Interior design can be a risky business. If you’re tempted to pick up a paintbrush and give your walls some care and attention, then it’s worth not only thinking about your choice of colour – you’ll also want to do your best to avoid suffering an injury!
As we’ll see, decorating has the potential to inflict serious harm, especially when you’re not taking the risks seriously.
Trips and falls
Let’s start with the most obvious hazard. Any time you’re up on a ladder, you’re at risk of falling off it. This is particularly true if you’re decorating a very high ceiling, like the one above your stairs. But you might also fall from a standing position. While you’re decorating, it’s a good idea to keep a tidy space. Don’t leave brushes, rollers, tins and trays where you can slip over them.
As part of your decorating efforts, you might be looking to move some of the furniture around – even if only to move it back again when you’re done. Make sure that you lift furniture in a safe way. This typically means getting help from a willing volunteer. Lifting heavy loads is a skill that you can easily pick up. Just make sure that you remember the essentials: keep the load close to your centre of gravity, avoid twisting your back, and keep your head upright.
Watch for fumes
If you don’t have adequate ventilation in your space, then you’re vulnerable to suffering headaches as a result of the paint fumes. The Volatile Organic Compounds found in many common paints can be bad for your lungs. This is especially the case if you’re in an enclosed space, and you’re working up a sweat at the same time – since this will naturally mean that you’re breathing more heavily. If you’re using a spray canister to paint, then you might wear a mask while you work.
Damage to property
This one won’t harm your health – but it might harm your bank balance. This applies especially to renters since the property being damaged might not belong to you. If you gouge a hole in the carpet while moving things, or knock a dent in the plaster, then you’ll be liable. You can offset these sorts of risks by exercising caution, and by investing in the right renter’s insurance.
What about afterwards?
While it’s important to carry out your interior redesign in a safe way, it’s also worth making sure that the resulting home is safe. This is a particular concern if you’ve got small children and pets to think about. Keep clutter to a minimum, pay attention to sharp corners and glass tabletops, and stow cables where they can’t be seen or reached.