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By Alana Saunders

Don’t let a few old wives’ tales get in the way of completing your dream decorating project with confidence. Start focusing on what you want to do, rather than what you think you should do.

To keep you on the right track, we’re dispelling some of painting and decorating’s biggest myths, with a few interior design tips thrown in too!

Myth one: White walls increase the final selling price of a home

While painting walls white may seem like best practice, prospective buyers want to see a little more personality and warmth, according to the results of a Zillow study.

After analysing the auction results of 32,000 homes, colour specialists discovered that for-sale listings painted in fresh, natural colours sold for more money, while homes with white, red or yellow walls sold for less than expected.

Soothing and subdued shades like periwinkle blue and pale oatmeal make a home feel cosy and welcoming – qualities that help prospective buyers envision themselves living in the space.

For-sale listings painted in natural colours sold for more money, while homes with white, red or yellow walls sold for less.

Myth two: Small rooms must be painted in lighter and brighter shades

It’s often thought that painting a room in white or lighter colours has the ability to make even the smallest of rooms seem visually larger than it actually is. Unfortunately, this is yet another myth that stings many homeowners. While the colours you choose play a small part, the perceived size and scale of a room has more to do with the placement and measurements of the furniture in it.

The best rule to remember? Keep furniture proportional to the room. If using larger pieces, use fewer, and if furnishings are smaller you can get away with incorporating more. This will stop you from overcrowding your living spaces.

However, there’s nothing wrong with using darker colours for smaller rooms. These moodier shades have the ability to create cosy and intimate nooks – perfect for winding down in after busy days. Just be sure to add a plethora of soft accessories to make your space feel inviting and comfortable, rather than a room fit for Dracula!

Myth three: Never mix patterns and prints

Don’t let this old wives’ tale stop you from creating interesting and eclectic living spaces. Stripes, spots, florals and many other common patterns and prints can work together harmoniously, and thankfully, it’s one of the easiest interior design trends to pull off. Simply stick to these few rules, and you’ll be a confident print mixologist in no time:

  1. Stick to a chosen colour palette – Working with a colour scheme of around three shades is an easy way to stop your space from feeling too busy, and will help tie in each pattern.
  2. Use patterns with different scales – Incorporating a mix of both small and large scale patterns ensures that your chosen prints won’t compete with one another and stops them from blending into one.
  3. Break pattern up with solids – A healthy mix of patterns and prints is great, but it’s important to let them breathe to avoid creating a dizzying space. Solid furnishings and neutral walls are a great way to do so.

Myth four: Wallpaper is old fashioned

Long gone are the days when this polarising paint alternative was deemed unfashionable and outdated. Thanks to stylish new prints and colours, and easy-to-remove materials, wallpaper is back and it means business.

Make wallpaper work in your home by using it to create an accent wall. There’s a great choice of patterns on the market, meaning that homeowners will have no trouble finding a style that compliments current furnishings. If opting for a bold design, remember to keep the rest of the room fairly neutral to avoid distraction.

Thanks to stylish new prints and colours, and easy-to-remove materials, wallpaper is back, and it means business.

Myth five: Timber floors are expensive to install and maintain

While initial installation costs may be higher than other flooring options, over the long-term, timber floors are actually one of the most cost-effective flooring options around. When they are sourced, installed and maintained properly, they can last the test of time.

When other flooring options become worn and old, they need tearing up and replaced. However, timber floors may only need sanding and refinishing now and again, making them a more hassle-free and low cost choice. To put it into perspective, other flooring options have an average service life of 10-20 year, meaning they will need to be replaced five to ten times as often as timber floors.

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