Where to Start, Where to Finish, Who to Involve – Your Decorating Questions Answered

When you’re a mother, the hardest thing that you can think of doing is redecorating your whole house. Well, there are probably harder things that can be thought of, but in terms of actually getting them done and planning all the logistics around it, this one can certainly be a challenge.

There are so many factors to take into consideration. It’s not just how much it will cost (although that is probably the most major factor out there – keeping to a budget and bringing spending down to a minimum), but planning something that is kid-friendly, will withstand different periods of time (from baby to toddler to child to teenager and beyond), will be practical and most of all be something that you enjoy, love and will want to spend more and more time dedicated to appreciating it.

Gather your inspiration

Take some time out to think about where you are gaining your inspiration from. It could be from a few magazines, from your Pinterest board, from other friends’ houses – absolutely anywhere. You can pinch your style from any place that you wish to, and use anything and everything to build up your sense of style.

There are websites out there that can help you, such as the idealist online magazine, which can break your thoughts down into different categories. You can mix and match between the mood boards that are on offer and use it as a firm base for what you are about to create in your own home. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, so don’t get put off by price and the amount of stuff that an example room does or doesn’t have; focus on what you need and what you want and thoughts of grandeur will probably start flying out of the window. Especially when kids are involved.

Think about your choices

If you are thinking about a nice, bright paint or a lovely antique mahogany coffee table to take center stage in your living room, it is always worth thinking about the practicalities behind them. Is the paint durable enough to withstand constant wiping for the grubby finger marks left behind by children? (How is it that not matter how clean their hands are, they always leave a mark?!) Does the table have any decorative embellishments that can be snapped off, and will that wipe easily too? Will it be ruined having to wipe it down every day, and if somebody accidentally puts a hot drink on it without a coaster, will it stain? Sigh.

There are so many risk factors to being a parent and getting furniture that will do its job rather than look pretty that when it comes down to it, it can actually take the fun out of doing a full redecorate of your home. Alas, these are real life things that can and do happen, so everything needs to be taken into consideration. Don’t put your life savings into buying something that you will be upset at being ruined – whether it was deliberate or not.

Get them involved

Your children will have to live with their bedrooms for quite a few years, and as such will have to live with whatever choices you make for them (ahead of the next big redecorate, should there ever be one before they fly the nest). If you are making the choice for them, go with something that can be worked with through the years; a neutral colour scheme should they decide that they hate the colours associated with their bedroom, and fabrics around the room that can be easily removed and replaced when their styles change. That way it’s cheaper and a lot less hassle to get sorted. It also gives them a base to work from if they decide they want a bold colour later on (should you allow it).

If your children are of the age to let you know what their preferences are, get them involved – you may find that you have an extra pair of hands available for help with painting or moving the bits and bobs of furniture that they’re able to lift and carry. Getting them as excited as you are for what’s to come will mean that everybody in the house is happy – even if sometimes it may feel a bit overwhelming and like you’d wished you had never started!

Prepare everything

The last thing you want to be doing just before you’ve built yourself up to redecorate is having to do last-minute jobs that could have been done if they had been effectively planned into the operation. Things like steaming wallpaper off walls, filling in cracks, wiping down any woodwork that needs oiling or recovering and dusting and sweeping up debris leftover are all things that need time dedicating to them in order to get the finish you need in the timespan that you have set. Again, this is something that you can get the kids involved with – even if they are a bit younger. Make it into a game and set them tasks to complete around the house; toddlers love dusting and picking up small pieces, so they could help to clear up any paint chips, wallpaper strips and any other leftover debris that is safe for them to handle.

Stick to your budget

Set yourself a cash goal and try to stick within the limits of it. When you have a family to consider, overspending can mean much more to you than if you are in the position of having a much more disposable income. There are some things that you can wait for; furnishings that aren’t especially essential such as lamps, mirrors and decorations for the room are things that can be bought over time, when your budget allows. As hard as it is, try not to get caught up in the craze and stick as firmly as you can to it. Some things are worth waiting for – and when you are sat admiring your newly decorated house without excess and unwanted debt, you’ll appreciate it a whole lot more.

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