2 Creative Ways to Design Your Decorating Dreams

Create a design style notebook to help you focus your ideas.
Create a design style notebook to help you focus your ideas.
Courtesy of Homemadesimple.com

Though we'd all like to think that home décor is a snap, the fact is that even the experts have to plan. Instead of fretting over the preparation, embrace the process with our effortless tricks of the trade. By utilizing style boards and floor plans, you can take the mystery out of decorating. Soon enough, you'll be the "expert" that everybody comes to for beautifying tips.

1. Design a Decorative Style Board

A style board is a visual representation of your decorating vision, inspirations and ideas, perfect for planning décor updates and choosing the items you want to add to a particular room or area of your home. Interior designers often use them to make a plan for all the elements that will go into a finished room, from fabrics and wallpaper to furniture and paint.

With these basics in mind, you can easily create one yourself. It can be large or small, tacked up in your workspace or kept in a file folder or notebook. Whatever works for you!

  1. Start by collecting inspiring items as you come across them, for example-pages from websites, books or magazines, postcards, personal photos, fabric swatches and paint color samples.
  2. Narrow your collection to a few key images and items that fit the style, theme or color scheme you'd like to bring to life in a particular space.
  3. Tack up your chosen pieces on a corkboard or magnetic board so you can easily add items and take them away as needed.
  4. Look around your own home to assess furniture, accents, lighting or fabrics that could fit into your new décor plan. Take snapshots of items you may want to include in your style board.
  5. Make your final arrangement. There are a many different ways to do this, so just use the method that's right for you: 
  • Arrange your board free form with layers of images, textures and colors.
  • Arrange your board with complementary items grouped together in an organized way-for example, fabric swatches with paint samples, and furniture with accents.
  • Create a floor plan of your room and arrange images and samples inside to designate where they will go (see below for tips for creating a floor plan).
  • Continue to use a corkboard or magnet board to arrange your plan, create a collage on a piece of cardstock, poster board or notebook pages.

Now that you've collected your inspiration and visualized your new decorating style or theme, it's time to put your overall space into perspective.

2. Sketch a Floor Plan

Using just a tape measure, sharp pencil and graph paper you can create useful floor plans for any of your rooms. Just keep a few of these key elements in mind when drawing a basic floor plan and you'll be able to redecorate and rearrange furniture in a snap.

  1. Start by measuring all of the walls in your room with a tape measure. Record the lengths of each.
  2. Do the same with windows, doorways and any permanent fixtures in the room such as counters or stairways. Make sure to measure the length and width of fixtures.
  3. Using your graph paper and pencil, begin drawing your walls by counting squares. Imagine that each square is equal to one foot. Be sure to leave openings where your doorways exist.
  4. For windows, draw double lines along your wall where they appear. For doors, draw a line and then an arc to designate where the door would open.
  5. Add in any fixtures using the same square-counting method. For stairs, draw evenly spaced lines across the width of the stairs, then one line down the center length.
  6. Once the basics of your room are mapped out, you can start figuring out how the furniture, accents, wallpaper or paint colors you've collected on your decorating style board will begin fitting into the room.

You're all set to truly begin your redecorating journey! Just use these basic examples and helpful steps as your guide for creating your own at-home decorating plans.