How To Design A Room In 7 Steps

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1. Get Inspired

Maybe you have an idea of what you want your space to look like. Maybe you have no clue at all. Either way is fine. Part of the fun with room design is getting inspired by other interior design trends and aesthetics to figure out what will work for your home.

Vy Truong and Han Dang, the Co-Founders and Principals of Very Handsome Studio in Houston, get inspiration from their travels, but it’s different for everyone. They work closely with their residential and hospitality clients to “develop a well-crafted story, personified by their experience or the core values of their business.”

Need help finding your story? Look for inspiration around you. “You can find design inspiration pretty much anywhere you go,” says Cincinnati-based designer Amy Youngblood, Principal of Amy Youngblood Interiors. “Our favorite way to find design inspiration is by going to restaurants or hotels and seeing what you like and don’t like. See what colors speak to you, what kind of lighting stands out and what makes you feel energized and comfortable.”

Youngblood also notes that scrolling through Pinterest can also be a good source of ideas for home design. Open an account if you already don’t have one and set up different boards to “pin” decorating ideas that will inspire your own work.

2. Decide on the Purpose of Your Space

Yes, there are some rooms like the kitchen, bathroom and home office that are already designed with a distinct purpose in mind. But even then, how do you want the room to function and flow? Do you want your kitchen to be the place where family and friends gather as you prepare meals? Do you want your bathroom to resemble a tranquil oasis as you’d find at a high-end spa? Design your space accordingly.

For example, do you need your home office to be purely a place for productivity, or do you also want to design a space to wow your colleagues when they see what’s behind you in virtual meetings? Once you know the answers to these questions, you will have a better idea of how to design the space.

3. Choose an Anchor Element

Like the name suggests, an anchor element is something that anchors or ties the room together. It could be a piece of furniture, like a desk in a home office, or it could be a sectional sofa in a living room. It could even be a striking piece of wall art that serves as a jumping-off point for the rest of the room’s color palette.

“An anchor piece can definitely help by giving you a starting point when designing a room,” Youngblood says. “Pick a piece that you absolutely love and work around that.” An anchor piece could be anything from a chair to a rug to a piece of art. “From there you can choose the style, colors and other pieces to work around it,” she explains.

4. Select a Color Palette

If your anchor element is a particular color, you could use it to choose a complementing or contrasting color palette for the rest of the room. You could simply decorate your room in shades of your favorite color for a monochromatic approach. Or, you could see to it that every color of the rainbow is represented somewhere in the space.

Keep in mind that you can go neutral with color choices for your walls and brighten up the room with colorful artwork and pieces of home decor, too. Not sure what colors go well together? Use a color wheel like the pros do.

5. Select and Arrange Furniture

Furniture not only provides a comfortable place to sit and relax, but the way you arrange it helps determine the flow and layout of the space, especially if you’ve got an open-concept floor plan. Assess what is important to you such as comfortable seating, storage and durability and shop with your must-haves in mind.

Don’t lower your standards just for aesthetic reasons, though. These days, there are many comfortable pieces that you can customize with different fabrics to get the look you’re going for.6. Design a Lighting Scheme

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