a softer, cosier mood. If the space is often used for reading, an easily adjustable task lamp placed near to seating is key.

Fail no.3. Decorating with clashing patterns

Using pattern in a room is an instant way to add personality, but it can look overpowering if prints are fighting for attention.


The solution

When mixing patterns, follow this simple rule: team large prints with medium prints or medium prints with small prints – never large prints with small prints. Pick patterns that share a colour in common so the overall look feels considered.

Fail no.4. Hanging a tiny picture on a big wall

If you hang a small picture or painting in the middle of a large area of blank wall, your scheme will look unbalanced. The size of the artwork you are displaying should be relative to the size of the wall.

The solution
Reserve small artworks for small areas of wall or in alcoves. If you want to decorate a large wall with artwork but don’t have a painting with large dimensions, opt instead for a collection of smaller prints.

Fail no.5. Not investing in enough storage

Adequate storage is essential for a calm scheme, yet often bedrooms, the rooms that ought to be the most relaxing in the house, become littered with piles of clothes, books and handbags.

The solution
If your old wardrobes or chest of drawers just don’t cut it, it’s time to invest in some nifty storage solutions to keep clutter at bay. Fill the inside of your wardrobe with drawer units, shoe boxes and hanging storage racks so that everything has its own place.

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