If you are designing a DIY renovation or decorating your own home, you will likely come head to head with various questions, concerns, and even emotions. Feeling stuck. Overwhelm. Indecision.

You’ll probably have friends and family who love to give you their opinions, which are likely to be conflicting and unreliable. You may even have another half who is not at all interested in the project… or at least, he’s not interested until you are well down the design road, and then he’ll have an opinion. (Probably not the opinion you want.)

If you’re wondering if I’m a mindreader, in some ways, yes. But it all comes from experience. This is what our clients tell us! And honestly, I’ve experienced that last one myself. You take the bad with the good… 😉

This is usually where most people would tell you to hire a professional, but…

What if you want to DIY your renovation or decorating project?

If you want to DIY your decorating project or renovation, you have my full support. I will not tell you that every single homeowner needs to hire a designer or decorator to complete their project. It’s a big investment, and yes, we can speed things up and help you avoid expensive mistakes, but sometimes, all you need is advice, not someone to do it all for you.

This is precisely why I’ve developed our “Ask an Expert” service. I know for a fact that many design dilemmas that can be solved in an hour or less, and I would rather give you access to myself or my colleague Lorraine, than have you feel lost and confused when trying to create your forever home.

Our mission is to help house-proud women create their forever homes for years of timeless, sophisticated, and beautiful living. I don’t believe that your budget or your desire to be hands-on should stop you from doing that.

To prove to you just how much can be achieved in a 1-hour Zoom Session with an Expert, here are 7 of the DIY design dilemmas we could focus on during your time with us.

(You can also learn more about our Ask an Expert service for Decorating here or for Designing a Renovation here.)

1. “I know what I like, but it’s not pulling together.”


Whether you’re pulling together materials for a DIY renovation or trying to decorate a living room, it takes a practised eye to pull together a cohesive design. In an hour, we can look at your space, your samples, review your ideas with you, and lead you toward a design tweak that feels right for you and looks like an expert created it.

You can get what you need and carry on! For ongoing help, we do offer a 6-Session package as you go from step to step toward your forever home.


2. “This or that? Which item or material is right for my space?”

Deciding between multiple items is often a sticking point for DIY decorators and designers. You might be choosing between colours for materials, fabrics, or furnishings. You may be stuck between different types of materials for tile, flooring, furniture, or joinery. Or, you may be deciding between sizes, such as the dimensions of a sofa for your living room.

These are all questions that can be expensive to get wrong. We have seen it all before and can answer them quickly and precisely for your specific project and lifestyle (not the one on Google), helping you move your project forward with confidence.


3. “How much should I budget for my design project?”


Budgeting is an activity that is easy to get wrong… or skip entirely… but spending wisely can be the difference between achieving your forever home sooner rather than later. For example, I have seen people spend a fortune upholstering one piece of furniture in a designer fabric — and then they didn’t have the funds to do anything else in the room! That’s painful.

Together, we will discuss the scope of your project and the quality level you would like to achieve in your purchases. Then, we’ll help you set an overall investment for the project, as well as a more defined budget for what you can expect to spend from piece to piece. I.e. “A quality sofa costs around $X, but you shouldn’t spend more than $X.”

If this sounds like a small discussion, it isn’t. Purchasing just ONE overpriced sofa is a mistake that could cost thousands of dollars! Our rate for 1-on-1 time with an expert is far less than you will save on making the right purchases. Better yet, it’s an investment in smart budgeting.

What do Classic decor and furnishings really cost? Get our free expert guide!

Realistically plan for your next decorating project with our free guide to home furnishings budgeting worksheet!

4. “I can’t find the classic items I’m looking for. Why is everything so modern here?!”

This does my head in, too! It seems that everything available around the ACT is modern, contemporary, Scandinavian, or so trendy (the latest is tropical floral fabrics… don’t get me started) that it will be out of style as soon as it’s installed. If you’re reading this, it means you love classic, timeless style as much as we do.

Fortunately, we’ve spent the last decade getting to know every possible vendor who supplies classic-style options, and we can spend our session time hunting down that item that eludes you. In fact, I consider it my duty to point you in the right direction. Let’s make Canberra classic again!!


5. “What is the right paint colour for my walls?”


I very much love this question because your walls are the “frame” of a room. The right shade can make the space appear larger, cosier, more timeless and refreshing — whatever you are looking to achieve.

For example, in a recent phone conversation with a client, she told me she wanted to achieve a warm look in her home. She proposed to use Dulux Lexicon White paint colour on the wall. I knew immediately from experience that this colour is a “cold” white with blue tones and not the right colour for her goals.

I gave her a better suggestion, and the mistake (and associated time and expense of fixing it) was avoided. And all of this was done over Zoom! Without setting foot in the room! That’s the benefit of hiring an expert who really knows what they’re doing.


6. “I’m stuck. I don’t know what to do next in my project.”

Both design and decorating projects have many layers, steps, and decisions to make. It is natural, expected even, to get stuck along the way. I’d be more surprised if you didn’t get stuck! Again, this is something we can work through with you during a 1-hour Session.

We’ll talk about your goals, untangle the process, and help you break things down into manageable steps so you can work toward decorating your forever home with confidence.


7. “I’m committed to creating my forever home, but can’t seem to take action consistently.”

Last on this list (though there are certainly other dilemmas we can help with!) is taking not just one action, but the many actions that will get you step by step to your forever home. For some of our clients, they need accountability, a sounding board, and someone that they know is in the wings, supporting them when they need it.

This could apply to a renovation that you’re designing and then carrying it out. Or, it could apply to a furnishing project that starts with assessing your existing space, then requires a space plan, and then requires design selections, ordering, and installation.

For this type of support throughout a project, you can book 6-Sessions with us. During our first session, we can advise you on how best to use them based on your specific project, like checkpoints for checking in on your progress and tackling the next biggest hurdle during the project.


I bet you didn’t realise there were so many ways we could help! That’s what experience will do for you. After a decade of Journey Home, we have solved every manner of dilemma, and we are fortunate to be accustomed to looking at spaces online, too. This means that we can solve many problems without ever setting foot in your place.

The best part is that our advice is specific to you. Not your jealous neighbor. Not your millennial kids who don’t get your classic style. You. Your home project. Your style. Your life.

If you’re ready to “Ask an Expert” your burning DIY questions, let’s get your journey started.

Until then,

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