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I hate all of my Decorating Choices and Want to Start Over. How about you?

I hate all of my decorating choices and want to start over. There, I said it.

Do you ever look around your home and just ponder… what on earth was I thinking when I bought that? Maybe it’s just me and the fact that I’m a self confessed decorating addict who gets bored very easily, but I’m officially tired of the majority of the furniture and decor in my home.

Living Room Ideas from Choices Flooring


Perhaps it’s the interior stylist in me; wanting to edit and edit and re-edit until everything is brand new again.

Most of the larger furniture pieces in my home – if not all of them – were purchased well before I started my journey as a blogger and interior stylist. So I put a lot of the bad decor decisions I made down to being undereducated on what would and wouldn’t work in my space. Surely I’m not the only one who has, in the past, just purchased stuff because it looks pretty without actually thinking about where it will go?

The fact that I’m on a tight budget – trying to save a deposit for my first home – also renders any new, large-scale purchases null and void at the moment. So I can’t even hit the stores and correct my decor mistakes. Cue the tears and me rocking in the corner in the foetal position.

The Reject Shop Home Office Makeover

OK, so maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. Truth be told, I don’t hate everything – and all the pieces I own are lovely, they just don’t necessarily all worth together.

I do love my coffee table, which many of you have seen on the blog before and also given a serious thumbs up to. That can stay (though I would like to try a round coffee table at some point because all those hard lines can get tiresome).

And I don’t mind my dining table (though if I could exchange it for a free one I would do it in a heartbeat). Lastly, I can’t fault the Eden Bed I got from Incy Interiors last year. It is gorgeous, though perhaps a little feminine in the space if I’m being real with myself. The rugs are also pretty sweet depending on what day of the week it is.

Everything else can go.

Decorating my new studio recently – and starting with a blank canvas – was a whole new experience that made me realise how amazing it is to have a fresh space you can really think about and build a cohesive look for. So if you’re in a similar position or have a room you want to make over, here’s some food for thought…

Industrial Coffee Table

What we can learn from my decorating mistakes

If I can give you one piece of advice when it comes to decorating any room in your home, it’s that you really need to mood board. I know, I know; people throw that term around all the time, and it means different things to different people. What I mean when I say to mood board is to start to collect images of what you love and are drawn to, and edit them down to start to build a theme or a look for your home.

Mood boarding can take place on a physical board like a cork or magnetic board you put above your desk – using images from mags or catalogues. It could be in a scrapbook that you keep in a draw. Or perhaps it’s a virtual one you’ve created in Pinterest (though I’d argue you might not get a true idea of how individual pieces work together doing it online).

I think it’s great to create a mood board in a word doc or in PowerPoint if you want to do it on a computer. Though for me, nothing beats seeing it all laid out in front of you – complete with fabric samples and tiles and carpet pieces you can touch and feel.

I failed to mood board the rooms in my home and now I examine them and realise that there’s so many elements that don’t work!

TLC Interiors Interiors - Scandi Living Room

Where to start if you want to replace pieces

Definitely take your time. If you’ve mood boarded a space or taken stock of what you want for your new room, you can start to examine what does and doesn’t work in it currently. Maybe it’s the bright yellow armchair (like in my place) that’s bringing down the subdued mood you’re going for. Or perhaps – as much as you loved it at the time – the entire couch needs to go.

I know replacing things, especially larger or more expensive pieces, shouldn’t be entered into lightly. But if you’ve mood boarded the room and a new purchase feels right in the space, I say your happiness is paramount and you need to go buy it.

Do think about the longevity of the pieces of furniture though; ensure it will work with a variety of decor accessories and can transcend trends and styles moving forward (I’ve written about the furniture pieces you need to avoid buying on the blog before).

Kas bedding - Monochrome Bedroom Ideas

What to do if you can’t afford a makeover

Welcome to my world. I feel your pain and the struggle is real! What I would recommend you do, if there is a major piece you just can’t replace, is try firstly to get re-inspired. Look at images on Pinterest or do a Google search to find ways other people have given that piece a new lease on life. You might be able to do the same. You might discover someone who’s made that brightly coloured couch work with cushions, throws and some new art that you’d never considered.

If that fails, try and camouflage the piece or dress it up. An ugly bed can be lifted with new bedding, as can an ugly table with new dining chairs and an on-trend centrepiece. That’s what I’ve done numerous times in my own home and these affordable tricks have worked for the most part (though as I initially said, some pieces still have to go).

What’s your advice on this topic?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comments below. Did you have a piece and find a way to fall in love with it again? Or are you a big believer in finding  away to replace a table or sofa when you tire of it? I’d love to get your opinion in the comments below!


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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12 Responses

  1. I stick with classical stuff – and stuff I use. If I don’t use it, out it goes. I sometimes try to by home “accessories” like I see in magazines, but they end up being dust collectors and drive me nuts.

    I’m a big purger, and I was thrilled to pieces when the cats used the huge overstuffed sectional that took up half the living room as a scratching post. Aww. Out you go!

    Granted, I don’t have much sitting when people come around, really need to work on that, but I do keep the antique bedsets, dressers, artwork. Just not real sure where it all goes, as rooms in my house are still evolving.

    One room in particular has been a toy room, bird room, guest room, and now wwithbaby #3 on the way, their room. So it does take a while to settle in. I moved into this house 6 years ago and things are still evolving. Every house has it’s own vibe – definitely wait for furniture until you’re in it for a bit.

  2. I like mood-boarding on Polyvore – then you can still see the objects on their own and cohesively but you don’t have to go to the trouble of clipping through magazines!

  3. I tend to buy what I like and what I hope won’t date too fast. Most of us can’t afford to change with every trend that comes along. I don’t hate what we have but it tends to be ever-evolving, there is always something I am on the lookout for!

  4. I sold everything online in a fit of ‘over it’ just before we moved into our new house. Best decision I made because if it comes into the house it usually stays. I saw it as my chance to start over. I started with the things I knew worked together: a beautiful print by Prudence Caroline, a beautiful oak dining table from Michael Hayes and black rattan Feelgood dining chairs. Still a long way to go, but at least I love what I do see!!
    My advice is to wait until you move so you can see how your new house inspires you.

  5. Oh Chris, I so relate. There is no cure -only management of that very loud internal voice Over the years I’ve found saving up for “investment pieces” helps, as I love them for longer. It’s that mix of having a great, classic, piece and training my brain with the reward of delayed gratification.

    Finally, there are great unique & inexpensive items on etsy. Buying from a creative maker always gives me a “love it for longer” feeling.

    1. I’m big on saving and spending on pieces I want to keep now, rather than lower to mid range items which I buy on a whim. I appreciate the big buys more.

  6. Great story Chris, one I can really relate to.I dont see the point of throwing out furniture just because your sick of the look of it , especially if its still in good condition and your on a tight budget.I have re purposed a few of my furniture items in my home. Re covering your lounge when you are sick of the colour, I have covered my 90s style wrought iron bed head for $80 there are lots of ways to bring your furniture up to date without forking out 1000s of dollars, anyway in another couple of months your only going to change your mind again x

  7. We can all relate to this Chris. Especially if you’ve bought all your stuff a few years ago, then do a design course and realise what really works and then , like you, look around at your stuff and think “What was I thinking??” The great thing is there are clever ways to mix and match all kinds of different styles and make them work together. Like you said its so important to do your research and choose the look you like. I changed my dining chairs and barstools, cushions and some homewares, and achieved the look I wanted. But that’s what we love to do isn’t it? Next year I’ll probably do it all again, budget permitting.

  8. One word – Gumtree! Sell your unwanted stuff, and put the money straight back into new stuff! You might even find some new treasures on Gumtree or EBay yourself! Trust me, I have found some awesome stuff, really!!!

  9. We recently moved and gave loads of stuff away. We also sold and bought on Gumtree and EBay. We didn’t have a huge budget but it was so much fun to mix old, recycled and new together for a completely different look. I also visited IKEA, k Mart and other budget stores for cushions and accessories. Maybe if you just splurged on one big ticket item like a sofa you could manage to create a whole new look without a big spend. Life is short and it is so important that you feel good about coming home. You will buy eventually but in the meantime keep that creative interior happening

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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