How to start the design process

Do you plan to be redecorating, remodeling or move into a new home soon? Or maybe you are currently in the midst of a project and find yourself at a loss for direction. Home decor projects can cause most people to be completely overwhelmed. Where do you even start?

Our homes are our sanctuary. It is a place where we should feel safe and comfortable, now more than ever before. No matter the size nor location your home is your little piece of the world. It reflects who you are.

Following a few basic guidelines you can plan improvements to your home to make it work better for you, your family and even the family pet.

Mood Board

“A mood board is a type of visual presentation or ‘collage’ consisting of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition.” Simply put, a mood is where you keep all the ideas, inspiration and samples of the overall look you want to achieve in your decor. Creating a mood board can be easy as you want it to be.

A mood board is a type of visual presentation or ‘collage’ consisting of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition.


The best place to start is by simply browsing the internet for photos. Narrow your search with specific key words such as ‘Beach decor”, “minimal decor”…then follow the photos and links down the rabbit hole and have fun finding new ideas and inspiration. Using a word document or even Pinterest save all the links, photos and articles you found in one place. For me, a mood board is never complete, I am constantly adding new ideas. This doesn’t mean it will get done but often one idea will spark another. Once you’ve compiled some images take a look at the overall appearance. You will notice that a few things are repeated. That could be a colour, texture or style that is visually prominent among the “collage”. That will provide you with a starting point and you will build from there.

Sample of my mood board from Pinterest

Make a list of the things you need and stick to that plan. Do not buy something just because it is on sale- ask yourself “does this fit in with the overall asthesitc of my decor style?” “does it work with the colours and materials I have decided upon?” If it doesn’t, leave it! A good way to source some items is online, this way you are not prone to an impulse buy and you can compare items with your mood board without the stress that may come from pushy sales staff or a friend who may not not offer up the best advice. TIP: When you are shopping in person bring a print out of some of your ideas (or save images to your phone) this way you can always check it against something that you see in the shop that may work with your plan. Like I said “stick to your plan” it may see hard but it keeping with the look will help to keep things cohesive.

This does not mean you should be afraid to mix things up a bit and that will bring you to the next point below.


Let’s be honest, professionally decorated and photographed interiors online aren’t real. What you don’t see is the clutter that’s been removed and hidden in the closet. You are being shown the “best” of the space because bread crumbs, clutter and the kitty litter box don’t make for good content.

Now that we have that out of the way, look at the big picture…and that is what works for you and your family. If you like a style that is crisp, clean and all white but think you can never have that with kids or pets, think again. This is where you get customize. In this scenario, for example, replace that bright white with a darker hue (there are thousands of shades of white some even borderline on brown). If a style uses delicate silk curtains find an alternative fabric that will be suitable for your environment. You do not have to copy item for item to achieve the look you love.

Master bedroom with outdoor vibes.

Implementing these basic steps you will be well on your way to creating a space that not only looks great but is custom to your needs. Do not be afraid to ask for help along the way at any of the decor and home improvement shops as a lot of those places tend to hire people with a decorating or design background.

And remember, have FUN.

As always, please feel free to message or comment with any questions that you may have!

Yours in design,

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