So you want to change the décor in your lounge
Decorating inevitably causes some upheaval so you want to ensure that when it is finished you are pleased with the result and it has been worth it. You first thoughts may be what colour, effect and soft furnishings shall I choose but prior to that it is essential to plan and prepare. Preparation at this stage may save disappointing results.
As with all decoration the final finish is dependant on the preparation. Always aim for the highest finish you are able, even if this means spending more in the preparation. A poor surface will never provide a quality finish. Expenditure at this stage will ensure that the final results meet your expectations and will provide a long lasting benefit. Once the room has been properly prepared you will have a sound basis for future changes in décor. The benefits of using a skilled professional are often overlooked but to ensure an impressive finish are well worth the cost. The results will finished to a high standard, if you select wisely, and will reduce the time, effort and disruption.
Where do you start.
Take a good look around first. What is the condition of the room?
Are you happy with the finish? Smooth ceilings are now preferable as they provide an easier surface for maintenance, however many are artexed. This may have been used to mask cracked or flaking plaster. You may want to consider replacing or skimming prior to decorating. Is there coving,is it in good repair or if not present would I like to add it? If you are happy with the ceiling move onto the next step.
Look at the position of sockets switches and radiators if you are planning to move any of these it is preferable to do this first. Are the walls flat, smooth and unstained. If not then a flat painted surface may not be the best option. Flat painted surfaces will show any blemishes and marks these can be patched in but there is a risk that they may still be visible. If there are several it can be more time and cost effective to skim the walls or consider using wallpaper for decoration, as it is more forgiving. If there is wallpaper there already removing it may reveal poor surfaces.
Doors, frames,skirting and architrave.
These can make or break the final finish. Thorough preparation is often neglected because it is time consuming. To ensure a professional finish this needs to be done to a high standard. If the woodwork is badly dented scratched or has several layers of paint it will be costly or extend the time taken to prepare. It might be worth considering replacing some or all of it . If you are replacing the door anyway to replace the frame at the same time is a worthwhile expense as it ensures a well fitting door with minimum adjustment.
Similarly skirting is frequently of a poor finish, if a laminate floor is present the skirting is more noticeable and the join between walls and skirting makes the difference between excellent and average. Replacing these requires a skilled builder to ensure the best finish as houses , especially older ones, are rarely symmetrical and the joins in the internal and external corners are crucial to the final finish.
Once you have assessed and prepared the room you can now decide on what was probably your first thought – What colours , furniture and soft furnishings will I use ?