I love interior design, but I REALLY don't love the technical parts of room planning. I'd rather just randomly grab the things I love at the store and then throw them all together when I get home.
This works for me on occasion (especially when I'm only doing a room refresh), but it SELDOM works for me when I'm designing a room from start to finish.
When we moved into this new townhouse we're in right now, I knew I was going to have to get way more specific on measuring and planning since the design of this place is very unusual. The great room area is way smaller than I'm used to and we have a grand piano that has to fit in there somewhere - I think that gives you an idea of why I couldn't just "wing it."
I think everyone has to figure out a way that works best personally, but this is my process.
My first step is to capture the essence of what I'm going for by gathering inspiration on Pinterest. I try to get very clear about what I love and why I love it. This is obviously not a new concept here, but sometimes I think we forget how important this simple step is in helping us create a look and feel that reflects what we really love. You could also gather inspiration on other platforms or with magazines and books.
Next up, I choose a color palette.
I decide on a color palette by making another Pinterest board or creating my own on Canva. I used to choose a color palette by matching the colors on an art piece or accessory that I loved, but now I tend to just choose colors I love first and then find the decor pieces that fit the palette I already know will spark joy for me.
I have found that creating an intentional color palette is a simple way to get a more pulled-together look.
My next step is to choose the big items and plan the layout.
I use the easiest, most user-friendly and FREE space planning program I could find, planyourroom.com. This site is NOT perfect, so if you're looking for perfection, you won't find it here. But if you're just looking to find something easy and free, this one is the best I could find.
The day I actually started to carefully measure and plan our rooms with this tool was a turning point for me. That is not an overstatement. I now mindfully plan and fit the pieces in the spaces like a puzzle and no longer just cross my fingers and hope things will work. It's actually so much fun and great for me to see it all come together when the furniture pieces start to arrive. (By the way, we typically do a lot of furniture shuffling - like reselling and buying new pieces when we move so that we can make the most of our new spaces.)
The next thing I do is turn to Canva to create a mood board.
I always talk about how much I love Canva, but it is literally my favorite tool on the planet. I use it for everything digital design and it's also FREE!
My process with Canva is super simple. (I'm not going to get very technical here, so if you want a more detailed description on how to do these things, I'm sure you can Google it or look on YouTube.)
1. Open a new document on Canva.
2. Find the furniture and accessories online and drag those images to the desktop (I make sure I have done the necessary measuring first before I decide which pieces to use.)
3. Upload the images to the Canva document.
4. Remove the background of each image. This is super important! (Click on the image, then click "edit image" then click on "BG Remover.
Once I've done that, I can have fun designing. I don't necessarily buy all the things I've put on the document, but it gives me a great place to start and a great way to capture the mood and vibe I'm going for. I do usually use and buy the actual main furniture pieces, though, because those are not as easy to replicate irl.
Seriously, it is SO MUCH FUN and has forever changed the way I design my spaces.
It's really not very complicated once you get the hang of it.
You can see from the picture above that it's not perfect. The items aren't really placed precisely to scale or angled exactly, but you can definitely get the idea.
Anyway, that's what I do. It's basically an easy way for a hobbyist interior design lover like me to get the job done, without having to obsess over complicated tools and computer programs.
Lots of love,