Decorating ideas for new home owners

Decorating a new home completely can seem a daunting task and it is easy to get swamped with design ideas.  There are plenty of websites that offer design advice, but here are some tips to get you started.


It is essential that before you start thinking about colour schemes and replacing light fittings, you determine whether any structural work needs to be done in the property.  Planning at this stage will save money and headaches later on. 

Knocking down an internal wall to make an open plan space for example will create a lot of dust and debris, which you do not want settling on freshly painted walls.  Consider where you will want light fittings and light switches placed, as this could involve running new electric cabling through the walls.  Jobs such as these need to be completed before any plastering to walls is carried out.  The same goes for new plumbing, as installing or removing pipes will involve the taking up of floorboards and boxed-in areas, such as baths and airing cupboards. 


Once these essential jobs have been carried out, you can begin deciding on colour schemes. Painting is simpler than wallpapering and has the advantage of it being easy to change the colour if the end result is not to your liking.  Of course, you could always combine the two, by painting three walls one colour and wallpapering the fourth to create a feature wall.  Experiment with colour and patterns.  Mix bold colours with more subtle ones or patterned wallpaper, such as bold florals, with plain walls.  The only rule of design here is that if the walls feature a bold pattern or design, make sure the furniture is plain, otherwise the result will be too busy and hard on the eyes.


Laminate flooring is a popular and reasonably priced choice.  Laminate comes in a wide range of colours and can be laid without any great expertise being required.  Laminate flooring provides an unfussy, clean look to a room.  It is also relatively hardwearing, and treated correctly it can last for years.

A good carpet will be more expensive than laminate flooring, but it does add a feeling of quality and luxury to a room.  It is however, likely to show signs of wear faster than laminate flooring and is therefore not as durable.  One other consideration: carpet can harbour dirt and mites that can cause problems for allergy and asthma sufferers.

Ultimately, whether to have laminate or carpet for your floor comes down to personal choice.


A window treatment needs to complement the design theme of the room.

In a bedroom, where blocking out the light may be a priority, curtains will provide the most coverage.  Blinds provide a cleaner, more streamlined look, whether these are Venetian, Roman or roller.

A recent trend is for internal wooden shutters, both full and half-size.  These are usually white or cream-coloured.  They have the advantage of being able to control the amount of light entering into the room whilst ensuring privacy.


Julie Hanson

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