the decorating diaries: rookie mistakes

i am not a celebrity, kate mcauley, interior, decorating, painting

Is the above a) art worthy of the Tate Modern or b) the denuded walls of our new apartment? It’s a no brainer, right? 

Last week I came over all literary and whimsical about my new flat – and my new room in particular. This week, I’m not quite as airy fairy. The problem with doing stuff up lies in all the decision making. Questions such as: what colour should we paint the walls? turn into a choice freakier than opting to invest your life savings in bricks and mortar.

Cue mistake number one. We employ a painter. Lovely guy, really good at his job. He says the colour of our walls at the moment is Dulux Timeless. It’s a little dull, but it’ll do. And anyway, our art and what-nots will liven the place up eventually, right? Yes. OK.

Off we trot to Homebase. And, guess what! They’re having a 25% of Dulux paint one-day-only sale! It’s a sign. We take the painter’s words as gospel (a big hindsight DUH) and eschew colour swatches in favour of placing our order and smugly getting away from the crowd of vacillating Saturday shoppers arguing over different shades of beigey-creamy-taupey neutrals.

The painter starts. He fills in gaps, rubs away scratches and sands stuff that needs sanding. The first coat goes on. A chill passes through the flat. What was once a warm and welcoming space would now happily house a family of polar bears.

There’s tension between me and the spouse. We come back at different times of the day to see how the shade changes. In the afternoon, with the sun streaming in, I don’t dare take off my sunglasses for fear of permanent retinal damage and grudgingly agree with the MrMr that something must be done.

It’s back to Homebase – and guess what! The sale’s still on! Quelle surprise. Duh 2.0. At least our credit cards wheeze a small sigh of relief as we head to the swatches and mini tester pots. We tentatively choose seven shades that might work and I post this picture on Instagram.

i am not a celebrity, kate mcauley, interior, decorating, painting

‘But they’re all white’ a friendly friend comments. Oh, how I wish. This is what they actually look like (next to Timeless – we may as well use it for our skirting boards and door and window frames, right?).

i am not a celebrity, kate mcauley, interior, decorating, painting

Now we can choose with, you know, a tad more education. This is a much better option – and definitely something we should’ve done before getting all trigger happy. We’ve gone for Natural Calico (third from the left and remarkably similar to what’s there already) for the hall, bedrooms and living room and Natural Hessian (because it goes better with the cabinets) for the kitchen. It’s going on today. I’ll let you know how we get on.

And no, the fun doesn’t end there. In addition to purging, recycling, eBaying and packing, we’ve also got to decide on the floors. Solid wood? Engineered Oak? Bamboo? Laminate? Carpet? Reclaimed? And who the flip is going to lay it for us? HELP!

Have you decorated your home? What advice can you give? I’m open to all suggestions.

And here are my inspirations this week. A girl can dream, right?


More interior inspiration here and here.

You might also like:

a room of one’s own

diy inspiration: altoon sultan’s hooked wool

diy inspiration: a pattern to quilt

diy inspiration: hey, nice weave

pinterest picks: the come to bed with me edition


Top images © Kate McAuley.

Follow i am not a celebrity//twitter//facebook//bloglovin//tumblr//pinterest.

Related posts:

11 thoughts on “the decorating diaries: rookie mistakes

  1. sugarandspiceshopgirlEmily

    We bought our first house earlier in the year and also bought Timeless to start with. The whole house was an off-white yellow shade. We started in the attic room (which is the boyf’s guitar room) and was yoke yellow and slapped on a couple of coats. It’s white – that’s for sure! But it works ok up there. We used up the rest in the spare room – cos we’re not going to be in there too much!! And did a grey-lilac in the two alcoves to off set the bright white! For our bedroom we went with a blank canvas of Natural Calico. And we used the same in the living/dining room – with a signature wall of a more expensive Farrow & Ball French Grey paint (actually more of a green but very lovely). To create a blank canvas for paintings and photos etc, I think the Natural Calico works well. We did paint our hallway bright white (actual Dulux White) but that’s cos it’s so tight that it was so dark. Under the dado rail we chose a pale blue (in a really expensive Dulux Diamond finish – which basically means that anything wipes off and leaves no marks!).

    Have fun decorating!!! :) Look forward to your posts, xx

      1. Karen

        I love this! We renovated our house 3 years ago and the dining room has never been quite right. I’m looking to highlight a few walls and am leaning towards the fashionable grey tones but want it warm. I’ve got natural hessian throughout. On your picture which colours are which? I think this could be my saving grace! Lol

  2. Dee's Dialogue

    Oh I think you’ve chosen we’ll :) I always go for neutral/naturals for walls because, as you know, we have colourful artwork. Best advice is to go with your gut feeling and lucky you having someone to do it for you…I’m aiming for that in future projects :)

  3. Pingback: are smiles the new pouts? | i am not a celebrity

  4. Pingback: hey, synergy 341, sing me a lullaby | i am not a celebrity

  5. Pingback: daily style inspiration: drained | i am not a celebrity

  6. Pingback: the decorating diaries: packing, purging and kylie minogue | i am not a celebrity

  7. Pingback: the decorating diaries: feeling blue | i am not a celebrity

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
Read previous post:
the sartorialist vs the national geographic

I don't know about you, but I get street style blindness. I suffer so acutely from seeing the same people...