Susan Deliss’s dos and don’ts of decorating

Susan Deliss’s dos and don’ts of decorating

There is an abundance of pattern and colour and the temptation can be to keep adding more and more but rooms need to breathe visually.

Remember that what looks great in photos may not be liveable with. Decorate your home for the longer term rather than just with online trends in mind.

Try paint colours at different times of the day and night and in different areas of the room. Many people paint on cards or boards to try out but I find daubing new colours on my walls more exciting. Plus then I am committed to repainting. You can always test the paints behind a picture or a curtain so they are not visible all the time.

Think about recycling anything you are disposing of from a building project. Can someone you know use a second hand fridge or old curtains or recycle them for upholstery? Something old, something new is not just for weddings!

Build up pattern gradually if you are not confident. Find one thing that works and that you really like, and then try the next thing. Stop when you feel comfortable with what’s there – you can always try something else later.

Where you can, try to use smaller companies rather than big brands. It’s more interesting and unique to see interiors with less obvious patterns and designs.

Think about comfort as well as appearances. Take the time to test a bed or a sofa before you buy it.

Don’t forget to think about how you will use your room and who will use it.

They look great in photos but they are hard to live with unless you live in really sunny climes.

Don’t try to copy a look for a completely different type of house than yours. Try to do something appropriate to your home and to the style and date of architecture. Work with it rather than against it. I have an old house in France, which is much easier to decorate with colour and pattern than the modernist house I live in in Notting Hill, which has very strong opinions about what it likes and doesn’t like!

Be careful not to buy expensive curtain fabric and then get them made on the cheap. Badly made curtains or blinds look awful so get someone really good to make them.

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