top of page
  • Writer's pictureCourtney Haanen

DIY Interior Decorating. What are some common issues that can arise?

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

Your home is an investment and a reflection of you. When you invest every month in a mortgage you should have in return a space you feel comfortable, is functional, you feel proud of and enjoying being in.

When it comes to updating and re-designing a home people often feel that they should just "do it themselves". They feel it's the only way to save money. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There can be a lot of wasted time, frustration, stress and added expenses. As individuals, we know can't specialize in everything. Just as you wouldn't want to diagnose your own health issue, or represent yourself in court, its best to seek out guidance when starting an important/costly project.

Getting the help from a professional can save you from some of these common pitfalls:

Frustrated with the present look/feel of your space & craving something organized and new.

  • No clear vision. Not everyone has an eye for design and that's ok! There are so many design styles that I couldn't even start to list them. Each style has its own "rules" to keep the look appealing and cohesive. Just figuring out your own design style can be daunting. An interior decorator can quickly navigate you through to that answer with just a few questions. From there we can give you a few examples to confirm your likes and dislikes. There are even mixes of design styles that work well together. So, its important to be sure you aren't feeling stuck, or like you can't find something that exactly matches your taste. I promise you there is!

  • Not sure where to start. You might be feeling frustrated with a space in your home, or maybe the entire flow. You can imagine what it would feel like to have a fresh new design and how that organized, styled look would be. But where do you start? What is your design style? What would your room need to look like to give you that feeling you crave? What will the project cost? How long will it take to complete? This is where an interior decorator can help. You have questions, we have answers.

  • Sharing the space with family. I am finding that as my kids get older, I can start making changes in our home that I know we are finally ready for. New families often sacrifice style/design for pure function while raising their young children. It's generally for safety, space, or budget. I get it. Why invest in a coffee table when you need that space for the play mat and toys. Not to mention the constant fear of them bumping their heads on the corners. You don't choose glass top because you know it will constantly be covered in those cute little fingerprints. But as your kids grow, so can your own style/design. Its possible to keep your space functional for your family, but also be styled.

  • The size of your space. Some clients find they've moved into a new home and either their previous furniture isn't filling the space the way they would like or it's making certain areas more crowded. Whether you want to get all new furniture or use your existing pieces, an interior decorator can help with floor planning along with putting together a feel for the whole spaces design, style, and color. You would be surprised what you can do!

  • Your DIY attempt fell short. Sometimes a client is frustrated with the look and feel of a space as they have attempted to re-design themselves and have been left with what I call a "Frankenstein". This brings me to my next point.

Discouraged with the result after trying to do it all on your own.

  • Your result doesn't feel cohesive. This is what I refer to as a "Frankenstein" look. Where pieces or aspects of the project are picked individually based on a quick comparison of products next to one another and not accounting for the vision of YOUR actual space. Picture a website or store with 30 light fixtures. The natural response is to pick the one that you like the most (out of those 30). This isn't always the best fit for your style or the design concept of the room. A professional can give you several options to choose from ensuring each one will work wonderfully, but still want to make sure you love the final pick.

  • Struggling to always keep the whole vision in mind. A decorator will always have a "birds eye view" of your project to be sure you factor in the design/style to work with all aspects. You don't want to have everything in perfect order, but in the end the flooring, or paint choices, or window coverings throw off the whole look. Everything needs to work together.

  • Giving up before its complete. Sometimes things get too overwhelming, and it seems easier to just give up. This is where you will lose all the time and money you thought you would save going it alone. This can leave you resenting that space even more rather than enjoying it like you had set out to do.

Dizzied from all the research and decision making.

  • Too many options. While the internet is one of the handiest tools, it can also be overwhelming. Once you go down the rabbit hole of design styles, you might find yourself not knowing for sure what the best choices are for each aspect.

  • So many categories of the project need research. Everything needs to be chosen carefully. Researching different counter tops is very different than deciding on which flooring to use. Many factors, pros, cons should be observed when choosing these sorts of things as they will be in the room for a long time. Paint can be changed, but there are some things you will want to make long term decisions on.

  • Forgetting important details - One of the first thing I realized when beginning my interior decorating and design studies is how many things I previously hadn't even considered or thought of. There are many important aspects to a full or re-design that often get overlooked. You'll know right away when you finish a project, and something still feels out of place or missing.

Sometimes it hits in the middle of the project.

  • "Oh no, this sofa doesn't fit in my condo service what?!"

(In your mind you hear Ross' voice, "PIVOT"!)

  • "This fabric isn't the best choice with pets!"

  • "I was hoping for flooring that's got less shine"

  • And so on...

Your only job should be to share your vision/needs and let your decorator translate that into the big picture. You should be able to sit back and let someone who has all the knowledge and expertise on the subject take care of the creating process for you. It should be enjoyable and result in something that makes you smile!

Depending on how involved you want to be you might just learn a lot of tips and tricks along the way too! I pride myself in making sure to educate my clients along the way.

Still feeling hesitant about hiring an interior decorator?


You are worried about your budget.

Virtual interior design services will save you a lot while still providing you with the high quality packages that an in person would. You just save all the extra costs of travel by doing everything remotely. You save even more by still doing some of the tasks yourself (like measuring the space, taking photos, setting up the final look).

You are worried about your time.

Virtual interior design services save you time by providing you with a full turnkey package that includes everything you need to execute your final look. It includes a clickable shopping list, floor plan, and even a list of set up instructions right down to where to place your accessories. The whole collaborate is done in 5 simple steps.

You are worried about your safety here during the pandemic.

Virtual interior designs services are 100% remote. We will only use technology to communicate. There will never be any inperson interactions.

You are worried about having the whole process taken over by whomever you hire.

Virtual interior design services work to collaborate closely with the client. At the end of the day, we want you to be happy with your service and absolutely LOVE the space.

"How are virtual interior design services better than traditional in person services?"- Question by Jennifer P (Edmonton, Ab)


bottom of page