Whether you’ve just bought a new house, are redecorating or have a room that you’ve been waiting to style, it can be overwhelming to walk into an empty space and have to work out where to start. A blank slate can quickly turn into a disaster if you don’t know what you’re doing but we have a little advice to help make the process easier for you.

    These are our tips for what not to do when styling an empty room – our ‘Don’ts of Decorating’.


    Believe us, we understand the adrenaline rush of homewares and furniture shopping. But buying everything at once can be a big (and costly) mistake. We recommend starting with one piece that you absolutely love. Choose a rug, a piece of art or a key piece of furniture in a style you like and colours you’re drawn to. Take your time deciding on this first piece and use it as the foundation for the room.


    If you’re like us, shopping for your house is a lot of fun and you can find a million things you love for that corner of the bedroom or shelf space in the dining room. Resist the urge to buy everything just because you can. Too much in one room can make even the biggest space seem small. Minimalism is the other end of the spectrum, and a style not everyone favours, but there can be a happy balance between the two.


    Scale is really important, especially when you’re starting with an empty room. A chair that seems perfect at the shop can look like it belongs in a doll’s house if it isn’t the right scale for your space; a dining table that is oversized can dwarf a room, making it feel cramped and overcrowded. Take measurements before you go shopping and measure twice when you’re considering a significant piece. We recommend taking note of a piece’s dimensions and measuring it out in the space it will sit before you purchase it. At the very least, be sure to check the store’s return policies so that if you do get it wrong, you aren’t stuck with something you can’t use. 


    Once you have a few key pieces in the room, stop! Leave the space alone and just enjoy living in it for a while. You may find that you don’t need anything else, or discover that you need one or two smaller items to style the room or another piece of furniture or art for it to feel complete. Spending time in the space after each addition will let you settle with and reflect on how you feel about each choice you’ve made.

    We love styling. It’s one of our greatest joys doing what we do, but we know it’s not everyone’s strength. Avoiding some of the common mistakes outlined above will help you avoid disaster, but if you’re still feeling hesitant and unsure of how to start or what’s missing, give us a call and we can arrange one of our In-home Styling Sessions to help you make your house feel more like your home.

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