Five Rules For Decorating from Scratch

By Jennifer Parris

Decorating from scratch can be daunting. There’s something about having a blank canvas that can at once be inspiring — and totally terrifying. Sometimes, having a starting point (be it a sofa, or even an heirloom that’s been in the family for generations) can be helpful in guiding you towards a design style that works. Whether you’re looking to simply make over a room, or you just moved into a new home or apartment and are looking to create a new style, these five rules of decorating from scratch will help you to create a room that reflects your style. 

Know What You Like

In order to decorate your space, you need to know what you like. While that might seem simple enough, most people struggle to identify what style speaks specifically to them. So, look through design sites and magazines to see what home designs make your heart beat a little faster. You’ll know it when you see it. Then, create a vision board filled with photos and clippings of things you like. Soon, you’ll see your design begin to emerge. 

Embrace Your Lifestyle

Sure, a white sofa might be aesthetically pleasing, but if you have kids, it’s probably out of the question. Sometimes, you need to be realistic as to what will work for you and your family’s needs. After all, you don’t want to spend all of your time telling your kids to keep off the sofa (and being stressed about it turning a creamy shade of grimey). Look for furniture styles that will work with your lifestyle, and just know that one day, an all-white kitchen or sofa will be yours.  

Stay In Neutral

When you’re about to design a new space from scratch, it can be a good idea to start slowly. Unless you’re absolutely, positively certain that you want to paint an accent wall a rich shade of plum, you might want to hold off on making major design changes until you’re truly ready for it. That’s why creating a neutral color palette to begin with might be a good entry point to your design makeover. The neutral tones will help you see the space more clearly (i.e. how much light the room really gets, and how much space you’re truly working with), and then you can start designing more boldly down the road. 

Add In Pops Of Personality

Once you’ve gotten a grasp of the space you want to redesign, then you can start thinking in terms of colors. For example, you can begin by adding pops of color here and there in the form of accent pillows and throws, to get an idea of how color works in the area. From there, you might decide to do a total transformation and paint the walls a similar shade. But be sure to live in the space for a little while before you make any major design investments. That way, you’ll save yourself time and potentially blowing to your budget. 

Utilize All Areas

If you’re thinking about a complete redesign, be sure to look beyond the basics. While you know that you’ll need furniture, paint, and accessories, think about layout as well. That means looking at your space from all vantage points, including the floors and ceilings. You might want to add visual interest by adding wooden beams to accentuate the height of the space, for example. That will give your space a completely designed look. 

Decorating your space from scratch can be a bit complicated. And while it can be an overwhelming process, taking the time to know what you like and what works for you will result in a beautiful space that is a true representation of your style.