Getting the design right in any room of the house takes a lot of thought. You need to make sure everything is in the right place and finished to a high standard. When you’re starting from scratch you have one chance to get it right. This quick guide will give you some handy pointers to help you.
Before you can even think about decorating walls, they need to be smooth, and free from cracks and defects. If the plaster is sound, then you can prepare walls by filling and sanding where necessary.
If the plaster has blown (flaking away from the walls), the room will need replastering. This is a reasonably skilled job, but some people feel happy to give it a go themselves. Either way, you’ll need to work out the cost to plaster a room to keep your budget in check. This is an ideal time to hide any exposed pipework, so you get a clean, modern finish.
Floors are another big-budget cost, so you need to work out exactly what look you’re going for and budget properly, so you don’t end up cutting corners. If you’re tiling a floor, it will need some preparation first. You’ll need to make sure it is level and free of defects and dirt. If you’ve just laid a new concrete floor, this will need to be fully dried out first.
Before laying any flooring, make sure you consider whether there is adequate ventilation to avoid damp issues and if the flooring is suitable for the room. Check floor joists first, especially in older houses. And consider installing extras, such as underfloor heating, at the same time.
Windows and lighting
Natural light and well-placed electric lights are integral to your room design. If a room seems quite dark, try bringing in more natural light by adding roof lanterns, French or bi-fold doors, or widening windows. Good cost-effective DIY options to improve natural light include removing any vegetation blocking the light into your home, changing internal doors for glazed doors, and hanging large mirrors to reflect light around the room.
Artificial lighting is also important. Think about using ceiling, track, or recessed lighting in combination with wall lights, pendant lights, downlights, uplights, or lamps. Most rooms benefit from flexible lighting options that don’t come from a single source.
Creating a mood board before you start any decoration is a good way to achieve a cohesive design that works. It can help you avoid impulse buying and costly mistakes with color schemes and furniture. Always get samples of paint, wallpaper, and textiles before buying, as shades often look different to how they appear on a computer screen. Large items of furniture are a big investment, so make sure you visit showrooms where possible to check the quality of construction and materials.