If you just purchased a home, moved into a new space, or are looking to revive a space, it can feel overwhelming when thinking about how to get started. What is the best way to approach designing a room? Are there different ways to design a room, based on what the purpose is?
Does changing paint colors, adding a coffee table, or laying down an area rug impact the overall feel of your home decor? Can you change the feel of an entire room by switching the color scheme, swapping a couch for a sectional, or building DIY hanging shelves?
These questions can be helpful as they guide you towards really thinking about how you want to design a room. When it comes to interior design, there’s a lot to consider: the floor plan, desired color palette, and the size of the space are all contributing factors.
However, if you still feel like the task of revamping your home design is overwhelming, this guide is here to help out. Here are five easy steps on how to design a room, and some helpful suggestions to support those steps in getting you closer to your dream space.
1. Designing With Purpose
If you’re thinking about designing a room, whether it’s a small space like a home office or a larger one like a family room, then it may seem like an obvious first step to consider the function of the room. However, it’s often a consideration that goes overlooked. Before you begin dreaming of multi-purpose game rooms and entertainment spaces, consider the practicalities of your lifestyle and how they might match up with your room decor.
Do you have children? Are you a pet owner? Can you commit a lot of time to clean your home, or are easy-to-clean components key? Consider these factors and how they match up with your ideal vision for a space.
Once you have done that, think about what the function of the room will be. Sometimes it's straightforward: a dining room’s design is relatively simple, so begin with a table, seating, a spillproof rug, and lighting. Unifying your design around a common theme, color, or statement piece is a great way to design with purpose.
2. Build From the Ground up
Starting from the bottom might seem like an obvious move, but it’s a helpful design principle when it comes to interior design and room layout. The base layer of a floor is critical, especially when considering how it aligns with your lifestyle: a high-pile rug and children or pets don’t always mix well together for homeowners and renters. Different design ideas and decor tips apply to different people.
Consider the base layer of your room and how your room feels: are you working with wood floors, tiling, carpeting, or another kind of flooring? From there, think about the options that might best fit your design commitments. Are you interested in building layers through rugs, or keeping your floor minimal with a statement rug that no one will know is spillproof?
Building layers in a room through rugs is a popular option for space-makers interested in creating layers of different colors and textures. Layering is a design choice that makes sense when you’re thinking about a space from the ground up. Consider how the room’s grounding, or heaviest points, should be on the floor. Then, as you move upward, the design elements get gradually lighter, creating the visual effect that the room gets lighter as you move upwards.
3. Prioritize Light
Whether it’s natural or artificial lighting, it’s key for any room. Consider how lighting is going to impact your room, whether it’s a bedroom, dining room, living room, or entertainment space. Will you use the room primarily during the day, and therefore want to prioritize natural light? Is the mood of the room darker, and reliant on warmly lit spaces to create intimacy?
However your home is designed, be sure to prioritize lighting at all points of the day. Taking into consideration the quality of light is critical to building a space that is not only designed well but welcoming to anyone who enters.
4. Breathing Space Is Key
What is breathing space? Negative space, or breathing space, is the area in each room that allows you to appreciate the spaces that are filled. Negative space can be very powerful, especially if you’re someone who likes to design with more.
Breathing space can be anything from an empty accent wall, a neutral couch amidst a colorful living room, or an understated rug that allows the elements around and above to flourish. For example, our washable rugs come in a variety of designs that can suit virtually any space.
Build in breathing space through design elements or intentional choices to leave space between design elements; either way, create space with intention. Breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the rugs in your room design are nontoxic and spillproof, and just as easy to clean as it is to incorporate into your room design.
In addition, the way you arrange each piece of furniture can have a major impact on how spacious a room feels. Depending on your personal style, opt for furniture placement that highlights your desired focal points of a room. Instead of over cluttering with too many armchairs and couches, add accent pieces like throw pillows, table lamps, nightstands, and other small items to make your new home or current living space feel complete.
5. Minimalism, Maximalism, or Both
One of the more recent design trends is to design a room with minimalist or maximalist elements. If you are unwilling to select either minimalist or maximalist elements, try incorporating both. Maximalism is all about adding more elements, whereas minimalist interior design is about reduction. Combining both styles can be a challenge, but makes a strong statement if you can successfully incorporate both to create a space that feels full, but not chaotic.
The Bottom Line
If you’re stuck on how to design a room, these five steps should offer some design ideas and guidance on how to create a space that is considerate of both form and function. You don’t need to compromise between your design ideals and lifestyle, so select room elements that are responsive, timeless, and can easily be incorporated with future design shifts.