05/06/2013 09:44 BST | Updated 24/03/2014 08:59 GMT

How to Avoid Decorating Disasters

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Like most people, you probably don't have your own personal decorator who can pop over to your house, make a few decisions and voila! - Revamp your home just like that? So, when it comes to giving your home a makeover, you will have to rely on stacks of decorating magazines, the opinions of friends and family and your own best judgement. This is usually all you need to give your house a fantastic new look but just in case, here is a handy guide to avoiding those most common decorating disasters.


Choose the paint first - This is probably the most common of all the decorating mishaps because it gets you off on the wrong foot before you've even started. Paint can be found in virtually any hardware supermarket and is one of the easiest things to get hold of. Instead, find that one important, perhaps expensive, piece of furniture or feature first and then build outwards from there. You can always find the right colour paint to match it once you do.

Hide your lighting - The whole point of having a beautiful, ornate lighting fixture is so that people can see it and that it lights up the whole room. Far too often you will see a stunning chandelier or modern lighting fixture tucked away right at the top of the room or in a corner, which not only defeats the point of having a gorgeous feature piece but always restricts the light it gives off.

Pick short curtains in a big room - In any room that has a large feature window you should always pick out curtains that just skim the floor. Curtains that are too short will make the wall and the window look stunted and smaller than it is. If you're going with curtains, pick long ones and simply use stylish tie-backs to keep them in place. If you are choosing a window shades instead, then make sure the fabric fits in with the colour scheme of the rest of your room.

Go with a strict theme straight away - A common trap that many people fall into is that they see a finished room in a catalogue and want to do it all in one go. The truth is that most makeovers will take a few weeks to complete properly and they will never look exactly same as the one in your head. It is always better to go with a more general idea and swap and change bits along the way. If you set your heart on a single piece of furniture or feature but are unable to achieve it, you'll become bored and frustrated with your new room.

Push everything to the walls - Whether you have a large room or a small one, try to resist the temptation to push every piece of furniture to a wall. In small rooms this can actually make it look smaller and in big rooms, you will lose any cosiness or warmth in the room.