The Dos and Don’ts of Redesign

Be Handy

Whether it be a room or a whole house, it can be a little bit overwhelming going through a redesign, especially if you’re a first timer.

We’ve created a list of dos and don’ts to help guide you through your redesign.


  • Do your research! You can create a like and dislike folder. Although it may seem strange having a dislike folder, it helps to remind you of where you don’t want to end up.
  • Do set a budget- it helps to set your expectations from the beginning. Start with a cost sheet with items required and realistic costs.
  • Do start your planning from the ground upwards. It helps to provide a foundation of what you’re trying to create.
  • Do rearrange your current space before redesigning, it can be just as useful to refresh the space rather than redesign it.
  • Do declutter especially if you’re struggling to determine a look. Removing  few things can allow the good items to breath and the space starts working.
  • Do use odd numbers when grouping items together, its more visually appealing on the eye. If placing items on a table or sideboard, off-center them and think of thirds when dividing the space you’re using.
  • Do pick the paint last. It is the easiest thing to change if it’s wrong. Use colours that you love and paint a portion of the wall with that colour to see how you feel about that colour in the space.
  • Do pick a palette of colours. Stick to 3 colours and change the combination of usage as you move through the space.
  • Do consider your light source. Different light sources add layer and texture without breaking the budget. Wall lights offer warmth and layer and are great in bathrooms.
  • Do create flow. This could be an accent pattern or colour that you naturally fall back on. Take it and weave it through every space. If it’s a pattern then change the colour in each area but keep the pattern throughout in small and effective ways eg cushions, lamp shakes, details in a rug.
  • Do use nature. Add flowers- they’re a great way to brighten up a space. Try buy the same colour in different shapes or textures of colours as it looks more stylish.
  • Do go bigger on the cushions. Look at 55cm x 55cm as standard sofa size and remember odd numbers work best.


  • Don’t be small minded in small spaces. Filling a small space with small things can create a feeling of a space being even smaller than it is. Use one piece of furniture (statement piece) as a focal point for the eye.
  • Don’t treat dark rooms or hallways as something that needs to be exposed e.g. painting the space bright or white. Darker rooms are often better painted a darker colour than other spaces in the house. If it is a dark room, add warmth by using muted, softer tones e.g. blush pinks, soft grey blues etc.
  • Don’t push your furniture up against the wall when arranging. You want it to float in a space. Think about how you interact in the space when you’re looking at it.
  • Don’t neglect the floor rugs or carpet squares. They’re a great way of defining a space especially in a larger room. Putting furniture on rugs can make it feel more grounded.
  • Don’t match everything. If you are creating flow through colour, use it in different ways within different rooms. You want to create a collected look, not a matched look.
  • Don’t buy impulsively. Have a plan when purchasing, it doesn’t mean that you don’t follow your heart but temper those thoughts with “where is this going to go?” before handing over the credit card.
  • Don’t listen to lots of advice from friends and family. Research through magazines and websites for looks you love and don’t. Only seek advice from one of two trusted services.
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