Wanda James, of Go Arty in Maroochydore, has some practical tips on interior design.
Wanda James, of Go Arty in Maroochydore, has some practical tips on interior design. Iain Curry

Ready, set, redecorate

HOME decorating magazines make it seem so simple.

A few throw pillows, a strategically placed green plant and a framed picture - and voila, your room is made over.

However, when you try it on your own, the reality can be sobering.

Which colours go together?

How many prints can be combined at once?

How do you combine keepsake family heirlooms into a modern living space?

According to decorating expert Wanda James, the owner of Go Arty in Maroochydore, the secret is to combine your tastes and desires with a little bit of expert help.

"There are so many choices that go into beautifying a space that it can seem overwhelming. But be wary of decorating paralysis," she said.

"Don't become frozen by indecision. Take your best ideas, add in a dose of expert help, and then start to bring your personality to a room."

Wanda, whose shop specialises in creative home decor, offers personalised advice in store and in customers' homes for those who have many ideas, but no idea how to begin.

She takes great pleasure in starting with a customer's tastes - from torn-out magazine pages to colour swatches - then brainstorming a concept to bring the disparate ideas together.

"I constantly hear customers say, 'I am not very arty' - but the truth is, you may surprise yourself, once you've had a bit of expert help," Wanda said.

"We pride ourselves on being collaborators. We take customers' ideas, and then combine them with our experience to create artistic spaces. Our goal is a finished project that is a beautiful translation of the original vision of our customers."

And she urged people not to let their fear of failing stop them from trying.

"There's no need to end up with all white walls because you're afraid to take a chance on decorating. Bring out your personality and let it shine in your rooms."

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Wanda's top tips to make over a space

Start with your ideas. Clip those pages, save bits of fabric, write down what you love, take photos of furnishing or decor you admire.

"Don't forget your dislikes - they'll be just as important in defining your space," says Wanda.

Bring in opinions. Try a friend with great taste, or a local home decorator, or a furnishings retail store. Wanda suggests, "Explain your vision, and ask for input from these fresh eyes in bringing it to life."


Before you invest in that new lounge suite or dining table that seats 12, try playing with accessories that can change a room - for less outlay. Hang a vibrant painting in a hallway; perch a gorgeous vase on the edge of your kitchen bench.

Ask, and you shall receive. Many reputable retail decor shops will allow you to take pieces home and try them. This will help you get accustomed to their look, so that you can decide if they are a fit.

Break the rules. There are no hard and fast rules of decorating - it really comes down to what you love to see. "If it looks great and feels right to you - throw those rules out of the window!"