How to Decorate Your Room from Scratch

Follow this guide to learn how to decorate your room from scratch when you move to a new home or apartment or want to redecorate.

Follow these steps to decorate your room from scratch.



  • Know Your Decorating Style

To give yourself direction, it’s helpful to know your decorating style. You can definitely mix and mingle multiple styles, but know your general style. You can figure out what style you gravitate to by surfing Pinterest boards or if you want to know your general decorating style quickly you can take The Home Blueprint’s What’s Your Decorating Style Quiz. This knowledge will be the springboard for the design of your room, which is not intended to box you in, but intended for you to see the possibilities.


  • Know the Dimensions of the Room

Decorating is not a fluffy task, there’s so many practical elements to it. You must measure the dimensions of your room. You can either 1) physically measure your room yourself or 2) use the dimensions stated on your floor plan given to you by your apartment complex, sales person, or architect of the home. This step is crucial for your design because you need to have the right proportions in mind when you design your room’s layout. The right proportions can be the difference between a beautiful design and a lackluster design.


  • Make a List of Your Most Needed Furniture

Use the Master Furniture Checklist to make sure that you meet your most basic furniture needs. Additionally, you need to think about what you want in that particular room. Is it important for you to have a clock or a candle? Figure out what your essential pieces are for that room so that you have a baseline understanding of how you’re going to need to fill the room and can sketch out a preliminary budget. You can add on to your list at a later date when you go shopping and inevitably find a gem that you cannot pass up.

  • Create a Mood Board 

Now you need to get your creative juices flowing. You need inspiration for the design of your room. You should find photos that inspire you, which you can find on Pinterest, in magazines, and even during everyday life. Then, get a photo editor to bring the photos together. I suggest using Canva, Photoshop, or BeFunky. You can even do it the old fashion way by physically putting pictures on a poster. With this mood board, you will be able to anchor your design. Take your mood board with you while you are shopping to see if the pieces you see matches your mood board.


  • Decide on the Color Scheme

Look at your mood board and see if there are any patterns in terms of the colors you gravitate to. You want to know in general what 3 colors will be the main colors of your design and you can be creative from there. If you need help with coming up with a color scheme, you can take The Home Blueprint’s What’s My Decorating Color Scheme? Don’t overthink this step. If you like color, add color. If you like neutrals, go with neutrals. Just make sure that your colors mix well together.


  • Find a Central Piece 

We are finally to the shopping step! This step is about your gut. Start shopping and try to find a piece that takes your breath away. A piece that you need in your room. For me, this is often a rug or a sofa. You will know this piece when you see it. It’s going to be the exact same feeling you had when you were finding amazing photos for your mood board. Pick that one piece for your room, and that will guide your room design.


  • Build Off the Central Piece

 With that central piece as your guiding light, you can do even more shopping and buy your other pieces. With your room dimensions, furniture list, mood board, and color scheme, you can properly find the right furniture. Go to your furniture shopping list and go one by one and search for that piece of furniture. Keep your mood board and color scheme in your mind when you’re searching. Also, don’t forget to find out the dimensions of every piece of furniture (even a lamp). You will need the dimensions in the next step, creating a layout.

  • Create a Layout

 You’ve bought all of your furniture and know all of your dimensions. I suggest creating your layout at this step rather than in the beginning because you want the layout to be flexible while you’re shopping for pieces rather than restricting your creative juices. You want to understand how you want to move around your room. Creating a layout will become pretty clear to you when you have the dimensions of the furniture and see how they can best fit into the space. Make sure that the layout is at least functional, and bonus points if you find a creative way to organize the space.


  • Put the Design All Together

With your pieces and the layout, now you can get to actually putting the pieces in their proper place. Don’t be alarmed if you need to change the layout while you’re putting pieces into their place or if you realize that you don’t like a piece. You can always return something and get something else. And don’t forget: decorating is a never-ending process. You can add or remove pieces in the future as your decorating style evolves and refine your design voice.

Did this guide help you? Comment below.

Don’t Miss

Other Blog Posts

Top 7 Money Tips for New College Grads

Top 7 Money Tips for New College Grads

Life after college is kind of scary. You start a job. You might have moved to a new city. You might be looking for new friends. You're just trying to figure it all out. Independence is cool and all, but it does come with an enormous level of responsibility. In the...