For First-Timers: Decorating Do's and Don'ts

If you're planning on trying your hand at some interior design at home, maybe for the first time, then here are a few handy tips to help you out.

Consider your budget: always make sure you have a good idea of how much you want to spend and that you account for all the items you'll need before you start purchasing. You don’t want to run out of money and be left with a half-finished project on your hands. If you need to reduce the costs, then where can you cut new purchases out? Stick with your old mattresses for example, or repaint some of your existing furniture.

Know your capabilities: don’t decide to knock down walls and install custom furniture unless you have the skills to do the job. Getting professionals in to rectify a botched job could cost more than paying them to do the work in the first place.

Think about style: if this is your first go at home decorating, then pick out something easy in terms of colors and patterns. This probably isn't the time for making a great statement which could go horribly wrong! If you need some help, ask in a local décor, furniture, or home goods store about what goes together or enlist the help of a friend whose home décor you admire.

Practical versus Pretty: don’t forget about the function of a room and miss out on anything important, e.g. a dining table large enough to seat your family and some guests around. If you get carried away and forget who uses the room you're decorating, you could well leave out something vital, like desk space in a teenagers' room for example, or beds in the spare room.

Live with it for awhile: pin up wallpaper samples or paint swatches before you make your final selection. The same goes for fabric – if it's been on the wall or pinned to the sofa for a week or two and you still love it, then you've probably found the right color and pattern; if the love has faded, then don’t be afraid to look all over again.

Above all, take your time! There's no rush and it's much more important that you enjoy yourself as you get more involved in the home decorating process.