Design Question – How do you approach the task of designing a room?

Moving into a new apartment and for the first time in my post-college life, not furnishing it exclusively with things I find off Craigslist. Any tips on how to approach designing a room? Do I pick a theme first (wood, all-light colors, etc.)? Do I buy one object that “anchors” the room and buy other pieces of furniture that complement it? I’m totally clueless in this arena…


How to start the design of a room is a great question! As a professional interior designer offering online interior design service (, starting a room design has become science for me and I’d love to share my insight.


If you plan to bring in an area rug, this is typically where I suggest starting a design. The reason is twofold. First, area rugs can get expensive and can be an agonizing decision. Therefore, start the rug selection first so you have less constraints to work with. I often tell my clients “there are limitless paint color options but limited rug choices.” Make the hardest decision first and then work the room around the rug.

leather butteryfly chair

interior design service online


No rug – no problem. You would then start with the largest piece of furniture in the room. In a Living Room, this most likely will be your sofa. Select a sofa that you love! It needs to be comfortable, visually appealing and must fit the scale of your room. If you have a blank canvas and find a sofa that meets these criteria, then make the purchase.


As you then proceed to fill in the room, work from larger items to the smallest items. This takes some restraint! It is certainly much easier (and often more fun) to buy some amazing throw pillows before you have anything else such as side tables and accent chairs. Resist the temptation. You don’t want to box yourself in by needing to design an entire room around a $30.00 pillow.


When it comes time to accessorize your room, keep in mind two things. One, find pieces you love. Often I find that it is the smallest items in a design that bring my clients the most joy. Secondly, use accessories to finish the design. Small details can finish the look and make a house feel like a home.


Finally, consider enlisting in a little professional interior design help. Many designers, like me, have online interior design service at a very affordable rates. The cost of a little professional help can far outweigh the cost of design mistakes! If I can help you specifically with your new apartment, please email me at