Huge Mistakes We’re All Guilty of Making When Painting

Woman with scale of paint swatches

When you’re looking for a way to brighten up the place a little, there is often no better option than to simply give the room a new coat of paint – literally. And for the most part, it is a pretty simple job. It’s certainly easier than the majority of renovation tasks, let’s put it that way!

However, there are some mistakes that can be made. And some of these are a lot more common than others. Here are some of those that nearly all of us can admit to making once in a while, and how to avoid them yourself.

Not Doing the Proper Prep Work

This is probably the most common mistake out of the lot, and that is simply because prep work often seems like a chore, and even more often seems kind of, well… pointless. Unfortunately for everyone involved, the prep work needed when repainting a room is entirely necessary, so here’s how you go about it.

Clean off the walls before you start. Make sure they’re completely dry. Get rid of any dust and use masking tape to protect everything you don’t want painted – light switches, skirting boards, door frames. Cover the floors and furniture with sheets, then you can start with a coat of primer. Once all of that is done, you can make a start on the proper painting.

Using Super Cheap Tools

When it comes to tools, you get what you pay for – up to a point, at least. Look, we’re not recommending you run out and spend a few hundred on a paint brush and that you use paint with flecks of gold leaf, but we are telling you to avoid cheaping out and buying the least expensive tools around.

Everyone knows that good paint gives good results. That much is obvious. But if you really want a nice finish, you’ll have to pay a premium for your applicators too. This way, you can avoid unsightly errors like smudges and errant paint brush bristles. Trust us, it will be more than worth the extra expense.

Not Doing Your Research

Although this is, in a way, a form of prep work, we do feel that it is important enough to warrant giving it a separate space in this article, and we’ve put it in the final spot on the list to really emphasise its importance: try your paint before you buy.

No, really – try it out! If you aren’t willing to take some samples home and do the extra leg work, you are signing yourself up for disaster. Buy a few small tester pots of the different shades of paint you really like, then paint a large piece of board for each colour. Hang them in the room for a day or two – this will allow you to see exactly how the colour looks all throughout the day.

If you want to make sure the colour is right for you, this is the best way. It’s certainly better than buyer’s remorse two weeks down the line!

What Does Your Paint Colour Say About You? Part 2

Here, we continue our series about what your paint colour says about you and how to choose the perfect colours for your home, as well as how to create gorgeous looks that everyone will love.


  • If you love soft, cool blues, it probably means that you view your lovely house as a little bit of a calm, soothing oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world – and that, in turn, might mean that you’re a little bit of an introvert. But that’s no bad thing! Keep in mind though that blues can be very cold, so unless that’s the look you’re going for, try to warm the room up with wooden furniture and hints of orange, brown and yellow to brighten up the place. Some soft furnishings and squishy, strokable fabrics will also help.
  • Colours that literally pop and sparkle, like sapphire, emerald, ruby and amethyst are so popular for a reason: they’re dynamic. When you paint a small bathroom in a navy blue, for example, it’ll draw the walls in and make the space feel small and cramped. Paint a small bathroom in a sapphire blue and it’ll feel a bit smaller, sure, but it’ll also feel special. Pair them with neutrals or colours that have a similar intensity and the space’ll look fab. Oh, and if you love jewel colours? It probably means you’re a little bit outlandish, and a little bit fabulous!
  • If you’re a big fan of neutrals, like cream, the colour of rocks along a shoreline, the colour of freshly picked mushrooms or the shade of wheat in a field, it doesn’t mean that you’re boring – far from it. More likely, that you’re even-keeled and practical. Neutrals go with everything and the bonus is, you can change things up with your accessories when you get bored. Liven things up with a bright throw cushion or an unusual piece of wall art and then just change it up when you fancy a makeover. Oh, and remember – neutral doesn’t have to mean cream. Neutral can be a pale purple, or a pale pink. You can make a neutral room more interesting even by introducing some different tones and textures – nubby fabrics, chiffons, wools, woven rugs and bamboo baskets. Make sure that there’s a contrast between the walls, the floor and the main furniture in the room – the sofas and the coffee tables, if you’re decorating the lounge – to prevent the space from looking too clinical – and above all, have fun.

Source: Real Simple

5 Renovating Rules You Need to Know

If you’ve just moved into a new place and are dying to get your hands on that avocado bathroom suite and the floral wallpaper, you should keep in mind these five renovating rules in order to avoid any unnecessary repairs, costs or work.



Be Patient

It’s tempting to want to change anything and everything you see when you move into a new house – that green loo? That floral wallpaper, contrasting beautifully with the floral carpets? It can be expensive if you just forge straight ahead and change everything – plus, you could end up ripping out features that you’d end up loving if you’d just given them a chance! The lesson here is: be patient. Don’t decorate on a whim – take your time.


If you’re new to renovating or have simply never decorated a house before it can be really tempting to just call someone in to do everything for you. Most of the time though, it’s just as simple – and easy – to do some of the jobs yourself. For example, you could re-carpet the floors and paint the walls (if you really can’t deal with that floral wallpaper) in neutral colours, move in your furniture, then decide on things like a colour scheme or tiling choices. It means that your house will be livable but you won’t have made any rash decisions.

Know What You Can and Can’t Do

Thinking you’re a bit of a DIY expert is almost as common as not knowing how to do any DIY at all. But it’s important to accept what you can do and what you can’t do. So you might be able to paint the walls, but can you really install a brand new bathroom? Perhaps not – it might be a better option to hire a plumber to do the job for you. If in doubt, always ask for an expert opinion – the last thing you want to do is end up causing even more problems than you started with.

What About the Neighbours?

The value of your house will be greatly influenced by the other homes in the area. If the house already has a brand spanking new bathroom and kitchen and was bought for approximately the same price as the rest of the houses in the area, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to add any value. If your house is a little bit like a time warp – and so are the rest of the houses on the street – an easy way to add value is by renovating key rooms like the kitchen or the master bedroom.

How Long Will You Stay?

How much money and time you pour into the house really depends upon how long you’re planning to stay there. Just 5 years? You’ll want to redecorate rather than renovate. If you’re trying to create your forever home, you can go ahead and renovate it properly.

Source: The Nest

DIY Tips: How to Make Your Home More Grown-Up

We all have one or two items in our homes that don’t reflect who we are now. Maybe we’ve hung onto them for nostalgic reasons or simply because we’ve gotten so used to them that we’ve almost forgotten they were there. If you’re longing for a more grown-up space and want your home to feel more luxurious, follow our guide and take a look at this link for painting tools.



  • If you have a futon or a sofa bed in your living room, swap it out and put it into a spare bedroom instead. You’ll spend more time in your living room than in your bedroom (depending on how you spend your evenings…) and so it’s important to show your bum so love with a soft, squishy sofa that you can just sink into. Let your guests enjoy the futon instead.
  • Temporary furniture – things like plasticky shelving units in the bathroom, textile wardrobes or hanging rails in the bedroom, or even your odd collection of furniture from family and friends that you were given because you couldn’t afford anything else, looks just that: temporary. As though you’re waiting for something better to come along. So, if you can afford to, invest in either a new set of furniture or at least some classical pieces that you’ll be able to use in different spaces and different homes.
  • If you’re a lover of art or film and have a selection of posters taped onto your walls, you don’t need to get rid of them completely – just frame them and put them on display properly. For a modern look, you could choose matte black frames but for a slightly quirkier look, use a random selection of vintage frames.
  • It sounds silly, but small rugs just look like postage stamps in rooms of virtually all sizes. A large rug will really anchor the room and will help to accentuate hardwood floors or laminate without overpowering it. Choose a rug with a really nice texture that you can just sink your feet into after a long day at work.
  • Cheap bedding looks just that – cheap. It tends not to wash that well, either, losing any softness it might have once had and becoming scratchy and irritating. Invest in some decent bedding with a higher thread count and you’ll immediately notice the difference in terms of appearance and how well you sleep, too.
  • It’s all well and good having plastic dishware, but you need to make sure that it isn’t your only set. If you live somewhere that’s hot and sunny and you spend a lot of time eating outdoors, you might want to use plastic dishes – the same goes if you have children. But if not, your main dishware set should be crockery.
  • Any empty space that looks a bit bland and boring – like the top of a mantelpiece or a bookshelf with only one or two books on it will simply look like you’ve either neglected the space or that you couldn’t work out what else to do with it. Use candles, candlesticks, photographs, mirrors and accessories to jazz up those empty spaces and make your room look complete.

Source: House Beautiful

DIY Tips: Nifty Tricks for Small Spaces

Small spaces don’t need to feel like caves. Nor do they need to be sacrificed because they “can’t be anything else”. A small bedroom doesn’t have to become an office, or an en-suite bathroom, or a home office. That nook under the stairs doesn’t need to be turned into a storage cupboard. Follow these nifty tricks for small spaces to learn exactly how to use them most effectively, with lots of clever details and use of colour to make them much more inviting.

small space

  • Use interesting objects – anything from nude portraits to a big geometric print to a bold pattern on the wall – to draw attention away from the size of the room. It’s a sneaky trick, but it’s a good one.
  • One trick is to mirror the wall opposite the source of light – the door, or the window. You can do this either using a large mirror, or for a truly full on and elegant look, use three mirrored panels – one of 50% in the middle of the wall, and two panels of 25% on either side.
  • In a thin and narrow kitchen, avoid putting too much stuff up too high and – this is the biggie – get rid of stuff. Do you really need 2 different sets of plates? 4 types of glasses? A “good” set of cutlery and a regular set of cutlery? No, not really. Use what you have and get rid of the stuff that actually, you don’t need.
  • Another option for small spaces – perhaps if your hallway is particularly small, you can play on the size of it by using a patterned wallpaper, mirrors and an eclectic mix of paintings to create an intimate and welcoming place to greet guests.
  • More is more when it comes to mirrors – for a vintage, eclectic feel, group a random selection of mirrors on one wall with plenty of different frames, wooden, frameless, black, vintage frames, gilt frames, with the largest frame in the middle.
  • For a huge amount of wow factor – and to truly show off your style – cover the whole room with the same fabric. Curtains, cushions, throws. Even if your favourite pattern is zebra print. It’s a fast way to make a huge impact and it’ll make the room feel more cohesive, too.
  • Panelling a small room in pastel hues is a lovely way to make it feel bigger.
  • Don’t be afraid of adding things like fireplaces or mantelpieces, either – in Victorian houses almost every room had a fireplace and they’re a brilliant way to add a focal point, as it provides a spot that you can easily hang art or mirrors above.
  • If you’re brave, go for a full on fantasy inspired look – graphic floors, high gloss units, a high gloss ceiling – anything that shouts “look at me”. Use the 1960s as your inspiration and you won’t go far wrong.
  • In a small bedroom, a four poster bed can actually make the space look bigger provided that there’s enough space for you to get around the bed, and for an end table and bedside tables. You don’t have to scrimp on luxury just because you’re short on space.

Source: House Beautiful

DIY Tips: 20 Things No-One Ever Told You About Decorating

Decorating doesn’t sound like it’s difficult – slap a bit of paint on the walls and artfully arrange a few cushions/pillows along with a few candlesticks and paintings and viola, job done. But to get it right, and to get it right in every room of the house – every time – requires a little more skill. Read on to find out about the 20 things no-one ever told you about decorating and take a look at this link for painting and decorating materials.


  • 2 cushions look decidedly unwelcoming and sparse. Use at least two sets, instead, in different colours and textures for a more luxurious and comfortable feel. Same goes for decorative pillows.
  • Small bed + small bedroom = even smaller bedroom. Use a bed with a taller mattress and a big headboard instead.
  • If you have a vintage or antique cabinet or armoire, arrange the contents elegantly and keep the doors open to show off your stash.
  • Dark walls tend to reduce the feeling of space, but if the room has plenty of windows and pale floors, a smaller space can still rock dark hues.
  • An easy peasy way to transform a bedroom with sliding wardrobe doors? Wallpaper ’em. If you’re converting a bedroom into an office, this is a particularly good idea as the wardrobe is quickly turned from a closet into a chic filing cabinet.
  • Large collections of plates or various accessories can be displayed easily by setting up elegant wall brackets – just pop your accessories on top. Make sure you secure them if you have little ones about the house.
  • Using a real rug instead of a bath mat in a bathroom might sound counterproductive, but really, a bathmat is just a bit cheap and it won’t withstand as much wear and tear as a real rug. Just wash it carefully.
  • Stop the press: living rooms do not need to have sofas. Nope. Arrange some lovely cosy chairs and love seats for a different look.
  • A white room will always look chic and it’s a look you can instantly update with a few brightly coloured accessories – be it living room, bathroom or bedroom. You don’t have to use colour.
  • Mix and match styles – a four poster won’t look incongruous in a stripped back modern bedroom, it’ll look fabulous.
  • Layering up your lamps is a fab idea. Have two either side of the bed, and another two just above the headboard for reading. It’ll make the room feel much more ambient.
  • Blankets and throws look messy if you don’t fold ’em up. When not in use, fold carefully and arrange at one end of the sofa. If you’re using throws to cover sofa cushions, make sure they’re well tucked in all the way round rather than just thrown on top. It might be called a “throw” but that doesn’t mean you should just chuck it on.
  • For plenty of versatility, instead of a traditional coffee table, use a fabric ottoman topped with a wooden tray. The ottoman provide perfect storage and the tray can be picked up to carry cups back to the kitchen.
  • To emphasise the feeling of space, choose furniture with legs that are raised off the ground. To make the room feel more grounded, choose skirted pieces.
  • Gold doesn’t have to be showy. A few muted accents here and there will give the room a fabulously luxe feel.
  • If you have a big room but not enough stuff to stuff it with, a potted plant perched in a corner will never go amiss.
  • The very best fabric choice for a dining room is leather – it’s very strong and really easy to clean. Even more so if you want white chairs.
  • In your dining room, use co-ordinating yet different sets of chairs. For example, one high-back bench, one bench and two chairs instead of 8 identical seats.
  • Be kind to your closet. If you’re lucky enough to have a walk in wardrobe, give it some love with lights and colour.
  • You can reinvent vintage pieces. Just because they’re from the 1950s doesn’t mean they should stay that way, plus, not every piece of furniture in the house can be dark brown.

Source: House Beautiful

DIY Tips: 10 Colour Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make

Do you know which colours work well together? Which colours you should use as the neutral backdrop to your bold accents? Whether it’s okay to mix and match colours, patterns and textures? Read on to find out the 10 colour mistakes you shouldn’t make – ever – and take a look at this link for painting supplies to help you on your way.


1. What Colour is Your Ceiling?

We’re willing to bet that it’s white. And if it’s white, it means that it has flecks of grey in it – all white paint contains a subtle hint of grey. If you put this colour onto the ceiling, it’ll make the height of the walls seem shorter, shrinking them and making the room feel smaller. Use a warm cream instead.

2. Matchy-matchy

Although you need a coherent colour scheme, it’s best to avoid exactly matching a colour on the wall to a colour in the fabric of a cushion – it’s too obvious. Instead, choose something that has a few tones of grey in it, as it’ll stop everything looking matchy-matchy but still keep the entire scheme cohesive.

3. Neutrals

Every room needs balance, so it’s really important that you team those bold bright colours with a number of soft neutrals – they won’t tone them down, exactly, but they’ll really make them pop and will help to prevent the space from just looking like a paint chart.

4. Colour Continuity

Although you might not want to use the exact same colours in every room of the house, to create a sense of continuity, it’s a good idea to use similar hues, or at least colours in the same palette, so that all of the rooms feel somewhat connected to one another. This is particularly important when spaces actually run into each other – like a dining room and a kitchen.

5. Cool Contrast

A room without contrast is boooorrrriiiinnng. Plenty of neutrals are nice but what makes a room even nicer is to add some lovely contrasting colours or textures. For example, a black leather chair or some sleek and glossy white furniture provide lovely contrast to a soft carpet or a fluffy cushion.

6. Don’t Go Too Far

If you make things too obvious – or go too far with your colour scheme by not using contrast or neutrals, you’ll make the room look a bit stiff. A bit unloved and a bit show-homey. What you want is something that’s both stylish and substantial enough for the whole family to enjoy.

7. How Will You Look?

People never think about how the room will complement them – a lady with blue eyes, for example, might benefit from a room with shades of grey and lavender, as it’ll help bring out the colour of her eyes.

8.  Not All At Once

You should never be afraid to use colour, but if you’re not brave enough to do everything at once, let the room evolve by adding more and more colour as you feel comfortable. It’ll also make you feel like the room is constantly changing, preventing boredom from settling in.

9. Get the Right Finish

You’ll need to prepare the walls well and use a decent paint if you want the end result to look good, whatever finish you’re going for – matte, eggshell, patent.

10. Choose Deep Colours

Deep colours should pull you in, rather than leap out at you, so it’s important that you add some depth to a room by choosing some deep colours.

Source: House Beautiful

DIY Tips: 5 Must Know Home Decor Tips Part 2

Decorating is always difficult. Choosing a theme that everyone will love and that everyone will feel comfortable in can be tricky – plus, it can be difficult knowing whether to keep up with the latest interior design trends or opt for something safe. In part 2 of our must know tips series we share exactly how to transform your house, taking it from drab to fab. Take a look at this link for painting materials to help you get started. lounge

Use Neutrals

Neutral hues don’t have to be boring. In fact, when layered up with different textures, fabrics and hues – metallics on the walls, wheatgrass flooring and soft, suede cushions all work brilliantly together even if they’re similar in colour, as it stops the room from looking too matchy-matchy. In the image above, taupes, creams and greys combine to create a restful look that is anything but boring.

Include Side Tables

Side tables might not sound like a particularly exciting interior design choice but including them in your design means that you’ll instantly create a feeling of cosiness. Interior designers use side tables and follow the rule that for every chair or sofa there should be a side table. When you stay at a hotel, you’ll see plenty of tables next to sofas, which is meant to make you want to curl up with a coffee or a glass of wine and a magazine – so follow this rule in your own home.

Don’t Hide the TV

For years we’ve struggled with TVs. Do we keep ’em out in the open? Hide them away? Put them into a cupboard? The truth is, it’s perfectly fine and completely acceptable to keep the TV out in the open now, especially if it’s a newer model. You could put it up on the wall and run the cable underneath the plasterboard but this will usually result in you getting a cricked neck when watching the footie. Just put it on display, but try to make sure that it isn’t the main focal point.

Mixing Patterns Isn’t Easy

Although interior designers will tell you to be brave, to mix and match patterns and to choose colour combos that you’ve never really thought of, it does take a lot of practice to properly mix patterns and colours. If you are going to mix patterns, make sure they’re in a similar if not identical colour scheme, or that they’re the same kind of shape/style/size. For example, you could mix stripes and a flock pattern if they were in a similar colour, and vintage floral fabrics that have flowers roughly the same size and shape.

Make a Small Space Work Harder

A thin and narrow kitchen can be difficult to work with but that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on storage space or crimp on style. Put cupboards and units up to the ceiling and keep everything light and bright. Stuck with a teeny-tiny bedroom? Consider using a built-in sliding wardrobe and maximise every single bit of space for shoes, socks, shelves for t-shirts and jumpers and hanging space for blouses, skirts and dresses.

Source: House Beautiful

DIY Tips: Teenage Girl’s Bedroom Ideas

In the third part of our series on children’s bedroom ideas, we’re focussing on cool, contemporary schemes that are both practical and stylish – for teenage girls. Whether your daughter is a girly girl at heart or loves sports, follow our guide and you’ll be able to create the perfect haven for her. Just take a look at this link for painting materials to help you on your way.


  • Let her have a say in what goes where and which colours go on the walls – just make sure that you counteract any teen must-haves with plenty of neutral hues, as in the image above with plenty of crisp whites. As their tastes change and develop, the room can be updated fairly quickly and cheaply.
  • A teenage bedroom design should perfectly bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood, so you need to make sure that it has some character and some personality without it being too in your face, which is where the neutral hues come in. Choose one or two bold colours – in the image above, black and pink are the focus, then play around with textures and patterns to create the look.
  • Creating a focal point is really important, as it’s really what the scheme revolves around. Normally, a focal point takes the form of a patterned feature wall which is usually behind the bed, helping to increase the feeling of space and pulling the whole look together. If your daughter’s tastes are liable to change pretty quickly, then you can use things like wall stickers or spots or stripes of paint on the wall to liven things up a bit for very little money. Take colours from a piece that you love, like a fabric or a wallpaper, then use those colours to create the rest of the look. Make things more interesting with lush fabrics and textures, like embroidered cushions and willow baskets.
  • We talk about zoning a lot, but it’s especially important in teenager’s bedrooms, as they need space for things like homework, reading and hanging out with their friends. Make sure that there’s a desk as they’re much more likely to sit down and do their homework if they have a designated, formal space for it. Make sure that their desk can easily be organised and managed, so that they can easily work through their homework, and provide plenty of shelving units and various pots so that they can store all of their bits and bobs like pencils and paper clips.

Source: House to Home

DIY Tips: How to Decorate a Nursery

Decorating a nursery isn’t as easy as you’d think – it isn’t just about choosing pale pink or pale blue and stuffing as many teddies onto shelves as you can. It’s important to create a soothing, calming and restful space that’s conductive not only to sleep, but to learning, playing and allowing your baby to explore the world around them. Follow our tips to create the perfect space, and take a look at this link for painting materials.



  • Think about what you need from the nursery, too. It’s not just about your baby – it’s also about you. After all, you’ll be spending plenty of time in there and so you need to make sure that you have a comfy chair, plenty of storage for everything you’ll need in the middle of the night – bottles, nappies, blankets, spare clothes for baby and maybe even a few spare clothes or pairs of PJs for you
  • Comfort and calm are two things you must keep in mind when choosing paint colours, wallpapers, fabrics and furniture. Cosiness is incredibly important, but you also need to choose colours that are known to calm and soothe: pale blues and lilacs are lovely, while pale lemon is a wonderfully sunny, happy hue. Look for tactile, soft fabrics – they’ll be comfortable but they’ll also act as tools for baby to learn how to explore the world around them. Pop a mobile above the cot, but make sure that it’s hung high up out of the way and that baby won’t be able to reach it once they’re able to stand. Choose a sweet, happy mobile with characters or items that will help your baby learn
  • Look for multi-purpose pieces of furniture that can also be used when your baby moves out of the nursery and into their first grown-up room. Chests of drawers, for example, can double as a changing table – just pop a mat on top (Never leave baby unattended!). Or, a 2 in 1 cot bed that you can take the sides off of when they’re old enough, that can double as their first bed – saving you money 1 or 2 years down the line
  • Blackout blinds are always a good choice for a nursery as they’ll help your little one to sleep and will hopefully stop them from being woken up at the first signs of dawn – and it’ll also help when the sun comes up especially early in the summer months. Buy them on a roller, so that through the day, you can easily wind the blind up and let plenty of natural light into the room – and then pull it back down if you put baby down for a nap in the middle of the day
  • Ideally, keep the nursery at around 18C – not too hot and not too cold. Don’t position the cot next to a radiator or too close to a window, and if you can, pop in a thermometer just so you can keep an eye on the temperature

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Source: House to Home