Mercury is in retrograde - and it could spell big problems for your home

We're looking to the planets for guidance

Living room with red sofa, coffee table and standing lamp.
(Image credit: Future PLC)

It's official; Mercury is in retrograde. From August 23rd to September 15th, Mercury appears to travel backwards across the sky, which leads astrologers to believe there could be confusion, delays and frustration in your daily life. 

This could mean it's time to delay, or speed up, your interior decisions. No one wants a DIY disaster or a kitchen renovation that you might regret, so it might be wise to look to the planets for guidance.

While the next two weeks might mean holding off on any weekend DIY plans or living room design updates, Mercury is in retrograde for another three times a year - so take note of any tips. We spoke to expert astrologers for their advice on how to navigate this cycle so that your homes look and feel as calm as possible. 

What does it mean when Mercury is in retrograde?

If you're not one for checking your daily horoscope, then hearing that Mercury is in retrograde could be a confusing concept. 

Put simply, 'A retrograde is when a planet appears to be going backwards in the sky,' says Jessie Hutter, astrology expert at So Syncd.

'Of course, planets don't go backwards and are always hurtling along their orbit, at their own pace. However, we view each planet from our perch here on Earth, which is also moving, so sometimes a planet may appear to be reversing. When this happens, it is called a retrograde, and the qualities of that planet interfere with our lives rather than enhance them.' 

This might mean you see disturbances in your life more than you normally might, making it a time to sit tight and ride the wave. To make it to September 15th without any big interior regrets, consider following these top tips by astrology experts. 

1. Avoid making big decisions

Bedroom with patterned wallpaper, white bed and bedside table.

(Image credit: Future PLC)

The biggest rule to follow when Mercury is in retrograde is to not make any huge decisions. The planetary cycle is known for throwing up hurdles, which isn't what you want when putting large amounts of money and thought into interior projects. 

'When it comes to interiors, the Mercury retrograde is a bad time to start a new, lengthy project. Contracts signed during the Retrograde are likely to fail before completion. Each retrograde is only 3-4 weeks long, so when you can, postpone,' says Inbaal Honigman, celebrity psychic and astrologer.

With this in mind, if you have a big bathroom renovation on the horizon or even a bedroom colour refresh, it's best to hold off for a few weeks.  

'While there's no rulebook that says you can't make interior design choices during this time, it's prudent to wait until the chaos comes to an end, or at the very least, be extra diligent in your decision-making process. That said, your safest bet is to hold off on any major interior design choices and instead focus on minor tweaks,' adds  Jessie.

2. Revisit old projects

Bedroom dressing table with pink ikea drawers.

(Image credit: Future PLC)

With the time you have available from postponing large projects, you'll have time to refocus your attention on old, forgotten projects. Whether it's an IKEA hack you didn't have time to complete or an upcycling task you got bored of, the new season and planetary cycle is the perfect time to finish it.  

'This Mercury retrograde period is a perfect time to reflect and reassess any interior decisions you've been making. You could revisit old projects instead of starting big new jobs,' adds Jessie. 

'Focus on spring cleaning and sprucing up your surroundings, as opposed to changing the entire colour scheme of a room. Try upcycling an old piece of furniture that's in need of some TLC rather than spending your savings on a brand-new piece. Taking it slow and focusing on smaller-scale interior choices is a much safer bet during this period.'

3. Make the most of newfound clarity

Living room with red sofa, coffee table and standing lamp.

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Mercury in retrograde isn't all bad news - it can actually be a time to make the most of a burst of clarity which can make your interior decisions much clearer. 

'Mercury in retrograde doesn't necessarily cause us to make more mistakes. In fact, it can actually give us clarity around mistakes that have been made in the past,' says Jessie. 

'This period of time can give you space to think through your interior design decisions. If you're about to make a bold, daring choice that you're still feeling anxious about, take a step back and re-evaluate. Mercury in retrograde is a great time to reflect, slow down, and re-think the interior design choices you're making. You never know—it could be a blessing in disguise.' 

Use the weeks as downtime to properly research a new design scheme. Whether it's discovering how to incorporate the latest home decor trends or planning out gallery wall ideas, this enforced break will provide clarity for making the best decision for your home.

Holly Cockburn
Content Editor

After starting out her journey at Future as a Features Editor on Top Ten Reviews, Holly is now a Content Editor at Ideal Home, writing about the best interior ideas and news. At Top Ten Reviews, she focussed on TikTok viral cleaning hacks as well as how to take care of investment purchases such as lawn mowers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Prior to this, Holly was apart of the editorial team at Howdens which sparked her interest in interior design, and more specifically, kitchens (Shaker is her favourite!).