My feed

to access all these features


Period property decorating

21 replies

Bobbybear10 · 10/10/2018 16:44

AIBU to consider a Farrow and Ball paint colour consultation at £195 per hour because I am so crap at decorating?

It’s an awful lot of money that we could possibly afford if we scrimped for a couple of months but I’m just so lost with how to decorate our house I’m actually considering it.

We have a period property that has been painted in bog standard magnolia with white woodwork pretty much thorough out. It is looking tired, plain and so boring.

I love the house it is a mixture of really old, quite old and old, think low beams and small windows. All of the rooms are small to average size, think cottage style and size.

We have to decorate but I just don’t think I can bring myself to paint it all cream.

If someone with better taste lived here it could look lovely but it just looks plain and boring with our nonexistent ‘decor’

Does anyone have any ideas? I’ve tried Pinterest but looking at the rooms on there it makes me feel like I’d have to gut the whole thing and spend thousands on each room when we just want to decorate the room and maybe add a few bits.

Is getting an outside consultant worth it? Is there another way I can find sensible ideas for a complete home decor idiot? Would you or have you spent money on a consultant type for your house?

OP posts:
Flameless · 10/10/2018 16:46

I live in an Edwardian property, nothing fancy, just an end terrace. I was really unsure when we first moved in and stuck to boring colours. I often have a nose online at properties the same as mine for sale in the local area and take my inspiration from there!

JosellaPlayton · 10/10/2018 16:49

DH was threatening to book that service for our new flat (1890s). Here it costs $250 but you do get $80 of that back if you buy the paint. I’ve told him no! But then I quite like choosing my own decor, if I didn’t then I’d totally do it.

batshite1 · 10/10/2018 16:52

As another poster said look on Rightmove/Zoopla. There are a lot of period properties in my neck of the woods so I just zone in on the posh roads!

MrsStrowman · 10/10/2018 16:54

Right move can be a great source of inspiration , also looking at colours typical for the period. We have an Edwardian house and I've loved decorating it, rescuing original features, reclaiming the original doors (civered in nasty seventies wood laminate) and finding period appropriate fittings. If you keep with the style of the property you won't go far wrong. That seems like a lot of money for subsided who is essentially a paint salesperson

MrsStrowman · 10/10/2018 16:55


batshite1 · 10/10/2018 16:58

Although to be honest there a lot of grey out there still

pencilpot99 · 10/10/2018 16:59

Have you thought about doing something like the Home Design Service from John Lewis? They do a free in-store 90 minute consultation (you just have to book it) or you can get them to go to your home but it's £250 :

It you're going to fork out for something like this, it'd be worth at least shopping around a bit to see what other services are available for the same / similar price. Unless you're absolutely desperate to do Farrow & Ball, although presumably they will massively promote their paint colours. At least with John Lewis you might get a bit more variety?

DontCallMeCharlotte · 10/10/2018 16:59

Buy a few magazines before you go down that route - there's even one called Period Homes & Interiors another called Period Living (which just makes me think of Nurofen and a hot water bottle, but anyway...). There are also magazines like Country Living & Interiors which might give you some ideas for the cottage bit.

I loved doing up our Victorian house so I'm quite jealous!

Streetart · 10/10/2018 17:02

John Lewis offer a free interior design service. I used it for my bedroom because I had no idea what colour to go for. I told them I just wanted paint/paper and took various photos of the room along. They gave me some great ideas I wouldn’t have considered and arranged for wallpaper samples to be sent to me. There was no hard sell and I love the outcome. If you want other stuff eg curtains, vases, other accessories then they will discuss that at the same appointment and give you details of the items if you want to order. I’d definitely use the service again.

WhereIsBlueRabbit · 10/10/2018 17:04

Get thee to Pinterest! Type in "Edwardian house decor" or whatever and away you go!

MsMightyTitanAndHerTroubadours · 10/10/2018 17:05

this all makes me laugh, having the right Period colours, for the house it's 2018, live dangerously like it's 2010 and have a feature wall if you like

...I like a nice bit of PBW ceilings and walls, my only rules are don't paint your woodwork novelty tones and never install a bathroom suite that isn't white :o

buy some testers, nose in other folks houses and spend the £££££ on a nice dinner out.

wildbhoysmama · 10/10/2018 17:11

Like others have said, look at Period Living and country living magazines. Laura Ashley do a design service my friend used and the cost was offset by whatever you order: Think she just paid £90 over the cost of paint / wallpaper.

F&B do lovely colours and the finish is beautiful, but you can get them colour matched at B&Q ( advantage of scrubbable version available). Try and get some samples, paint a4 or bigger size paper with them and blutack them up so you can see how the colours look at different times in different rooms. It's amazing how diff colours can be in diff lights. Just have faith in yourself and choose colours you love!

If I was near you I'd help, I love planning a room!

Kr1stina · 10/10/2018 17:21

No need to sneer MsMighty, OP posted for help not to be patronised.


I’m also very indecisive so I make a board on Pinterest for each topic ( eg living room walls ) and just pin dozens and dozens of images that appeal to me . I don’t think too much about each one. If you find one you like, pin it then scroll done to find “ more like this “ .

Then when I have a good number I carefully analyse the, to see what the themes / patterns are. You will soon see that you like eg dark moody walls and minimalist style with one huge piece of artwork .

Then you can work out what are the essentials for the look you want and see what’s practical .

So if you want the “ minimalist look with dark walls and one bold pice of artwork” but you can’t afford to replace yourM&S chintz three piece suit then that’s not going to work for you.

But if all you need is paint and one bold piece of artwork then you can do that yourself .

But you are right. Sometimes you do need to do more that just paint the walls to change the whole look.

peachgreen · 10/10/2018 17:23

I'll come and do it for you for free Grin I love choosing paint colours! Also don't use F&B unless you're getting an experienced decorator in - they're gorgeous colours but a nightmare to paint with. Johnston's can colour match.

ForgivenessIsDivine · 10/10/2018 17:29

Will you do the painting yourself? Some decorators might offer some advice though some don't and actively avoid it!!

If that amount of money would mean I was scrimping to afford it, I think I would not spend it.

We live in a house that was built in 1850 and was all white and I love colour!! We have lived in rented properties for years and figured it was OK to make mistakes on own house. We have ended up with colours that we love, nothing 'fashionable' and not necessarily all period style either. We did end up mixing colours off the F&B charts and choosing similar colours throughout the house making sure we kept one we really love for our bedroom as we have made the mistake before of decorating the rest of the house first and leaving us with no colour options for our own bedroom.

A varirty of greens work well with period houses and white woodwork gives clean lines.

MsMightyTitanAndHerTroubadours · 10/10/2018 17:31

dearie me Kristina, someone sell you that stinky valspar paint for your bedroom??

you are obviously missing my point which is have colours you like, not something to go with the house just because it is
c) desirable

and then spend your entire life worrying that the elephant breath would never be matched with the moss mouse in 1908 (because that particular pigment was OBVIOUSLY post war) and what will the neighbours think?

Kr1stina · 10/10/2018 19:03

The OP is clearly not confident in her own choices - she says she’s crap at decorating, she feels lost, she’d like someone with better taste to advise her .

So saying “ have colours you like “ and laughing at her isn’t really going to help, is it ?

She’s NOT SURE what she likes , how it will look in her house which is a mixture of ages, what will work together.

It’s TOTALLY NORMAL to worry about getting it wrong, she’s not some kind of freak. Plenty people feel like this, otherwise there would be no work for interiors designers and advisors . We would all just pop to the shops, choose what we like and hey presto it would all be perfect.

Why don't you just stop sneering at people - both your posts on this thread contain nasty personal jibes. Who would have thought that the subject of choosing paint colours would bring out such smugness!

JugglingMummyof2 · 10/10/2018 19:07

Oh God - I read that as period poverty decorating - I'll get my coat.....

InvisibleLlama · 10/10/2018 19:21

If you by chance happened to be in the Midlands, I could put you in touch with someone brilliant who would look at your home as a whole - not just the paint colours.

theWarOnPeace · 10/10/2018 19:28

I always just go into F&B and talk to them, one or two rooms at a time. They have suggested coming round, but I seem to have gotten away with doing it this way. They are really good at pairing colours and tapping into what you like. Take pictures and go into one of their shops. Also look at Pinterest and start compiling images per room and ones that aren’t sure, put in a general house category. When you look back over the pics you’ve saved you’ll start seeing a style pattern that you didn’t know you had.

NurseryFightClub · 10/10/2018 19:31

That's a lot for someone to decide a color. Personally I think magnolia is wrong for the type of daylight that the UK gets especially in the north. Heritage colour which have a grey background are much more suited. We have a period property and gone for the same color though out to highlight the building, not the decor

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.