New home – where do I begin?

Tools to get started decorating your home

Recently, I was chatting with my best friend who just moved to a bigger flat. We were talking about design and decoration and she said to me:

My new place is empty, all I have are blank walls and a couple of pieces of furniture. I like many different things but I don’t know where to begin with decoration, I find it too overwhelming!

This is a great topic to talk about, many people feel intimidated when faced with blank walls and empty rooms.

You might have an idea of places or items you are drawn to, but feel you lack the tools to visualise a finished room when there are only empty walls. It can be daunting to decide which style you want to achieve for your home. Perhaps you like a little bit of modern, a touch of classic, or you have seen a rustic décor that really resonated with you – the endless possibilities can be overwhelming.

Our conversation inspired me to put together a few design tools I use to design my home, and I hope they will help you get started with your own interior design journey.

Carry on reading and let’s get started!

Take inspiration from the PROs

When you see the picture of a home designed by a renowned interior designer in a magazine or online, that space is the result of months of work of a design team who curates each detail to achieve a final result that look ‘just right’.

Get magazines and train your eyes looking at professional examples and you will notice details that you would like to replicate in your own home. Identify what attracts you more from a room and then you can look for affordable versions that you can add to your home for a polished look.

This principle is used all over design: fast fashion brands get their insight into new trends from looking at the top designer’s catwalks. The same applies to interior design and furniture brands. What you get at the high street for a steal is usually inspired from high-end brands.

I think this lesson is best summed up by Miranda Priestly:

Mood-boards are your allies

Pinterest boards are a great tool for inspiration. Use with caution!

With a seemingly never-ending source of beautiful photos, it can easily become overwhelming to choose what you would like to use for your home.

To make Pinterest work for you, begin by creating a moodboard for a specific colour, or room.

For example: if you need to furnish your dining room and you like black and white interiors, name the board B/W dining room only pin images that meet that description.

You can create as many mood-boards as you like. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to identify a pattern in images that you pin – photos that resemble each other – and you can start to put together a selection of the details and pieces you are really drawn to and would work in your home. You might find that you pinned a lot of dining room images with a similar type of chair, or rooms with a similar wall colour, use those clues!

Make a list, check it twice

Once you have settled for a style from your mood-boards, make a list of the pieces and colours you would like for your home. This will be your shopping list, and it will include everything you need to make a room look like you imagine it.

Don’t forget to include the pieces you already own.

Separate the items by priority, by need or want. You don’t need to furnish an entire room in one go, the list will help you keep track of what inspired you and you can add to it or remove items with time. As you begin to decorate your home, you will find that some items you thought were indispensable are no longer necessary or that you need something extra. You can start with this template:

Now you can start the journey of making your home of your dreams. Enjoy the process along the way and let it evolve naturally.

Check out my Pinterest boards here

Download a blank template for your home here.


  1. I think decorating is easier when you start acquiring your furniture for the first time…. but when you already have some that you have inherited and is not precisely what you have done n mind makes it a little bit harder. Is my case…

    1. That is true. It is difficult to design around things you don’t like, but there are styling tricks you can use to take away attention from those pieces.

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