10 decorating dilemmas and how to solve them

Got a bunch of questions but don’t know where to turn? Here’s help!
Jody D'Arcy

Sometimes the task of decorating your home can seem overwhelming. Bringing it all together in style can be difficult, but if you break it down to smaller problems and tackle them room-by-room, you’ll start to make a big difference. Here are a few reader dilemmas, solved!

1. Living room makeover

Question: “My living room needs a total redo but I can’t afford any structural changes. How can I breathe new life into it?”

Answer: Give the room a fresh coat of paint and invest in a new sofa to make a statements and change the look and feel of the whole room. Decorate with accents around the room to match.

Get inspired by this luscious living room makeover.

2. Guests coming to stay

Question: “We have people coming to stay and the spare room is a dumping ground – help!”

Answer: Clear the clutter and spend a weekend giving the room a fresh new look. If time and budget allow, give the room a lick of paint. Bring in new bedlinens or move one of your little-used sets into the spare room and replace for your own use. Purchase one or two new soft furnishing items such as a few cushions and a lampshade to match.

See this guest room go from grim to gorgeous.

3. Kids sharing a room

Question: “My kids share a room but have very different tastes. How can I decorate so they’re both happy?”

Answer: Divide and conquer! Use a storage wall to demarcate two zones within the room and work your magic in each zone. Enlist the help of your children to decorate their own spaces and organise their belongings to suit themselves.

Get inspiration from this great his & hers shared room.

Decorating dilemmas solved | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: Sue Stubbs)

4. Clutter buster

Question: “We have too much stuff! What are some quick ways to declutter?”

Answer: Do a big clear out by tackling one room at a time to get rid of unwanted toys, clothes, paperwork and books. Introduce stylish storage in key areas of your home.

Find inspiration here.

5. Instant pick-me-up in a room

Question: “How can I inject an affordable style statement into a room?”

Answer: Makeover a piece of furniture from another room, vintage store or bring a roadside find back to life. Your small investment of time and a little spray paint will reap great style rewards!

Try this idea to transform forgotten pieces of furniture.

6. Bathroom styling

Question: “We have family coming to stay and I want to style up the bathroom to impress our guests. What do I need to do?”

Answer: Start with fresh towels and brand new fragrant soaps at the ready, add a few simple touches such as a scented candle and a sprig of flowers for a lovely guest house feeling.

Here are 6 ways to a guest-ready bathroom.

7. Tub troubles

Question: “How do I choose the right bath for our new bathroom?”

Answer: Freestanding or built in, consider the material you’re after as well as the statement you’d like to make in your bathroom. Think about space and style as you weigh up the options.

Related: Tub tally: how to choose the right bath

Also: 5 ways a freestanding bathtub ca transform your bathroom

8. Deck dining

Question: “I’m after some new season outdoor furniture for my deck. Where do I start?”

Answer: Consider the surroundings, how much alfresco entertaining you do, how far your budget and available space can stretch. Try these 7 stylish outdoor dining settings.

Statement pendant lighting | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: Jody D’Arcy)

9. Pendant lighting choice

Question: “We’re finally ready to make a statement with our lighting – how do I choose a pendant?”

Answer: Look to the surrounding textures and shapes in the room and consider whether you’d like to match or contrast with your statement pendant. Style, shape, size and an number of pendants you hang will all play a part in the success of your choice.

Related: Light the way: Pendants are here to stay

10. Pantry storage

Question: “My pantry is overflowing and unworkable! How can I get it organised?”

Answer: Look to the stars – literally! Take a sneak peek inside Gwyneth Paltrow’s pantry for some serious pantry envy and great take away tips.

Related stories