The Top x4 things You Should Do Before Starting Any Decorating Project

When faced with a room/house or any decorating or design project it can be, at first, exciting…… Oooh the possibilities and endless choice is fascinating, intriguing and downright indulgent.  However, that initial ‘kid in a sweet shop’ feeling can quickly disappear and be replaced with an over whelming sense of anxiety. Do not threat, below I have outlined the top x4 things you should do before starting any decorating project.

Arggg help!!!!! There is just so much out there to choose from.

  I still follow these steps and I have been doing this for over ten years!  The industry is a constant revolving door, styles come in and trends go out.  We are constantly drip fed colour combinations, product, trends, new furniture ranges and wallpaper launches!   What started out as an exciting project can quickly become an avalanche of conflicting advice, quotes, colour swatches and one eternal headache.


(nb: it doesn’t matter if you are renovating a whole house or just decorating a bedroom – these steps are still essential

So, slow down and either hire a professional to do the leg work for you, or grab a coffee and have a quick read.

Here are the top x4 things you should do before starting any decorating project.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Attempting any interiors project on your own is no mean feat. So the fact you are taking this on by your self deserves a huge pat on your back, it also attracts every man and his dog along for the ride and quite often they have opinions! Be patient with yourself, the well-meaning partner or friend who is telling you to ‘make a decision’ or ‘just choose already’ just adds unnecessary pressure. It takes the fun out of the process and is not helpful. Just smile and internally tell them to shhhhhhh! As I explained above, it is not your fault that we live in a very accessible world, 2-minutes googling ‘bathroom inspiration’ and you have fried your brain with inspiration!

Lay It All Out

Out of the top x4 things you should do before starting any decorating project, this is my favourite. If possible, lay whatever you are trying to decide on out in front of you. Preferably where they can remain for a good few days undisturbed and ideally in the room they are meant for. For example, if it’s a paint colour your trying to decide on, paint the swatches on the walls. If its cabinetry, lay all the magazines, timber samples etc out.

top four things you should always do before any interiors project


The idea here is to just leave them and only look at them when your going into that room. If you are brushing your teeth, take some time to look at the swatches again and if any start to look or feel not quite right – get rid.  Don’t second guess, eliminate the swatch and finish brushing your teeth.

Then, after a good nights sleep , have another look (hopefully when brushing your teeth again) 😉


This is a great exercise to do, especially when dealing with colours. As you may or may not know, light effects your paint colour.  It doesn’t matter if it is gloss, matt, shiny or double matt. Light will either saturate, filter or deepen the hue. This can leaves your paint colour looking very different at different times of the day.  It is then up to you to decide if this is a problem or not.  Either way, at least there will be no surprises!

You need to be comfortable with that paint colour at any time of the day. It is a lot harder to change a paint colour once it is on the wall.



I cover how to choose the correct paint colour and give many more  tips and tricks of the trade, in my free guide ”The Best Interior Design Hacks” http://www.willowandhunt.co.uk  Just head on over and fill in your details and you will be  designing like a pro in no time.

Research, Research & Research!

Research, research and more research! This simple part of your interiors project is vital, but is often either overlooked or rushed and it can save so many headaches, time and money if done correctly. I see this time and time again with clients, they are trying to pull a whole house worth of ideas together in such a short space of time. The result is often one confused and overwhelmed client who has made selections under pressure. Understandably, they have then not enjoyed the project and the end result has fallen short of its brilliant potential.

 A great way is to tackle one element at a time.  If you are tackling a new bathroom, don’t gobble the whole thing up.

Slow down and start with the over all feel you want to achieve, then start to pull together the actual components that will achieve that look. 


For example, if you would like a country farm house feel, only look at taps which reflect this style.  The same goes for  your paint colour. Do not entertain colours which are not fitting with your desired look.


This will help you stay focused and make any future decisions you need to make, so much easier.


If you are tackling projects without the help of a professional, this is an important step to take. You will have a lot of decisions to make and a lot of trades men and women waiting on those decisions to progress. So please, take you time and do as much research as possible – BEFORE you call in the professionals. This way, you will be very clear with what you want to achieve, and nobody will be held up while you are frantically choosing a tap. Or even worse making snap decisions on a paint colour, because the painter is ready to start.

the top x4 things you should do before attempting any interiors project
The top x4 things you should always attempt to do before any interiors project

Please Don’t Listen (too much) To Others

My final step that you should always do when starting any decorating project is...... Don't listen to others! When I say others, I am of course not meaning professionals. We are trained in what we rant about and believe it or not, there is method and proven outcomes in our mad ramblings. No, I’m talking about the opinions from the well-wishing friends, postmen, long lost cousins visiting from Australia for two weeks…. They are not you and are not living in your home. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes these opinions - asked for or not – can be very useful and yes, they can raise points you hadn’t thought of. However, please remember, it is your decision and when those well wishers go home, you are the ones drawing the curtains, locking the door and living with ‘Great Aunties choice of wallpaper'........you don’t even like florals. Get my drift!

moodboard in blue
the top x4 things you should always do before any interiors project

To Recap

To sum up, research, budget, research again and keep your head. Above all though, have fun with it and slow down.

Hopefully these simple steps have given your project a little structure and you can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.  

 I do realise this is only a quick 2-min help blog and if you would prefer to get another coffee and watch the project come to life without doing a thing. Then head on over to the ‘work with me section’ and take a look at how I can help,  because believe it or not I love the headache.


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