An interior designer says embrace mistakes while painting your home

  • Richard O’Gorman has spent the past year transforming his drab home into a colorful, happy room.
  • He started sharing his designs on Instagram as “House Homo” in 2020 and now has 36,000 followers.
  • O’Gorman said that after a DIY failure, he made a golden rule: don’t be afraid to screw it up.
  • You can find more stories on the Insider homepage.

If there’s one thing interior designer Richard O’Gorman has learned over the past year, it’s not to panic if an idea goes astray.

O’Gorman has spent the past 12 months bringing bold and vibrant murals to life in every corner of his drab two story home in Birmingham, England. He has published his designs and spatial transformations on Instagram and has amassed more than 36,000 followers to date.

Homeowners who choose a bold color that doesn’t turn out quite how they imagined shouldn’t lose hope, O’Gorman told Insider.

He learned this lesson himself when he first painted his bedroom. O’Gorman originally opted for a rich dark green paired with burgundy accents around his door and fireplace. Over time, the combination made the room look more like “the set of the next Hallmark Christmas movie,” he told Insider.

“I really pushed forward and tried to get it to work, but it looked ridiculous – I craved patties and eggnog all the time – so I knew I had to change it,” said O’Gorman.

He finally decided to change direction.

O’Gorman used more color to create a textured look and effortlessly covered up the DIY mistake

To cover up the red, O’Gorman first applied a dark base coat and then gradually added lighter shades of brown to create a rust effect.

Bedroom red against rust diptych v2

O’Gorman originally painted burgundy accents around his bedroom door. He covered the red with shades of brown to create a rust effect.

Courtesy Richard O’Gorman

“The beauty of color is that it is inexpensive, can be over-dyed and no one will ever know,” he told Insider.

Diptych with rust effect

Left: O’Gorman covered his red fireplace accent with a dark base coat. Right: The accent is overlaid with lighter shades of brown and white.

Courtesy Richard O’Gorman

“Sometimes the confusion leads you to the right decision,” said O’Gorman.

Bedroom details Richard O'Gorman

The final chimney accent has a rust effect.

Courtesy Richard O’Gorman

To see more of O’Gorman’s spatial transformations, follow him on Instagram @househomo.

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