Caroline Foran's tips for first-time interior design, when you haven't got a clue where to start 4 days ago

Caroline Foran's tips for first-time interior design, when you haven't got a clue where to start

“I was so eager to have it all figured out before I even moved in..."

Lockdown: a time for getting things done.

Or at least, a time for telling ourselves that we're going to at least consider getting things done.

Baking bread, reading books, and doing up houses - it's all been happening the past few months now that we've got the time (and the excuse) to focus on the things that otherwise would have fallen by the wayside.

So, in order to make sure that we're all giving our gaffs as much (expert) love as possible during these uncertain and trying times, we caught up with Caroline Foran to chat a bit about first-time DIY, and how to approach interior design when you haven't got a notion where to start.

Caroline and Jo Linehan recently set up GAFF Shop, a new expertly curated platform for buying and selling secondhand homeware and interiors - with sustainability at heart.

The site is chock full of unique and stunning pieces, often for a fraction of the retail price. GAFF gives the interior-driven among us a chance to update their spaces with new and stylish pieces, without any of the guilt.

Caroline and Jo 

But what about those of us who have never dipped a cautious toe into the pool of interior design? What about the people who are dying to give their gaff a much needed makeover but have no idea where to start?

Where do we begin? And more importantly, how do we give ourselves the confidence to begin?

Caroline says that for the most part, good first-time interior design requires two things: patience and mistakes.

Educate yourself

“When I moved into my place I was doing a lot of learning," says Caroline.

"You need to let yourself be in the space for a while before you before you start doing anything. That’s probably why so many people have used lockdown to start working on their homes because they know what the space needs."

Take your time

“I was so eager to have it all figured out before I even moved in but you need to be patient," she says.

"Really look at the room, decide what time of day you’re most likely to be using the space, start with just one piece, and go from there."

Mess up - and make some changes 

“Trust yourself to make mistakes," Caroline says. "My friends always say to me: ‘How did you make all of those decisions?’ but they’re from making mistakes and making changes off the back of that.

"Originally we painted our garden and it looked like the Ireland flag. We’ve since repainted it grey and it looks perfect.

"It’s all about trying something and being willing to put a foot wrong. Give it a go, what’s the worst that could happen? If you buy something you hate, you can sell it on again... on GAFF Shop."

You can read our recent interview with Caroline about being pregnant during a pandemic and dealing with anxiety here.