Whether you’re a first time home buyer or you’ve bagged yourself a fixer-upper at auction and fancy yourself as a jack of all trades, there will come a point in your life when you decide to decorate your home yourself rather than calling in the wisdom and steady hand of a professional. We all do it. It’s in our nature to want to save money wherever we can. We have this voice in the back of our heads that tells us decorating is easy and if we just skip the many years tradesmen spend learning and perfecting this craft, and just simply do it, we will nail it. If this sounds all too familiar and you’ve never as much as dipped your brush into a pot of paint, at least follow these ten simple tips to get you started when decorating for the first time.

This first rule’s simple. Everything needs to be done in the correct order to avoid disaster. Add accessories after furniture and furniture after painting. You get the picture. Think logically and plan things out.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re aiming for classic, modern, chic, futuristic, or full on wild west! Pick one style from the off and stick to it. There’s nothing worse than a room of mismatching colours, textures and furniture that cries confusion.


As you’ve taken it upon yourself to decorate without the help of a professional, let’s assume you’re not short of motivation to get the job done. If you lack motivation, draw up a plan complete with timings, as these things tend to have a tendency to drag on. You don’t want to be tripping over step ladders and nail guns for weeks to come, so time is of the essence here my friend.

Seeing as you’re trying to save money, it would be a good idea to set a budget at the very beginning, and stick to it. Remember, mistakes cost money. If you’re not careful, you’ll be calling a pro to fix your errors, making it less of a money-saving exercise and more of an expensive hobby gone wrong.


We’ve all experienced that sinking feeling when we open a flat pack furniture pack only to find that part ‘D2’ is missing. If you get half way through the job and realise something vital is missing, you’ll be revisiting that feeling of sadness. Take a trip down the DIY aisle at your local shop and make sure you have the necessary tools before you even begin, as this is half the battle.  Take some time to get to know your glue guns from your screwdrivers.


It doesn’t take a genius to open Google and search for ‘this year’s colour trends in interior design’, but take ideas with a pinch of salt, as trends can be fleeting and go out of style very quickly. Choose a solid décor scheme that’ll never go out of style and don’t take risks if you don’t know your ‘natural white’ from your ‘white on white’. This choice should be made first as everything you do will be based around this.


Without a lighting fixture, your newly decorated room will live a life of darkness, so do your hard work justice and invest in interior lighting that brings the room to life. Your choice will be based upon what the room is going to be used for, for example, spotlights go well in kitchens to help you see what you’re doing, whereas hanging lights work well in dining rooms to illuminate the table area. If you struggle, call in the help of somebody who dabbles in residential lighting.


Prepare yourself, not just mentally, but also the room. This may sound silly, but just because you’re ready to decorate, it doesn’t mean the room is ready to be decorated. Make sure you scrape away any old paint, fill in any holes, remove any mould or damp and insure beading gaps around windows are sealed.  This will save any problems further down the line.

You will flick paint on your arms. You will dribble paint on your shoes. You’ll get covered in dust. You’ll probably even glue yourself to an inanimate object. The final point being; wear something you don’t mind destroying. If you have overalls these are ideal, but if not, it’s the perfect opportunity to wear that hilarious ‘ipood’ t-shirt nan bought you back in 2002.


If you’re moving into a shell of a home, one of the most common mistakes first time decorators make is buying too much stuff all at once, thinking they need to fill the room. Instead, think about the essentials, then build from there or you’ll end up with a cluttered space where nothing is able to breathe.


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