Updated: Feb 23
As I’m busy redecorating the luxury stay rooms here, it got me thinking about all the decorating tips and tricks I’ve learnt over the years, and I thought I should share them all with you.
So, grab a cuppa and a biscuit or two, I’ve sat down with a very large mug of tea and some dark chocolate digestives (one of my faves). So, if you’re sitting comfortably, I shall begin …
My go to for choosing paint colours are Farrow & Ball and Paint & Paper Library, I have colour charts in every draw at home! When choosing paint colours I have a tip for tester pots – always paint sample colours onto a plain white sheet of paper and put two coats on. This will give you the true colour. You can hold this up in different areas of the room to see how the colour works in different lights/ spaces. If you paint over existing colours on the walls, you will not get the true colour of the sample paint.
Now are you ready … this is the biggest tip I have ever learnt, and I learnt this from a wonderful decorator in the village. Once you have your chosen colour for example Farrow & Ball Peignoir 286, go to your local decorating shop, (I always use Brewers as the chaps in there are so lovely, so patient with me and also incredibly helpful with advice). And you ask for your colour to be mixed up in Crown Clean Extreme. This is literally the best paint ever! You can scrub the walls if they become stained or marked and the paint won’t budge or fade. But the best bit is you can touch up as often as you like, and you never see where you have been. With a house of 5 children who don’t seem to be able to stand without being propped up by a wall, this is quite useful. Likewise with the luxury stay rooms, the landing gets quite a lot of traffic and people brush against it, so I go in and touch up once a month to make it look like new. Invest in a small paint tray and a small roller, I always go for the foam roller option as I think it gives a better finish and touch up until your hearts content.
This week the Morning Room was hired for a workshop and when setting up the room I noticed the marks on the walls. We had a Christmas party for 60 family and friends and there were footprints, handprints and marks everywhere … I can only assume someone was doing hand stands against the wall at some point …. This is not a surprise as after the party every kitchen utensil had gone missing. Over the next week, little messages and clues were found in the fridge, the freezer and the Aga locating said items. After some investigation it turned out it was two of my uncles at 1.30am before they went home! So, a few handstands here and there was quite likely! Anyway 15 minutes later I had touched up every mark and you would never have known.
Another tip I have learnt is, always hang your pictures/ art/ photos at eye level. So, the centre of the print/ canvas/ frame should be at eye level. People commonly hang everything too high, and I was definitely one, but it makes a huge difference and looks so much better at eye level.
When wanting to change/ freshen up a room but you don’t have either the time or the budget, think of a small inexpensive change that has a big impact. My bathroom has been the same for the last 5 years and I was bored of it, however I have far more pressing rooms to decorate so it was not a top priority. After thinking about it I decided to change the colour of the bath. It was a very subtle green, after looking at the colours in the curtains I realised I could go for quite a vibrant purple and went for it. In a couple of hours, the room had been totally transformed by this small change.
Finally, my best advice is go for it, you can always change it. I painted the bath in my bathroom 3 different colours in one day. I had to use the fan heater to dry it and the men in Brewers were sick of me by the end of the day, but the end result looked amazing!