The design process for your home

Sep 14, 2015 | Anoushka's Blog, Interior design and decoration

When embarking on a full redecoration project there are some things that need to be considered along the way to ensure you make the most out of your space and your budget. Whether you are working with an interior decorator or going it alone, the below checklist makes for a successful guide when redesigning a space.


You have to start somewhere, and without inspiration you will find that your project will go off track easily. Take your inspiration from magazines and books, online home décor blogs and imagery. And perhaps collect items that catch your eye because you like the colour or texture. Start a file or pin board of all of the things that appeal to you. For ease online you can use a fantastic website called Pinterest ( to collect all of your favourite images.

Once you have enough material and ideas lay them out and look for trends that you have pulled out again and again. This will start to shape your design concept and also inform you of your personal style. I try and choose one or two items as my jumping off point, this could be a fabric or a wallpaper or even a piece of artwork or item of furniture. Once you have chosen this item start to build your design choices around this.

Example of an inspirational master bedroom design. Image credit: Natty & Polly

Example of an inspirational master bedroom design. Image credit: Natty & Polly

Functionality and floor planning

Next think about how you are going to use the space. Really think about the way you live in this room, what you need and what can go. Also take a good look at what you currently have in the room and identify what fits with your mood board..There may be some items that you can repurpose, such as painting a dresser white, or a sofa that you would like to reupholster. Make a list of all of the items that are staying, being repurposed, and then those that are going. You can always sell good condition items online or donate to charity.

It’s always a good idea to draw up a floor plan. Take measurements of the dimensions of the room and note those down on a rough plan. Note the window and door placements and any electrical points and radiators. This will help you when buying new furniture. Play around with furniture placement within the plan, this will give you a good chance to consider flow and functionality in the space before committing to buying any larger pieces of furniture.

Example floor plan to work out your furniture placement and sizing

Example floor plan to work out your furniture placement and sizing

Budget & Schedule

Make a list of the work that needs to be done, and the items that need to be sourced. Obtain quotes for the work and a rough idea on the items that you are purchasing. You may need to compromise here and there depending on your quotes and research, however it’s better to do this up front so that you can allocate your budget wisely. If your budget running over before you’ve even begun, then perhaps think about phasing the work over 6 months, or work out what areas you would feel comfortable doing yourself such as the painting. And always build in a contingency amount (generally 5%-10%). Keep a record of all of the quotes and everything that you spend so that you can manage your budget closely.

Once you have decided on the work create a schedule for yourself and your contractors. For less experienced renovators, you may need to talk to them and take advice on what order things need to happen in. This schedule should be a little flexible, however try and project manage your contractors as closely as possible as this will help your budget stay on track.

Shopping & Sourcing

Armed with your mood board, furniture list and floor plan it’s time to shop. Go online first as this is the best way to compare prices and identify which stores stock items that will fit with your design concept. The magazines that you used for your inspiration will always have featured suppliers, pull out specific furniture pieces or accessories. Ask for samples where appropriate and bring them back to see what they look like in your room. Take photos of furniture items and note down the store as you may end up with a vast amount of images.

Remember some important points when you are bringing a design together:

  • Try not to use all neutral colours in your design, add some variety through colour in your cushions, throws, rugs and perhaps even your lighting
  • Ensure that you are using a variety of textures, such as a sisal rug to bring in natural materials with a steel framed coffee table placed on top, this kind of textural layering adds depth and interest to any design
  • When using various materials in a space try and repeat the use of that material at least twice, for instance aluminium floor light paired with an aluminium side table, and wood framed occasional chairs paired with a wood base table lamp. This will create consistency whilst enabling you to mix materials
  • Finally mix two different styles to make a design appear more interesting. This could be mid-century with modern pieces, or rustic with a contemporary edge. Any styles can be combined as long as they are used in equal parts.

Once you have settled on all of the pieces for the room layout your samples and cuttings on board. Ensure that you are staying true to your original design concept. Once you see everything together you may need to make some changes here or there. When you are happy you can start awarding work to your contractors and ordering from the suppliers.

Lounge and bedroom sample board. Hamptons style using natural textures and colours.

Lounge and bedroom sample board. Hampton’s style using natural textures and colours.

Good luck and happy decorating.

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