Three things to think about before decorating

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There is no right or wrong about decorating. It’s all about what works for you. We all have our own colour and style preferences. This is a good thing as otherwise we would live in a very dull world!

At the end of the day you need to create a space that you feel comfortable in, and you should enjoy the process: Decorating should be fun and not a chore!

Helen Heslop of Le Studio des Artisans gives a few pointers that can help you and will hopefully give you inspiration when looking at decorating your space.

Size and Shape of your room

Spend time understanding the shape and architectural elements of your room.

Do you have low ceilings? Is it square or is it a funky shape?

Are there interesting nooks and crannies?

Are there any period features that you would like to enhance?

Colour can appear to visually change the size and shape of a room.

Large rooms often benefit from lighter colours, as they enhance the space. However, in smaller spaces you can often achieve a much more dramatic effect and have fun with the stronger colours which will draw the eye away from the size of the room.

One option is to paint the whole room in the same colour, which is very calming. You can even afford to choose quite a dark tone as strong tones can create an illusion of space when not contrasted with a lighter colour.

If you want a very relaxed space it is also wiser to have less contrasts. The more contrasts there are the more impactful and dramatic the space will be.
If you wish to enhance a certain feature, then even a small change in tone can make all the difference or you can be bold and use a strong contrasting colour.

Light

Understand how the light changes in the room during the day. It’s always a good idea to get a tester pot of your paint and paint a board and position it in different parts of the room to see how light affects the colour during the day.

It’s often tempting to paint small dark rooms light colours but in fact you may achieve a more dramatic impact by painting it a richer colour.

Paint large light rooms in light colours to reinforce the space in the room.

Also enjoy playing with different colours between rooms. A dash of a very different colour in an adjacent room can create excitement in a space, and is an invitation to discover the next room.

Style

Be yourself – follow your gut and pick the colours that you like and want to be surrounded by! If you want to decorate your space every 6 months then it’s fine to follow the latest fad but most of us do not have this luxury!

Some of us prefer more discreet colours and will always navigate towards the neutrals. Others of a more flamboyant personality may adore using darker vibrant colours to create impact.

If you are nervous using more dramatic colours for the first time, then build up slowly. If you have a spare room, experiment with a new colour and enjoy playing with a different pallet. Another approach to inject a brighter colour into your décor is by painting a chair or a table in a more vibrant colour.

Think about the room and its use. You will most likely want your bedroom to be calming and peaceful. Popular choices would be the neutrals, greens and blues.

Bathrooms do not have to be white! Have fun with bolder colours in the bathroom. With baths and basins in white, you can afford to jazz up your room with bright inviting colours.

A formal dining room that will be lit by candles or discreet lighting can benefit from deep colours on the walls so that the dining room table is the major spotlight.

Finally remember that paint is easily changed! We all learn from experience and even though we don’t always want to be constantly painting, it’s not a drama if you realise the tone of red you have chosen for the dining room is not quite creating the atmosphere you were hoping for.

Comfort with colour comes with experience and also knowing your space.

Have fun decorating!

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Le Studio des Artisans is based in St Chinian and is a distributor of the iconic brand of Farrow & Ball paints and wallpapers.

All photos are from the show room – kitchen in Teresa’s Green; lounge wood work in Pitch Blue, walls in Dimity; meeting room in Great White.