Living Life Accent Prone: 5 Easy Steps to Designing a Room

Let’s get back to the basics! Designing a room isn’t all that hard if you follow these easy guidelines and my personal no-fail hacks.

  • Begin with a space plan.

Yes, this might seem obvious, but too many times I’ve seen clients come to me with problems because they bought a sofa that wouldn’t fit into their space. I start every project by sketching an outline of the room. Numerous free tools are accessible on the internet, or you can go the old-fashioned route and use pen and paper to sketch out your space with all walls, windows and doors. Dare I say, I’ve seen this too often (overlooking a doorway on a room sketch and thus buying a sofa that blocks the entry to the room). An accurate space plan is one of the most important aspects of designing a room, so if this step feels out of your wheelhouse, come see us at Accent Prone! We love helping customers in store think through the best layout, always keeping function and flow top of mind!


  • Work big to small.

Once you have figured out the best layout for your room, begin selecting new furnishings for your space. I always recommend working big to small in your room, carefully selecting your largest items first. If it’s your living room, then that’s your sofa, or if it’s your bedroom, then that is your bed. As the large anchor pieces can vary in size and style, starting with these core items will help determine the size of their companions. And, don’t forget your rug! A rug is an essential item in every room, grounding your space and defining the area. This is a great opportunity to bring in color, too.

  • Find your inspiration piece.

After space planning, I always like to find one inspiration piece to guide the rest of the room’s design. Maybe it’s a bold piece of artwork you want to hang over your sofa or some moody wallpaper for your dining room. Starting with one item you love will guide the vision and direction of the rest of the space. I’ve designed an entire room around a funky vase I scored one time, leading the way for the colors I wanted to incorporate.

  • Paint

A fresh coat of paint is by far the easiest and most affordable way to revitalize a space. After years of picking paint colors for clients, there is one rule I never break: sampling! Paint up numerous samples of different colors/tones on your walls. I always paint samples on all the different walls in the room, as the direction the wall faces and the way the sun hits it throughout the day will make it look different. You will also want to look at the samples on your wall at all different times throughout the day to make sure you like it in the morning, afternoon and evening. There have been times where I loved a paint color in the morning light, but hated it in the darker evening hours.

*Design Tip! I like to do eggshell on walls, semi gloss on trim and flat on ceilings!


  • Accessorize

And, last but not least, add in the accents! This is where the true magic happens. Accessorizing your space with pillows, throws, amazing vases and lush greenery is where your space comes alive. I started out my design career by decorating a room on a budget by bringing it alive with accents, and frankly, the accents are still my favorite part!

To sum it all up, designing a room isn’t always this easy (and there are definitely spaces, like a kitchen, where hiring a designer is well worth your investment), but it can be! For those wanting to try their hand at decorating, starting with a space that doesn’t need any construction work is a fun place to start. So go ahead, break out the pen and pencil, pull up Pinterest for some great inspiration and get to designing!

Until next time, Cheri


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