Let’s be honest, we’ve all had a few interior mishaps over the years. I am of course, no exception. Full disclosure. I’ve made a few.

And what I have done with every slip-up, is to learn from it and improve my decision-making process for the future.

Here are my top 5 learnings.

1. Plan it. Then plan it some more.

I’m a persistent planner of the highest order when it comes to pulling together an interior. And I urge you to be so as well.

One of my approaches with planning a room is to draw it out (to scale) and create 2D scale sized furniture to see how I can successfully re-arrange a space or introduce new pieces.

Maybe this is extreme to some! But who wants to remove the contents of a room, or have furniture and rugs delivered only to find, they don’t work together spatially, scale wise or that just they simply don’t fit properly?

The same applies when introducing a new colour, I always paint a large piece of board or cardboard in that colour and place it around the space at different times of day. The amount of times I have fallen in love with a colour, only to have my mind completely (and thankfully) changed by seeing it ‘in situ’.

So whatever planning you can do, take it up a notch and maybe one more, and then there should be no décor dilemmas once the scheme is in place.

2. Harmonise your everyday spaces

So, you know you need to decorate your main living spaces, hallways and bathrooms. But there will be several steps to this and to be honest, you can’t do it all at once.

This ties perfectly in to planning, in that you should be thinking about your ultimate outcome. Are there any finishes that you can bring through into the rest of the house to create unity?

This can apply to something as simple as hardware – curtain poles, door and cupboard handles. Do your bathroom finishes complement each other? They don’t have to match, they just have to ultimately work together.

Colour is also key here and is so simple to get right, or wrong. Think about harmony, colours that create a similar mood that can tie the main living areas together.

3. Get the flow right

You know how to go with the flow? Or do you? The flow of a successful interior depends on how easy, efficient and pleasing it is to move around and use that space. This is a time to use your imagination.

Consider how you will use the space, how you want it to feel and function. Imagine using it, walk through it in your mind.

Creating the right flow can be as simple as how and where you place your furniture. I’ve never been one to place bulky sofas up against walls. This simple trick creates a neutral space around furniture giving the impression of more space.

4. Balance the visual weight

Consider the visual ‘bulk’ within a scheme. By this I mean how many large or detailed items there are in the space versus smaller, simpler pieces. For example, you need to create storage space in a bedroom with a new built-in wardrobe. It’s a large piece that will make the room feel smaller.

Now think about the effect of less bulky furniture and how it will balance out the space. How a slim picture frame above the bed creates less visual volume. Or, how a similar tone colour scheme for walls, flooring and furniture will create visual balance.

5. Buy to last

I could write a whole article about this (and in fact I will be!). But I can’t stress it more! Buy quality.

From fabric to lighting, and floor coverings to furniture, quality truly matters. You can style and embellish a space in myriad other ways but stick to the best for your most used items.

The benefits of buying long term are two-fold. Not only will you save money in the long term, but well-made items are usually always to-die-for.

It’s the simplest dilemma, it may well cost you more upfront, but the benefits of not having to replace it in the near future, plus the fact that it’s massively beautiful, are one of the greatest ‘décor dilemma avoidance’ outcomes there is.