The 1 Thing You Always Need To Choose LAST When Decorating 


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When decorating a room it’s so important to get the basics right. Picking items that are wrong can end up being very costly and time consuming, not to mention annoying!

I wanted to share a tip with you today that could really save you a lot of money and hassle when you come to redecorate a room in the future. It is really easy to implement, and honestly it makes things so much more simple when you do it.

I really hope it helps you too!

The item to always pick last when decorating - and it may surprise you!

The tip is what you should always pick LAST when decorating – and as the title says, it really may come as a shock when I tell you!

Before I tell you though – why not have a guess as to what you think it may be?

  • Cushions?
  • Artwork?
  • Lighting?
  • Flooring?
  • Curtains?

In fact it’s none of the above – the last thing you want to pick when redecorating is actually – the paint colour.

Why is paint the last thing to choose?

To answer this, it’s probably easier to ask you to imagine a scenario first – try and put yourself in the position of redecorating your living room:-

The room has nothing in it at the moment, apart from a cream sofa and brown leather chair so very neutral.

You have to pick everything else – flooring, curtains, wall colour, furniture, colour scheme and accessories.

Of course – it’s a big task and can seem daunting – so the first thing you do is pick your colour scheme. Usually this comes from looking at a paint chart, or even picking a few samples up from the local DIY shop and painting patches on your walls to see what looks right.

After a few days, and a few (more than a few usually) pounds spent, you have finally agreed on a colour – celebrations! – you can imagine the types of other colours that will go with it, so now to pick everything else.

Off to the shops you go, with your colour in mind, ready to pick fabrics and accessories that go with the paint you have chosen.

But there’s an issue – as very little matches the paint, and you start to get stressed about what works and what doesn’t – sometimes ending up spending more than you wanted to, or not getting exactly what you would have liked.

Sound familiar?

It’s the way most of us pick colour schemes – either that or by looking at schemes in magazines or online and deciding to replicate them – and on the surface there’s nothing wrong with doing it this way.

The only trouble is, you have made the job so much harder than it needs to be – and here’s the main tip to gain from this post:-

Matching a paint to everything else in a room is far quicker than matching everything else to a paint colour.

I love going into my local DIY store and looking at the wide variety of paint colours there are. I am like a kid in a candy shop!

There are literally thousands of paint colours to choose from – in every possible tone, shade and hue imaginable. And if you can’t find the exact match you want, you can get it mixed for you.

And if you have ever gone into a fabric shop, then you will be faced with a massive array of fabrics – but still just a fraction of the amount of colours that the paint was available in.

Not to mention that the colour options lessen even further when it comes to looking at artwork and accessories.

How should I create a room scheme then?

It really does make sense to pick the most patterned/coloured parts of your room scheme first, and then take colours from these and work everything else around them.

Whether you are working with things you already have, or are buying new, think about what will have the most colours in it – and work from there.

This could be colours in a piece of art, a set of curtains, a sofa etc… – whatever it is – use that as your base for your scheme.

Let me give you an example:-

Curtains from John Lewis

These are a highly patterned pair of curtains, and in the pattern are several colours to work with – including cream, red, orange and black.

You could go for a sofa in a cream colour, an armchair in the deeper orange colour, and cushions in cream and red – for example. Not to mention the various shades of each colour, and other colours that would go well including green (adding in some plants would work really well).

The paint you use on the walls can be picked easily to match the fabric you have chosen (simply take a sample to the paint shop to compare), and be seen as a way to tie everything together to make a stunning scheme that will really work well with all the other bolder colours in the space.

See how the paint colour choice comes that much more easily when done this way around?

Now – look at this another way.

You have found a gorgeous paint colour on a colour chart and want to use it: –

Little Greene Paint Company Paint Chart
The item to always pick last when decorating - and it may surprise you!

Now you’ve just got to pick everything else to go with this colour.

That’s all fabrics, patterns, art etc… – and I’m sure you’ll see that this is a much harder request….

So – why give yourself more stress than you need. It’s quicker and easier by far to pick the paint colour last when you are decorating a room or picking a scheme.

If you do this then you will find the whole process much more stress free (and you’ll spend a lot less on paint samples as well!).

Read Next: 13 Places To Find Design Inspiration For Your Home Décor


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This article was written by Chrissy

Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...


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