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25 decorating tips. They make sense!

Listed under Blog, colour advice, Paints-Interiors, TP Team Posted May 31 2020

We are breaking with tradition and offering a compilation of someone else’s 25 decorating tips. Ordinarily the information featured in articles on the website is written by Traditional Painter kitchen painters, based on our personal practical experience. The 25 decorating tips featured in the graphic make a lot of sense.

Following the graphic is a commentary on some of the stand-out tips. They either raised a smile or a shudder, or flashbacks to past jobs.

25 Interior Design Tips and Quotes to Ignite Your DIY Spirit - BlindsChalet.com - Infographic" title="25 Interior Design Tips and Quotes to Ignite Your DIY Spirit - BlindsChalet.com - Infographic


I don’t have a comment for all 25 decorating tips, but these are some observations.

Decorating tip – 1: Your home should tell the story of who you are

They say you can tell a lot about a person by the books on the shelf. Identifying books on shelves has become a new game in the Zoom – Covid age. Extend that analogy a bit further, and “your home should tell the story of who you are” @NateBerkus.

Most homes are painted in neutrals with varying touches of colour on painted feature walls or accessories. When selling a house this almost blank canvas tactic has merit. However if you aren’t moving home, maybe going neutral is a lost opportunity for more comfortable permanent living.

Now and again I see a house full of colour and personally, my heart warms to that person straight away. Of course, if the lounge or bedroom are decced out in pillar box red, be alert. The people in the house are likely wired or sleep deprived. Tradesmen working in the house should be ready for some “emotional” times.

Decorating tip 2: A room should never allow the eye to settle in one place. Juan Montoya

How many times do you walk into a lounge and all you see is the 40/50/60” TV? It is clearly a reflection of the priorities of the homeowners. It is also literally reflecting everyone that enters the room.

For focal points and pastries, you can’t beat an Aga in a kitchen. But when painting kitchens with a beautiful eye-catching Aga, the first thing we kitchen painters do is look for the off switch. Agas can belt out enough btu’s to dry the paint on the brush before you ever reach the cupboard doors.

Decorating tip 3: Every time you get something done, celebrate it. @nicolecurtis

Let’s drink to that!

This is a great tip for DIY who are undertaking a daunting decorating project. Look at the overall job as a process, with many tiny steps. Cleaning down, sanding, dusting, priming, filling, painting, it’s a lot of work. Have the discipline to go through the stages and keep the job up together. Please don’t leave that little bit of extra filling till later, do it when you have the filler out. Tick the “filled everything” box with a happy heart.

This tip should also be a source of inspiration for trade painters who start to feel jaded about doing the same work process day after day, year after year. Remind yourself how lucky you are that almost every day at work, you will see a change, and progress. It is no coincidence that creatives tend to feature high on the happy scale. Imagine going to work and nobody can tell if you have been or not.

Decorating tip 4: Serious is a word that must be entirely avoided when it comes to decoration – Kathryn M. Ireland

Back to the top tip, if you are going to accessorise your home, do it with pizzazz and for yourself. Don’t worry what your neighbours might think. They probably won’t tell you what they really think anyway. (The truth is reserved for conversations with other neighbours, not with you!) You are allowed to be daring with colour. It is not a prison offence. If full-on colour is a step too far, think of the pinstripe-suited businessman with the whacky socks, or the financial services rep with the faux tiger skin Doc Martens.

We often see clients racked in toe curling tension when colour picking. It is a shame because it should be a fun process. Roll out the sample paint pots and go on an adventure of discovery. And have a good think about what colours you really like. Don’t be like one lady who I couldn’t help notice had a red fashion theme going on. She was wearing a red scarf, scarlet nail polish, and matching blood red hair band and shoes. She told her decorator that she thought it was a bit risqué adding touches of red to the white handles on the white pine dresser! Know your colour.

Decorating tip 5: I also kept the furniture low-slung so the rooms seem taller. @ToddARomano

Compared to their continental equivalents, modern UK homes are size-challenged. This has little to do with lack of space on our piece of rock, and everything to do with the history of landownership and building trends in Britain. Bigger houses please!


According to an extensive survey in 2012 only 2.3% of the UK surface is actually covered by buildings and gardens. It feels overcrowded because most of the population live in overcrowded areas!

Anyway, for 10’x10′ master bedrooms, think twice about huge and high queen-size and king-size beds with voluptuous cushions and foot thick eiderdowns. For sure, they will keep you super comfy for 1/3 of your time on earth, but think about the hidden extra costs at decorating time! When it comes time to swing a paint brush, such large scale furniture is not going to fit in the middle of the bedroom protected from dust and paint. It will need to be dismantled.

Decorating tip 6: Never push furniture up against the walls… @burnhamdesign

The designers will tell you that leaving some space behind your sofa warms up a space. As a decorator, I tell you not to push your sofa against the wall because it will mark the paintwork that you just paid good money to have painted.

If you want to destroy a painter’s will to live, start filling a room with furniture before the paint has dried. Or lay carpets against wet skirting boards. You get the idea.

Back in the 90s I recall snagging (touching up) a new hospital built by Tarmac, no less. Acres of walls and hundreds of doors had been painted to a finish but seconds later, every other trade had moved back in to finish off their second fixing work. It was a master stroke of disorganisation. It was also a sign of what might happen in the future if private builders were awarded PFI contracts to take care of NHS property!

Another time, we painted hundreds of square metres of wall areas in a hotel. We came back one morning to find huge holes smashed everywhere. The electricians had lost their cable plan – and their minds. In a desperate attempt to trace what wire went where, they had taken a sledgehammer to salient points in the walls and ceilings. That was a lesson filling holes in plasterboard.

Decorating tip 7: The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life. @MarieKondo

We have come a long way since cave-dwelling days. How far? Cash in the Attic, enough said.

As a kitchen painter, the topic of whether or not to clear out cupboards before work starts can be a delicate one. Some kitchen units are super organised and lend themselves to masking film over the front to protect the contents from dust and paint. Other cupboards are simply full to overflowing and need properly sorting out. The latter is an opportunity to win a new friend! Just mention that the upside of clearing out the cupboards is a chance to discover old heirlooms. Or an opportunity to buy a new set of pots and pans or a replacement for the peanut butter that has been lying there unseen since 1987.

Decorating tip 8: You can’t change what the space wants to be. Lella Vignelli

Assuming you don’t have builders at the ready, the physical space you have to decorate is not going to change. But you can make a space pop or flop, depending on how you use colour to treat the walls, doors and windows.

You can elongate a room by painting 3 walls dark blue and the end wall white. Conversely, a dark blue end wall in a white room will shorten the room.

Please note, other colours may apply.

To move the eye along a wall in a small room, you can paint doors and frames the same colour as the walls. Alternatively, if the room is really big, break up the spaces with colour. Think about by picking out the door frames in a different colour to the wall, or painting the doors a completely different colour to the walls. Or call in a designer to advise on more creative tactics.

When painting kitchens, there is a simple step to make your cabinets a feature of the house. Simply contrast the walls with the cabinets. As a starting point, consider either light walls and darker painted units, or dark walls framing light and airy kitchen units. It is often down to the size of the kitchen which route you take.

I always feel the combination of magnolia walls and white kitchen units is a lost opportunity to uplift the spirits! Painted kitchens are a perfect WOW factor opportunity.

Decorating tip 9: Pay attention to your environment. If something feels great to you in that space, figure out what it is. @alisonvictoria3

The great advantage to being an occupational painter is the exposure to so many different tastes and building styles. With a little prompting, tradesmen would probably be able to remember most of the places they have decorated. Some colour schemes and designs will stick in the mind for the good or bad taste.

The downside to being an occupational painter is exposure to dire schemes! I had a bad feeling when hanging wallpaper in the bar of a working man’s club. Yellow lattice on turquoise background. Blokes, what are they like. My eyes were flickering just smoothing out the paper. It was hard to stay on the step ladder. And a week later I had a phone call asking me to take it down, whatever the cost, just do it. Bar takings had fallen off a cliff because punters admiring the new decor thought they were drunk after half a shandy.

Experienced kitchen painters can visualise how a pine kitchen will look when it has been painted. Look through enough of our painted kitchen case studies and you too will be able to answer the question:

“You have seen lots of kitchens, what colour do you think would work in here?”

Decorating tip 10: We pay more attention to our vehicles than the single most expensive investment of our lives – your home. @Make_It_Right

Properties aren’t fit and forget investments. There should be a budget to protect your investment from the effects of the weather and internal wear and tear.

When prioritising how to protect the value of a conventional tiled roof and brick house, I would firstly follow the policy of prison governors and then maintenance staff.

  • Keep the roof on. From there:
  • Make sure to unblock guttering and check stack pipes regularly for leaks.
  • Make sure the windows and doors (seals in particular) are in top shape.
  • Take a cursory glance occasionally to spot defective pointing.

You can then relax and leave the weather to do what it likes outside. Meanwhile your interior space will stay dry, and ready for when you have the time and funds to make improvements.

Decorating tip 11: Kitchen painting, one of the best value home improvements you never thought about.

There are loads of possible improvements you can make to improve your property. The ones that deliver most bang for your buck seem to be listed as insulation, attic conversion, double glazing, new kitchen, new bathroom. More extravagant suggestions run to digging out basements and indoor pools. Spectacular for sure but do the numbers add up? Not so sure you can expect a healthy return. Solar panels should be great value, being environmentally responsible. However the value of the investment seems dependent on the rebates and rates and Government whims of the day.

Number 12-25 Decorating tips:


What I have to say next may come as no surprise. Painting a dated orange pine or oak kitchen is the best investment you could make! I say that because, based on extensive research with an open mind, it does seem to be the case by a country mile.

If you are selling YOUR house, and your dated pine kitchen lets the whole house down, call in a professional to paint it up to showroom standard. Impress, not depress potential buyers!

The average kitchen painting project at Traditional Painter is “22 doors” which comes in at about £2200, for a mid size kitchen. Be prepared for big numbers if you price up the cost to design and install a new “22 door kitchen” to replace what you currently have! You will soon understand that an average £2200 is incredible value to have your kitchen painted new, to showroom quality.

Please note, the opinions stated in “25 Decorating tips” are my own. 

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