Whether you're designing and decorating your first home or reviving a house you've owned for decades, employing a professional or doing it yourself, here are some steps can you take to ensure you'll be happy with the results:
* Before you do anything take a good look around you and really see what you already have, what you really like and what you don't like. Decide to repeat the things you like, and be firm with yourself - don't repeat the things you don't like just because they're familiar to you.
* Start collecting pictures of other rooms you like this as this will help develop your sense of your own taste. Try to give yourself a few weeks or months to compile your photos, as your tastes will almost certainly evolve and develop.
* Look at the characteristics that pop up again and again: the style of furnishings, the colour palettes, the patterns, the materials, the amount of furniture in each room, those characteristics will act as a good guide.
* Then be organised and create an expansive wish list -write down everything you would like to do if money were no object. Then the hard bit, work out what kind of budget you have and which things you can do, and the things you can't, which things have to be done now and which things can wait, without a master list it is harder to prioritise.
* Most of us know what kind of rooms we like to be in and what kinds make us uncomfortable. Although it's good to venture outside your comfort zone every now and then, if you love French country style you are unlikely to enjoy living in a minimalist contemporary space, so trust your instincts.
* Make sure you make the most of any traditional features of a property by using a design that compliments them.