Published : 2 September 2015

There seems to be a home renovation show on every TV channel these days and they make it look so easy! The shows are inspiring more and more people to 'have a go' but often it just doesn't quite end up like it looked on TV.

But wait! Before you thrown away your hammer forever, there's still hope. You may simply have made a rookie decorating move, which is so easily fixed, without spending a cent.


Never paint without a plan

In a perfect world you would always paint first, before you install carpet and lighting and other tricky elements of a room. And you should always have a plan before you choose your paints.

We've all done it, woken up full of enthusiasm and decided to paint a room there and then, with whatever paint we find in the shed. But if you are thinking of reupholstering furniture, buying textiles or wallpaper, or going for a completely new look, all this has to be considered before you choose your paint colour.

It's so much easier to match a paint to a fabric or the marble on your new counters than to find a slab that complements a random paint swatch you've chosen on a whim.

Artwork should always be hung at eye level - simple as that! A rookie mistake would be to hang a painting too low or higher up near the ceiling. It's best to have someone on hand to be your eyes when hanging art, to be sure you find the right spot.

Another common mistake is to hang a light fixture too low. It may look cool and stylish on TV but in reality, you need to be able to move around the room without cracking your head open! If you're determined to hang low, the only place that really works well is over the centre of your dining table.


When is a rug a bathmat?

When you leave it floating in the middle of a room on its own. It could be the most gorgeous and most expensive rug in the world but you won't be doing it justice.

Designers generally advise tucking it under furniture, or the front legs of your furniture. If it's not big enough to do so, try layering it over another rug (a nondescript natural fibre, for instance), or placing it as close as possible to nearby furniture.


Always try before you buy

How many times have you sat on a chair that looks super comfortable, only to get up half an hour later with a sore back? Looks don't always equal comfort and, at the end of the day, it's the latter you'll appreciate in the long run.

One of the worst culprits are dining chairs. Often, achieving that ultra chic look results in little to no back support, and that's sure to have your guests leaving straight after the main course.

The same rule applies to sofas, beds, even outdoor furniture. These items are not cheap and, if they're not comfy, it's jst a waste of money.


Measuring up is the key

No one expects a home decorator to be as thorough with their planning as an interior designer who's using AutoCAD, but at the very least you should take some simple measurements. Hanging a few art pieces on one wall? Make sure they are evenly spaced. Having a new sofa delivered? Make sure your delivery men can get it in the door. Take special care when making online orders and test out the measurements before you fork over your credit card.

A common mistake is buying curtains that are just that little bit too short. Many designers advise to go as high as you possibly can when it comes to installing your curtain rod, to give the illusion your ceilings are taller, but that choice is subjective. The length of your drapes, however, is one thing most designers agree on. They should just brush the floor.

A rookie move would be to have them hit the window ledge or fall somewhere between the bottom of the window and the base of the floor.

Over-accessorising is another common mistake. We all love accessories but too many will create a feeling of clutter. And the more cluttered the look, the less relaxing the feel.