When you decorate in an eclectic, push-the-boundaries sort of fashion you are going to fall victim to mistakes. Pitfalls along the way that make you question yourself and wonder why you bothered. Well I’m here to say that I make many mistakes, still do in fact, but it’s from those mistakes that great things have happened. Not just decorating actually but in life in general! Funny how that works.
Here’s just a few of my biggest decorating mistakes:
Overzealous painting: I once painted our downstairs basement in an eggplant-y aubergine colour that was so bad I was impatiently waiting until it dried to repaint it instantly. It was one of those “on trend” colours and I learnt a lesson the hard way. Don’t follow them unless you completely and utterly love. What I did learn though is that colour can almost immediately change how you feel in a room (in this case I suddenly hated it!) and if I could nail the right colours, just imagine how amazing my space would be.
Wallpapering: I wallpapered a wall in my bedroom in a faux panelled wood look. It looked fabulous in images and terrible in my bedroom – it felt a little unnatural if you will. But I loved the vibe so opted for the real stuff instead, and now behind our bed is a beautiful wood panelled wall that I can’t ever imagine replacing.
Missing the mark: We panelled a garden wall in horizontal planks one day and when done it looked so awful I had to sit with my back to the garden. It came down a few days later, as soon as we’d mustered the energy to take down. I realised that I didn’t want such a full-on anchor that drew the eye. I wanted the planting to look natural, jungle-y and beautiful and not have some crazy wall taking away the attention. So I grew the plants up to create the biggest, tallest green wall imaginable. I’m aiming for them to reach the moon.
Sticking to conventional seating configurations: The standard formula of a sofa and two chairs shoved against the wall I’ve done and I’ve hated. Now I am a lot more confident with my arrangements, heck I’ve got our Wild Bill sofa in the middle of floor right near the fire, I’ve got another sofa floating in the den. I’s a higgledy piggledy mismatch but it works, and most importantly nothing is shoved up against the wall!
Lack of lighting: I used to only have four lamps in a room. Shock horror I hear you cry! Now I have 14, maybe a couple more but I can here you all gasping so let’s stick with 14, and in my defence it’s a big open plan space! I didn’t understand the power of lighting and how it creates the most magical mood until I started experimenting. Lighting should never wash out a space, instead it should create intriguing little pockets that look and feel fantastic. A warm glow of light and little pools of illumination is what I’m after, it draws people in and creates intimacy. I am obsessed with getting it right.
In my time I’ve also karate chopped pillows down the middle (early days promise), had rug amnesia, flat, textureless spaces, on and on I could go. Mistakes happen. We all make them, but you know what through analysis, trial and error they teach us what works and what doesn’t. Don’t fear mistakes I say, in life and in decorating!
Back in a bit with my newest column #AAHouseCrush where I’ll be previewing some of your incredibly beautiful spaces. Exciting!