Lucia, an architect and the founder of Elebe Arquitectura. She has extensive experience in decoration and she mainly works with clients who want to refurbish and redesign their homes to match their necessities.
Here the following are the top 3 decorating challenges according to Lucia.
1. Try to keep it simple.
Before you start any decorating project, sit down on your desk and write down what you need. Which furniture is essential to you, what kind of atmosphere do you want to create and what are the minimum things you need to buy in order to achieve it.
Once you have this clear you can start purchasing the items you need for your decoration. It is important that you stick to the list you wrote at the beginning so that you dont end buying anything superfluous.
2. Watch out for hidden costs.
Another complicated task is to manage the budget you have for you decoration project.
Let us say that you want to redecorate your living room. You are going to paint the walls and change all the furniture. It seems easy. But once you start you discover that there are some leaks in one of the walls. You must repair it before you paint, and you were not counting on this when you made your budget.
There can always be unexpected expenses when doing a decoration project that shakes the costs you estimated at the beginning. To avoid these distresses, put aside at least 5% of the money you have to cover for them.
3. Don’t fall for fashion
Whatever trend is hot today it will not be on the spot tomorrow.
So, when thinking about your decoration project, instead of diving into an endless search about the latest fashion try to think about you. What you really like.
A good decoration project requires a lot of energy. You don’t want to get involved in such hard work and then be tired of it five years later.
Find your own style and translate it into a timeless project. You won’t regret it.
Meredith Marlow,Meredith Marlow Interiors
Meredith Marlow, of Meredith Marlow Interiors, a luxury interior designer in South Florida. She has the view that all homeowners have the same issues when they try to decorate their own homes.
It’s very important to understand your budget and what things actually cost. It is easy to go over budget if you don’t account for taxes, freight, and white glove delivery. Many people are used to freeing delivery when ordering online so they don’t realize that some furniture companies not only charge freight but they charge a separate fee to deliver the item into your home and remove the packaging. You can also go over budget because your construction can get delayed and you need to store your furniture while construction is wrapping up. The final item that pushes budgets to their limit is that people don’t realize all the additional items they will need to get that finished magazine look. You need to remember the details. A beautiful home is layered with drapery, wallpaper, art, area rugs, and accessories. These items add up but they are certainly worth it to get you that pulled-together decorated look!
2. Floor plan/Space Plan
Without a designer or decorator, most people do not understand how to layout the furniture into a plan to confirm it will fit in their home. They need to account for proper clearances and be sure they have everything they need to make space work. It’s one thing to put a nightstand on either side of the bed but do you have the available outlets in the correct location? There is a lot of thought that goes into decorating and of course, the best solution is to hire an expert. That said, homeowners can cut down on issues by drawing their rooms with the exact pieces of furniture and area rugs. Finally, it is one thing if the piece fits in the room but another to confirm it fits in the house or elevator. It’s quite common that someone orders something they love but it won’t fit in the elevator or door when it arrives. Measure your elevator, stairwell, and doors before you order!
3. Mixing Old and New
It is particularly hard for most people to figure out how to combine with older antiques or vintage pieces they may have inherited or picked up through the years. The most important thing is to figure out if you can part with the older piece or not. If not, and you don’t have a decorator or designer to help you, I suggest looking at photos to see how others do it successfully. There is nothing more interesting and pretty than seeing an eclectic room that has a mix of items from different eras and styles. Picking a unified color throughout the room can tie the different elements together.
If the color isn’t your thing then black and white or neutrals can have a similar effect. You can unify a room with texture or pattern too. One fabric pattern or texture on a pillow can be spread throughout the room. You can carry it to the curtains or even have referenced it in the art you choose.
Stephany Smith, Fantastic Services
Stephany Smith, part of the painters and decorators crew at
Professional painters use the cut in technique to make clean edges. Whether you are an experienced DIY enthusiast or a newbie in this field, you might have heard that sticking masking tape is crucial to cut precision painted lines.
Masking tape can do more harm than good to your paintwork, though especially when used on sensitive surfaces. For instance, it may not work as it should if the wall is uneven. Count the risk of paint peeling or glue residual if your timing is wrong. The rule is: wait a bit longer – 1-2 hours, depending on inside temperature and humidity – to avoid having fresh paint still bonded with the glue. Even small-time errors can cause terrible effects and result in smudged paint. If the tape doesn’t peel off easily,
use a hairdryer at the lowest heat and 3 inches away from the tape.
With a deft hand, good dexterity, and balance, experienced painters and decorators can achieve a clean coat without tape. However, the no-masking-tape approach requires an angle brush, long-term practice, and a strong sense of balance and coordination.
For best results, remember not to overfill the paint trim cup. Dip the brush into the paint and try to remove some of the paint before dragging it against the cup edge. By moving the brush down the edge, you will be able to make a fantastic cut-in without tape.
If you are a DIY enthusiast with little to no experience, still want to paint a wall like a pro, there are 3-in-1 combos of roller, shield, and brush and on the market, which can reduce the time for doing the job twofold.
Bonus tip: For those of you who are determined to go beyond the traditional wall painting to achieve a great design impact with geometrical forms, the simple choke box can outline a crisp line as accurately as an expensive Laser.
2. Assessing the surface before painting
You may start painting straight away, but even the small imperfections may result in a botch job. Before painting, always visually inspect whether the walls or ceiling are smooth enough. If not, grab a handy piece of fine-grade 180-250 grit sandpaper and gently rub the irregularities until you get the surface in excellent condition ready for (re-)painting. Sanding the surface is an extra help for better surface-to-paint adhesion. Paint preparation may also include the following steps:
If you notice even the tiniest crack or gap, fill them with an appropriate filler. Be warned that the paint is not a filler, so never use it as a “mask” to camouflage the imperfections.
Moisture can degrade the paintwork, so be sure to check the surface for signs of mould, efflorescence, leaky gutters, wet patches, etc. Skipping to clean or insulate them may finally put you in a situation of chipping paint or hairline cracks after a few months.
When stains or grease pop up along the surface, wash out and remove them before painting.
If you are painting with the same or darker color, two coats of paint will probably do the job. But when you are trying to lighten a vibrant and bold hue, then be prepared for 3 or 4 coats of paint before reaching the desired color.
For superb results and when you want to make a significant colour change, it’s best to use a watered-down matt emulsion type of paint. Sealing the surface will ensure better adherence between the old and the new paint layers. The added benefit is that this painting technique will make the painting job better withstand the test of time. Moreover, primed surfaces tend to peel off less in the long term and in the case of temperature and moisture changes.
3.To break or not to break the “3-colours rule”
If you decide to match three or more colors from different families, expect a room feel of anxiety and disharmony. The opposite is true – adding two or more shades will make them relate to each other and not break up the rule.
To apply a lighter paint shade on a wall that is exposed to direct sunlight will evoke the feel of a visually larger wall. Further, you can bring different depth to wall sections with the same color but in different nuances.
The surrounding wall colors and incoming light will also affect the look, so there are endless options to play with. And this won’t stop your desire using accent pillows, colourful fabric options, wall art, etc
Chloe Mackintosh, Boxwood Avenue
Chloe Mackintosh of Boxwood Avenuehas the privileges of working with many different people on their homes, ranging from simple decorating jobs to full on remodels. He says that there always seems to be a few common challenges clients face when it comes to decorating their homes. He expresses his view on the top 3 decorating challenges.
1. Ordering the wrong size furniture.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered a too small coffee table or a too large of sofa for space. If not working with a designer, there are free online tools available for a person to enter a room’s dimensions and cross-reference furniture size and scale. A beautifully decorated home will achieve perfect scale in the furnishings and fixtures.
2. Not being able to hone in on a single style
Many struggles with selecting a single style to decorate their homes in. Luckily, gone are the days of themed decorating. Instead, pick a balanced color palette and go from there. Select furniture that compliments each other, but doesn’t necessarily match as a set. This will create a layered space with character.
3. Not laying out space in the best way possible
I often see sofas pushed up against a wall or a space laid out in a way that doesn’t accentuate the room’s features. Don’t get stuck on a single space plan for furniture, get creative and think of all of the different scenarios a room can be laid out in. Tip: if you have space, a sofa almost always looks better floating rather than pushed up against a wall.
What are the biggest decorating mistakes or challenges?
Decorating Challenges-Expert insight from the designer Marty Basher of Modular Closets, Not creating enough separation between living and office/school space. A mistake we are seeing more of due to the pandemic is blurred and overlapping living and office/school/study spaces. While it’s not possible for everyone to have dedicated rooms for studying/working and living, it is important to create separation via plants, room divider screens, stand along with shelving units, etc. It will make a difference in terms of productivity and being able to physically leave your work/study space in order to enjoy time away from work, but it will also give your room a better sense of purpose vs. having the entire space look and feel like an office or study area.
Not having enough storage. One of the biggest mistakes I see is home owners not having enough storage in space causing it to look full and cluttered. While having a closet in every room is not always an option, there are other great storage alternatives that are stylish, attractive, and functional such as wall shelving units-available both with and without doors, stylish storage baskets (floor and tabletop sizes), and double-duty furniture that can house things like books, games, pet and kids toys, remotes, electronics and more.
Another mistake is choosing the wrong kind of furniture for space. Oversized sectionals and large, chunky coffee tables are great in a large living or family room, but a smaller room will quickly look overwhelmed.
Too many decorative items. While we all love to personalize a room or space, but too many picture frames, candles, vases, artwork, collectibles, and other knick-knacks will quickly make a small room appear even smaller, giving off a vibe of clutter vs. tastefully decorated. If you’re decorating a small space, it’s best to go with decorative objects that can function as key focal points so instead of displaying 5-7 mixed size items on a cabinet or table, go with a single oversized vase as an example.
Not enough light. Unless you want to give off a cave vibe, most living spaces benefit from an infusion of light, whether that’s natural or via lighting. Lighting generally brings a space to life and maximizes functionality.