Designing a room from a completely blank slate can be quite a daunting task! It can be difficult to know where to start and once you get going you need to be aware of the order you’re doing things to get the best results possible. There are also some basic design rules that are always good to keep in mind to give you that well-designed look that you’re hoping for. Whether it’s one room or your entire home, we’ve compiled some tips to help get you started:

Define Your Personal Style

When designing a room don’t just jump in, take your time to think about your personal style and the overall look you want to go for. Maybe you love mid-century modern or maybe it’s a more traditional look that excites you. Either way, making this determination from the get-go will guide every choice you make going forward and help you to put together a more cohesive look.

Photo: Amber Interiors

Mix It Up

Another way to think of this is to avoid being too matchy-matchy. If you decide you want to go with a modern look and purchase everything from the same store your space is going to be boring and you won’t be in love with the results. Have fun with the process and shop for items from various sources. The large commercial stores like West Elm are great to mix with custom items and even flea market finds.

Photo: C Magazine

Plan Your Space

Measure, measure, measure! Before shopping for your pieces it’s best that you measure and plan out your space on paper. This will ensure that everything you place will fit nicely in the room and not be too crowded or too empty. Another trick is to use painters tape to actually tape out dimensions in a room where you’re thinking of placing a sofa or bed. Do this before you buy so you don’t get stuck with anything that’s not a perfect fit!

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Photo: Chameleon Design

Start with the Rug

If you select a rug you love for each room and build from there, you can’t go wrong. The rug will ground the space and with an endless array of fabrics, colors and patterns it will organically dictate how the rest of the room comes together. If you’re working with a carpeted room or don’t want to include a rug for whatever reason, start with the largest furniture piece and build from there. So for the bedroom it would be the bed and for the den it would be the sofa or entertainment center.

Photo: My Domain