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15 Things We Learned from Home Decorating

sofie rolfsdotter flamingo print, Bumpkin BettyHaving lived in a flat before we moved to this house, we’dΒ only ever embarked onΒ fairly small painting and decorating jobs up until recently. We’d both helped out family at home when we were younger and done the odd bit of DIY here and there but we’d never tackled a room from start to finish before, and never together.

Considering we only moved into our new house in October, we’ve done quite a bit already to try and get it feeling more homely, and aside from some help from parents initially, most of the work we’ve tackled ourselves. Over the last month alone, we’ve re-wallpapered and painted two rooms, set up new furniture, upcycled old furniture and generally felt like proper house proud grown ups.

But, of course it hasn’t all been fun, and pitfalls along the way are inevitable so as a fun Friday post I thought I’d share a few of the things we learned from our first proper decorating mission as a couple…

spare room project, Bumpkin betty

What we learned from DIY decorating

Taking wallpaper off walls is all kinds of fun… putting wallpaper on walls? Not so much.

Having three different colours of wall in a room seems like a really good idea when you’re planning, until you start painting, have to wash brushes and rollers constantly and everything takes much longer than it would have if you’d just painted the whole room white.

It is however, totally worth it in the end when you see your colourful vision come together.

No matter how many tester pots you bought, and how many giant squares you applied to the wall, after that first coat of paint you hate the colour and spend a lot of time angry about the fact it looks nothing like it did in the tin.

Paint is magical and looks completely different when it dries. It also looks completely different after a second coat so you take note not to get angry too soon next time… until the next time you paint and the exact same scenario happens again.

Mundane tasks such as wallpapering (especially cutting around a fireplace), masking taping sections of walls and painting (especially when it comes to the edges and two different versions of what counts as ‘neat’) will test your relationship in ways nothing else ever has.

When 8 months pregnant at the time of decorating, chances are you won’t be able to do that much and will want a tea break every ten minutes so even though you came up with most of the grand plans (which your husbandΒ was already wary about) it will be him who ends up doing all the hard graft… and he’ll probably hate you for it.

When you gently point out to said husband that unfortunately, no, the job isn’t finished because you really feel it would look better if the woodwork was repainted too, the look on his face will make you sure divorce is imminent.

When someone (not you) leaves the rollers and paintbrushes in the room overnight without washing the paint off first, the next morning divorce will, once again, feel imminent.

Nothing in the room will make sense at all… until you put some curtains up.

No matter how much rigorous measuring you do, there is always ‘the fear’ when the furniture arrives and looks like it might not fit in.

Walls in old houses have minds of their own, and sometimes despite the measurements saying otherwise things just won’t fit… and you won’t be able to explain it.

Actual rosy cheeked life will be restored to your husband when all painting is done, furniture assembled andΒ it’s ‘your turn’ to add the styling touches.

You can easily spend twice as long on the ‘faffing about with accessories until things look right’ phase as you did on the painting phase.

There is nothing at all like the sense of satisfaction that comes from doing up a room from scratch on your own. And once it’s finished you walk in every day and marvel at how clever you both were. And thankfully, you avoided divorce in the process…


Anna International

Ha, this is a brilliant post – so true! Though not sure about removing wallpaper being fun…in our house it’s all woodchip and the plaster behind is so ancient it comes away with the paper in clouds of ancient black dust, so we have to replaster every surface as we decorate. So not fun.
We are so far from the finished stage in our house (2 rooms of 7 are actually pretty much done, the rest are in various stages of done-ness) that I am not ready to look back on the experience yet (we’ve got a lot more knocking down of walls and removing chimneys and moving the kitchen and that kind of thing to do) but I can already tell it will all be worth it when we’re done. And hopefully still married! πŸ™‚ xx


Hey Anna, oh that sounds like SUCH a big job, wow I feel bad moaning about a bit of painting now haha! I’m sure it will be worth it in the end though – it might just take you a really long time… and make sure your other half always washes the brushes LOL! x


So,so true – every bit of it! Especially that bit when you look at the paint and think ‘what have I done?!’ But that’s the point when you have to push through. And if you have done all that together and are still friends – well, there’s nothing you can’t achieve!

Josie Stewart

Haha I loved this! I’m lucky because my mum loves wallpapering (I know, what a weirdo) so she did a fab job of mine. You were bloody brave attempting this at 8 months pregnant, must have made it double the work! x

Sick Chick Chic


Haha some people do love it – I quite enjoy the painting, but the wallpapering – not so much. To be honest I did very little, my husband was the main DIYer in this project and he moaned A LOT! x


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