Top 5 DIY Interior Decorating Mistakes

It’s no secret that most of us enjoy a little DIY and when it comes to interior decoration, the tv shows make it look so easy.  But one of my most common requests comes from the DIY’er.  They thought they knew what they were doing but it just wasn’t working out.

You know how it goes..

You’re inspired by what you saw on TV last night.  The next day you head off to the shops with no clear strategy in place.  You find something on sale, another item you ‘absolutely must have‘ and something extra because it looks good in the shop display (suckerrr!).  Back at home you’re midway through your project and for some reason or another it’s just not working.  The things you bought don’t go together, the wall colour doesn’t look as good as it did on the paint chip and that doona cover looks horrid with the wall colour.  Aghhhh!

You my friends, are a marketers dreeeeeam.

Allow me to help.  I’ve listed my Top 5 most common mistakes when it comes to Interior Design + Decoration.  I should mention these apply to any type of visual project including Events styling.


1.No clear strategy or plan

No plan is a sure fire way to failure.  You may as well quit while you’re ahead.  This is THE biggest advantage of hiring a designer or decorator.  They take the time to put a vision and a plan together.  You can do this yourself with a mood board, sketch out your floor plan layout, test some colour combinations and agree on your concept before implementation.

2. Lack of homework

Research. Research. Research.  Don’t let one TV show or one glossy page magazine be your inspiration.  Design is not a cookie cutter approach and one solution will not suit every situation.  Take the time to understand the real reason for your project or the problem you are trying to fix in your space and this will determine the solutions you choose

3. Shop without a list

Once you have a clear plan in place, create a shopping list and be specific.  Segment your shopping list per room and list the items you need per room including dimensions, colours and BUDGET!  Now the hard part – make sure you don’t stray and get distracted by all the pretty things.  If you do, always refer to your original problem (see step 2) and if you can justify how this piece will help solve that problem and it meets your other shopping list criteria, then go for it.  If not, stop looking and get back on track…  chop chop!

4. Don’t measure up

Measure twice, cut once.  Remember that classic saying?  You bring a piece home only for it not fitting in the door way or in the room.  Agghh..   This is a simple and quick step but most never do it.  Draw out your room dimensions and have a good understanding of how big your pieces need to be.  Before you head to the shops, take a tape measure!  There’s a reason IKEA have those paper tape measures on tap.

5. Impractical design

This is my favourite.  Seriously, what’s the point of having that gorgeous display setting if the fabric is going to fade or the couch has a low back or the dining chairs are hard as rock?!  Soon enough they’ll end up on gumtree and you’ll have the guilts for wasting your money.  If you love it enough, find something similar (and there will be something similar!) with the comfort, durability and lifespan that you need.  Yes, good design is suppose to look gorgeous but great design should also be practical and make you feel good when using it.  In the end practicality always wins!

There they are my friends.  My 5 simple and easy to implement steps to avoid you making any mistakes with your next project.  Next time you feel inspired, refer to this checklist before grabbing your wallet and heading for the shops.


Of course if you’re not the planning type and need a hand, that’s what I’m here for.  I will gladly create your vision, do the research and give you a plan with a shopping list (see image above).  That way you still get to DIY knowing you have a clear plan and you’re onto a winner!  Contact me for help with your project.


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