How to decorate your home, where to start?

Have you ever asked yourself  ” How do I decorate my home?”. I remember when I first moved into my home, I hadn’t got a clue about decorating and I didn’t know where to even start. I remember feeling overwhelmed and I didn’t want to make any expensive decorating disasters. Over the past five years I have decorated and redecorated the rooms in my home and I have some tips to help you find your style and get you started on your decorating journey.

Create a mood board

Before I decorated my house I had a rough idea of my style and taste. I really liked the cute country cottage look and feel. However, I wish I had spent more time creating some mood boards and researching what it was I exactly wanted. A great place to start when finding out your style is to make a mood board. Go to Pinterest or tear out pictures from magazines and just pull all of the images that you are drawn too. Then look over all of the images and you will see the style you are drawn to. You might be drawn to bright and bold colours or you might like calmer romantic shades. Learning your style is a great starting point. Your style will also change over time and that is okay. I like to have fun with my home and I am always changing things up depending on how I am feeling at that time.

How to decorate your home. Living room mood board

Use what you have

Decorating can be expensive. If you have furniture already then why not see how it can work in your new scheme. Furniture can be painted, chopped in half or transformed into something new if you wish. You don’t have to throw away what you have to make space for the new. See if your existing pieces can work. If you do want to get new furniture then I recommend selling your old pieces online and using the money to put towards your new furniture. Please, if you can recycle and pass on old pieces instead of throwing them in the dump.

Upcyle project before and after

Pick your colours

Once you have found your style you can pick your colours for your room. I highly recommend getting paint swatches and testing them on your walls before painting. A lot of people make the mistake of buying a pot of paint in the shop and thinking it will look the same in their home. Paint will look different in different lighting. In my home, the rooms in the front are very blue toned as I don’t get as much natural light, however, the rooms in the back are very yellow toned and I get more sunlight in the back of the house. I made the mistake of painting the whole house magnolia when I first moved in and I spend the past five years getting rid of the magnolia. So, have fun playing around with tester pots of paint and see what colours work well together. You can also get fabric swatches for curtains or carpet and wallpaper samples for your wall.

Before and after kitchen makeover

Take your time

Rome wasn’t built in a day and decorating is a marathon, not a sprint. I was in such a hurry when I first moved in to get the house “perfect”. Looking back I wish I spent more time just sitting in each room and actually seeing what it was I wanted and how I wanted it to look. My home has a funny layout so I wanted each room to compliment each other. Over time I was able to layer onto each room and add to the spaces.

Measure your space

Your rooms can fill up once you start adding furniture. I have a small home and I was surprised by how big a lot of the furniture was in the shops. Nearly all of my furniture is older second-hand pieces and these fit better in my space. Sometimes you can think a piece will fit your space only to bring it home and find that it takes up the whole room. You can use a newspaper to give you an idea of how much space a piece of furniture will take up. Simply measure how big the piece of furniture is and lay out some newspaper in that size and place on your floor. You will get a better idea of how much space will be taken up.

Living room decor


I am guilty of going into Homesense for one specific thing and only to come out €200 poorer and with a car full of random stuff. It is best to set a budget and price items online before going out shopping. I also love to wait for sales. I have loads of Laura Ashley wallpaper, however, I always wait for the sale to buy it. Make sure to include everything from curtains to paintbrushes in your budget and go from there. This will help stop you from overspending. The last thing you want is to get yourself into debt from decorating.


Is it practical

A good question to ask when decorating a room is to ask your self “is it practical?”. You might want to have a feature in your room but you might have pets, children or worse a husband who might bring muck into your home. Don’t let these factors stop you having the decor you want but do see if there are other ways you can work it into your scheme. My brother is a mechanic and anytime he visits after work I end up with black marks on teacups and door handles so I totally understand that a white shabby chic theme might not suit your home. There are lots of ways you can in which you can adjust a scheme to suit your family and lifestyle. Maybe you want lots of bold colours but the other people in your home don’t like them. You could try using bold coloured accessories or coloured furniture instead. Have fun finding ways to make your fave decor scheme fit into your home.

How to decorate your home. Cottage decor

 I hope you found the tips in today’s post helpful. Creating the home you love takes time, enjoy the process of each step. Remember, your home is to be lived in so take inspiration from the magazines and Pinterest and make it liveable and make it suit your lifestyle. I would love if you could share this post with others if you found it useful. You might also enjoy my other post sharing how to make your home look bigger and brighter, you can find that post here. Also, check out my DIY playlist on my Youtube channel for some of my projects I have tackled around my home.

Happy decorating!

Chat soon,


This post contains affiliate links, affiliate links means I can earn a small commission from your sale. This will not affect the price you pay and the income generated from any earnings goes towards the running of my blog. Thank you for your support.


  1. May 4, 2021 / 4:35 am

    My problem is I like most styles and colors. I cannot decide on paint, wallpaper etc. Your post had great ideas your house is lovely.

  2. Ida Adolfsson
    January 23, 2020 / 7:01 pm

    Thx for Always having the best adviceπŸ’•

  3. Maria Silva
    January 4, 2020 / 11:50 pm

    Thank You Catherine, such great tips and perfect timing now that I have this tiny area where the front door was but now closed “moved the door to new entery area”, and want to make it like a reading/sitting nook area… Do plan to use some wall paper since its a small wall where the old entery was… Wish me luck!! L0L!!πŸ˜‰ Need to replay all Ur diys and decorating videos to get inspiration…πŸ’™πŸŒ»βœŒ big hug n Blondie too…

  4. Maria Silva
    January 4, 2020 / 11:49 pm

    Thank You Catherine, such great tips and perfect timing now that I have this tiny area where the front door was but now closed “moved the door to new entery area”, and want to make it like a reading/sitting nook area… Do plan to use some wall paper since its a small wall where the old entery was… Wish me luck!! L0L!!πŸ˜‰ Need to replay all Ur diys and decorating videos to get inspiration…πŸ’™πŸŒ»βœŒ big hug n to Blondie…

  5. Thalia Castro
    January 4, 2020 / 1:05 pm

    Love your home 😍

    October 23, 2019 / 6:10 am

    Hi Catherine, thank you for your printable book. Will come in handy when I am on holiday for the month of December. I have numerous pieces that I need to paint. During one of my mad cleaning days, I moved my bed (Art deco style and VERY heavy) I found a 2 drawer cabinet underneath it. I have to admit that I had forgotten about it. I have bits and pieces stuck all over my house. I know its terrible, whenever I see something I like I will buy it (provided the price is right). Bought a mid century sofa and was given 3 chairs to mach, so that another revamp I will have for December. I have never been a “pink” person but I am so loving your house and your ideas. Keep them coming. Much love from South Africa.

  7. Linda
    October 16, 2019 / 7:36 am

    Love the tip about using newspaper to help visualise your space!

  8. daintydressdiaries
    June 20, 2019 / 10:11 pm

    Thanks Fiona x

  9. Fiona Cronin
    June 20, 2019 / 2:27 pm

    Great post πŸ’•πŸ’•

  10. daintydressdiaries
    February 17, 2019 / 9:25 pm

    Hi Pamela, the colour on the cabinets is Autentico eggshell in the shade frozen fountain x

  11. Pamela
    February 17, 2019 / 7:37 pm

    Hi Catherine..Love your page and your insta..You have my idea house just love it❀
    Can I just ask what is the colour of the paint on your kitchen presses..Its exactly what I am looking for😊

  12. daintydressdiaries
    February 17, 2019 / 7:22 pm

    Thanks so much for reading Sarah! Hope the remodels go smoothly for you, Have fun decorating x

  13. February 17, 2019 / 6:49 pm

    Oooh so many greats ideas! I love how you decorated your home. I’m still in the process of decorating mine, waiting on a few remodels, but I love when everything starts to come together πŸ™‚

  14. daintydressdiaries
    February 15, 2019 / 9:14 am

    Thanks so much for reading Peggy! I wish I had of used a mood board in the beginning but at least I know now x

  15. Peggy
    February 15, 2019 / 9:11 am

    Yes, the mood board is the best place to start, great advice !

  16. daintydressdiaries
    February 15, 2019 / 7:10 am

    Thanks Sheila, thanks so much for reading x

  17. daintydressdiaries
    February 15, 2019 / 7:07 am

    Thanks so much for reading Julie! So glad you found it helpful x

  18. Sheila Kercheville
    February 15, 2019 / 3:42 am

    As always Catherine, youbhave given wonderdul insight to creating a dream home…

  19. February 14, 2019 / 10:10 pm

    Brilliant , Catherine, thanks you have give me more inspiration to tackle stuff love your home .

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Dainty Dress Diaries

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading