Become Your Own Interior Designer in 5 Steps

Interior designers have an eye for style and can make even the smallest projects look outstanding. But when tackling a project in your own home, use it as an opportunity to build some design skills of your own. By mastering the interior design process in your home, you can bypass hiring a designer and create a look entirely your own. With these five steps, we'll peek behind the curtain to find out how you can become your own interior designer.
Become Your Own Interior Designer in 5 Steps

While following interior designers online is a great way to get inspired, hiring one isn’t always an option. If you’re savvy and have an eye for design, you can plan your project based on a smart interior design process that mimics what a professional designer would bring to the table — with amazing results. Become your own interior designer by mastering these five steps in your home.

1

Define an End Goal

A good interior designer is a good listener above all else. Designers listen to homeowners to create an end goal for each project, so spend some time answering your own “big picture” questions. If you want to redo your kitchen, start by asking yourself what is the overall purpose of the renovation.

Perhaps you want the space to feel more inviting, or maybe you want a brighter place to cook or a larger workspace.
By defining your end goal, you can start planning your interior design process. Doing this will decrease your chances of becoming overwhelmed by all the information and inspiration you come across. This advice holds true regardless of whether your design project is a full-scale kitchen redesign or a facelift to your living room.

2

Create a Mood Board

Create a mood board, the second step in becoming your own interior designer

A top-notch interior designer gathers inspiration to create a tangible representation of how the room will look and feel. It’s called a mood board, and it can showcase everything from pictures you found in a magazine and inspiration from your online pinboard to scraps of fabric or even decor items you’d like to keep from your current collection. It’s easy to turn a simple hanging cork board into a mood board. This will allow you to pin anything and everything that inspires you and keep your design project top-of-mind.

Your mood board will help you define your space and act as a jumping-off point for your project. If you gravitate toward more than one design style, use your board to test how you can combine modern and mid-century pieces or blend your southwestern style with your significant other’s love of everything vintage. You might find that the items and inspiration on your board will change as you progress through your design project, but the board will still serve as a foundation to help keep you grounded.

3

Follow the Rule of Three

Between colors, textures, and accent pieces, designing a space calls for cohesion. Professional designers typically use the rule of three to make sure they create balance within a room. The rule of three means choosing three base colors for your project to help you stay anchored and ensure your room looks cohesive and put together.

Choosing three colors can help you narrow down your search for paint and accents — like window treatments, throw pillows, and wall art — while keeping the end product complementary. Too few colors and your room could look boring. Too many, and the look could become chaotic.

4

Add a Statement Piece

Bold print accent chair for a statement piece, the fourth step in becoming your own interior designer

Your interior design project should say something about you. An interior designer would likely ask you about your personal style, so use decor, color, and texture to really make a statement about who you are. One well-chosen statement piece — like a patterned chair in the living room or a bold-colored island in your kitchen — makes all the difference and works to tie your other efforts together.

5

Organize with Style

Organize your room with style, the fifth step in becoming your own interior designer

It’s one thing to arrange the larger pieces in your space, but managing all the smaller objects — like coasters, gadgets, or tiny decorative accents — is another thing entirely. Interior designers often address this part of the decorative process by incorporating storage items like baskets and trays, which can corral and clear up clutter while still adding to the overall design scheme.

Try using decorative containers that match the colors you’ve chosen for the room. The right bowl or tray can even double as a statement piece. Similarly, taking a designer’s eye to your scattered photo collection by hanging select pieces in matching or contrasting frames can turn your personal memories into newly organized works of art.