We’ve all been there. You get the urge to redesign a room, and before you know it, you’re knee-deep in paint swatches or lost in a sea of cushions at the furniture store. It’s the classic rush of excitement, fueled by Pinterest boards and home improvement shows, but here’s the thing: that impulsive approach? It often leads to headaches down the line.


Have you ever ended up with a sofa that doesn’t quite fit the space or a paint colour that you live to regret? Been there, done that! But fear not. Before you dive headfirst into the fun stuff, let’s hit pause and rewind. Because, trust me, a little planning goes a long way.


Say goodbye to haphazard decisions and hello to a foolproof roadmap. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be armed with six simple steps to conquer any room in your home like a seasoned pro. So, make yourself comfortable and let’s unleash that inner designer of yours!


Six steps to designing a room

How to design a room
Step 1. Create Your Vision


It all starts with how you want your room to look and feel. This is where you can go Pinterest crazy and see what images you are drawn to. You should start to notice similarities between the images such as colours, textures, patterns and furniture styles that come up over and over again. These are the things to hone in on.


I recommend creating a mood board or vision board where you cut and paste a few key images that you instinctively love. Once you have this board you can constantly refer back to it to make sure that when you are making decisions within your project they align with the overall vision you want to achieve in your room.


Check out my Room By Room Renovation Planner here where you can create a mood board for every room πŸ’œ.


How to design a room
Step 2. Plan Your Layout And Lighting

If you are re-designing or tweaking the layout then do this first. The most important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as the perfect layout, there will always be compromises. But if you have carefully considered the options and you are aware of what the compromises are, then you will be creating the most optimum layout for your space.


Whilst considering your furniture layout, allow space for lighting such as floor space for floor lamps, surface space for table lamps, and wall space for wall lights.


  • Here is a quick checklist to help you with your layout and lighting planning;
    Make sure it meets the practical needs of the space as best it can (such as the number of seats needed, surface area needed, storage etc)
  • Ensure there is a focal point.
  • In large rooms with multiple functions make sure the different areas are visually well-defined.
  • Consider how people will enter and move through the space, so avoid any obstacles or pinch points.
  • Try to plan your lamps and lights so they are evenly spread throughout the space.


Your room won’t do all of these things perfectly, you can only do your best with the space you have.


Check out my Home Renovation Planner where you can create your layout for every room πŸ’œ.


How to design a room
Step 3. Flooring and other finishes

If you are changing your flooring, or introducing any new finishes such as tiles, then it’s best to do this at the early stages of your plan. Structural elements of the room like this really set the tone for the style of the interiors, and it’s also a huge investment so needs to be very carefully considered.


Firstly you need to work out the flooring type/material that will suit the practical demands of the space. So that’s whether you want to go for tile, LVT, engineered wood, solid wood etc. Then when you have landed on that, you can narrow down your options based on the aesthetic that will work in the space.


Refer to your mood board to ensure the flooring you are considering resonates with the images of your overall vision. And always get mupltiple samples so you can compare colours and styles and see them in the space.


Check out my Room Renovation Planner where you can plan the interiors for every room πŸ’œ.


How to design a room
Step 4. Colour Scheme

Once you have your vision, layout, lighting and flooring decisions nailed we can move on to the colour scheme of the room. Colour is totally personal so use your instincts and your mood board to guide your own colour choices.


Colour can feature in many elements of a room design so we’re not just talking about paint colours here. Think about how you can use furniture and accessories such as cushions, lampshades, rugs and artwork to create a beautiful scheme in your space.


While some people seem to have an innate ability to put colours together there is actually a science behind what colours work and don’t work together. So this is good news for those of us who struggle. Check out this blog here that talks you through how to create a colour scheme using the science (it’s not as hard as you think!)


Check out my Home Design Planner where you can plan your colour schemes for every room πŸ’œ.


How to design a room
Step 5. Furniture

There are two key things to get right with your new furniture.


The first is that it is the optimum size for the space. This is where we refer back to your layout. By planning the layout you will now know the optimum dimensions for all your items of furniture. Let’s take a sofa for example, it needs to be large enough so that it suits the space and offers maximum seating area, but it can’t be too large that it hinders the flow of traffic walking past it or around it. So there will be an optimum length and depth of the sofa. And that will be the same for every item of furntiture in the space. it’s these dimensions that will be key when you are sourcing the right sofa for the space.


The second thing to get right with your furniture choices is that they align with your vision for the space, so they have the right shape, texture, pattern etc to evoke the feeling and look you are going for. And that they all work cohesively together. All the items you are purchasing for the space should have elements tying them together such as shape, proportions, finishes, colours, texture etcs. The best way to make sure you are getting this bit right is to cut and paste all the items you are considering onto one document, like a product board, so you can see them all together in one space. When everything is one page it becomes obvious whether or not they hang together, or if there are any items you need to reconsider.


Check out my Room Planner where you can track all the items you are purchasing for every room πŸ’œ.


How to design a room
Step 6. Accessories

Large accessories like your rugs, lamps, light fittings, plants and artwork should also feel cohesive with the rest of the design, so repeat the same process of adding these to your product board to ensure they are working with all the other elements. It’s at this stage that you can be confident in your plan and you can start implementing the design and start buying all the items you have selected for your new room.


By having a plan and doing it this way, you won’t come unstuck if you realise you have made a mistake because the mistake will become apparent in the planning process and on your product board, which is much better than it becoming apparent once it’s in your room! By creating a plan you eliminate a lot of risks that we encounter when we use the make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach.


Next Steps…

If you are feeling inspired to plan your next home project then grab yourself a copy of my Room By Room Renovation Planner. Β It will organise you, guide you and help keep your project on track πŸ’œ.


If you would like help with a project then check out my Design Surgery or my Room Planner Service where I can help with all aspects of your interior design struggles.


And if you would like some face-to-face support then check out my local interior design services here.Β 


Until next time,

Sarah x