We’re going to be spending a lot more time in our houses over the next few weeks, and I for one am back into the interior styling game with a vengeance. Here, I’m sharing the rookie errors I made when fixing up my first home so that you can hopefully avoid doing the same…
You’ll get your measurements wrong
This blog came to me when I was shaving my legs in the shower. My foot had slipped off the ledge of the bath, and the reason it slipped off is because I bought a bath that was too wide. Here’s what happened: one, I’m an idiot, and two, I didn’t realise that you had to pay attention to the WIDTH of the bath when you’re scrolling though tubs on Victoria Plumbing – I’d just focused on the length. Rookie error. This meant that plumber had to push it into the wall to make sure it didn’t cross paths with the toilet, and so the lip on one side is much narrower on one side than it is on the other. My advice? Do you measurements, double check them and then triple check them. Just to be on the safe side.
You’ll get rid of something then wish you hadn’t
For me it was a wooden fire surround. When we chucked it out I was still in the headspace of thinking we’d get a fancy wood burning stove in a year or two. Fast forward a couple of years when I’d actually googled the price of wood burners (!) I came to realise that there was no way I was spending that amount. That’s when I decided a paint job of the existing fireplace would do just fine. I purchased a bottle of black paint to give the grate and the wall behind it a bit of a spruce up (it was originally silver) and then bought a cheap new fire surround on Etsy and painted it white. Lesson officially learned. So yeah, don’t be too hasty – vinyl, paint, a new throw or cushions can work actual magic on your interior.
You’ll be in too much of a hurry
There are too many of these to mention. One big one is wishing I got white tiles with black grouting for the kitchen, rather than grey tiles with white grouting, because it’s so much easier to clean! You don’t want to always be thinking about practicalities, but in this case I wish I had. And the lesson was learned because we made sure we had the black grouting in the bathroom. Another thing I did was bought a white radiator cover for the living room which I thought I liked. However, it bugged me every time I looked at it – it was just too white. So I decided that painting it matte black was a good idea. Turns out the black wasn’t any better. Now I don’t really know what to do with it – if I was buying it again I’d probably want to get something in natural wood! So my advice would be to not always rush into buy stuff straight away as your tastes are evolving all the time. Just take your time!
You’ll realise you don’t have to spend a fortune
When I first started decorating my house I followed all these ‘aspirational’ bloggers on Instagram who seemed to have endless money to spurge on whatever they fancied – or everything was just hashtag ‘gifted’ of course. I didn’t realise that you could do your home up cheaply but in a cool way; a way that was aspirational in its own right. It was only when I started following people like @loftnq that I realised the budget styling could be cool, which sounds so stupid but it’s true. I started shopping on Facebook Marketplace, upcycyling my furniture, painting everything black (see above) and I’ve never looked back. Below is a gorgeous peacock chair that I got for £15 second hand and I love it!
You’ll be influenced by other people’s style
It’s so hard NOT to be overly influenced by other people’s style, especially when you’re first starting out. I remember for ages having a bookmarked image of what I wanted my living room to look like. There was a turquoise sofa, a black and white print, and a minimalist coffee table. I was desperate for my living room to look just like that. When I finally acquired all of these things, though, I realised that it wasn’t really me. It looked way too empty. That was the part I started developing my own style and realising what I liked. I don’t think I’ve totally nailed it yet, but I’m certainly a lot more comfortable in knowing what I like – if that means a monkey-shaped lamp or a coffee table made out of palettes then so be it. Here is a gratuitous shot of my bedroom which is one of my favourite spaces so far…