How Do I Think Like an Interior Designer? Here’s 5 Tips


There are some tasks that we can do on our own without the help of a professional. Almost all of us can paint a wall or hang a photo, but some jobs are better left to the professionals. Unfortunately, these professionals are often expensive and not an option for our budget. A professional interior designer can be a tremendous asset to have on your team during a home remodel, but they are a pricy ally. So while nothing can replace a fantastic interior designer, here are some ways you can help yourself think like an interior designer. 

Take Time With the Space

Whether you’ve just moved in or you’ve decided your home needs a face-lift, we do not recommend immediately trying to make changes. Instead, take some time with the space to get to know it. Study its layout and take notes on what has been working and what hasn’t. Write down things you love about it and also the things you hate. You’ve likely sat around and picked apart the room in the past, and while you might think you have it all straight in your head, it’s vital to the success of your project that you take the time to write it all out. Not only will this ensure your thoughts are put together, but you’ll also be able to communicate and share these thoughts with your partner or a contractor when you’re ready to start the project.

Nail Down Your Vibe

Now you know every inch of the space, and it’s time to start dreaming. The best way to research and collect your ideas is with Houzz or Pinterest. First, search all the terms that you like. For example, look for Farmhouse Kitchens and scroll through all the photos it pulls up. When you find a picture you like, save it into a folder and make a quick note about why you like that photo. Maybe it’s the color of the cabinets, the style of the faucet, or perhaps you love the overall vibe. These are all essential details to gather as you prepare to redesign your own kitchen. Once you feel that you have enough photos and notes to accurately communicate and recreate your desired style, you can move on to the next step and hire a company to do the work on your house. Maybe even give us a call!

Take a Design Risk

When walking through the selections and picking the perfect items for your space, remember to try and take a few risks. The secret ingredient to great interior design is knowing when to break the rules. Professional interior designers know the designing rules so well that they know when to break them to create a fantastic design. Without their help, you’ll have to attempt this on your own. Maybe consider a more bold color for the walls, or perhaps a countertop that’s flashy. You’ll likely know the risk when you see it, and it will be up to you to decide if you want to take it or not. If this is too unsettling for you, try looking at photos you saved and pick a “showpiece” that can act as the risk. This is safer since you’ve seen it work in another similar space, but it will still fill the “design risk” void you might feel.

Choose a Center Piece

The centerpiece of a room can be the design risk you took, or it can be a piece of furniture that you fell in love with the moment you saw it. In the past, we’ve seen clients design entire rooms around a rug they bought overseas. If you have that one item that stands out to you, it can be a great anchor point to base the rest of your design decisions around. Again, this could be a rug, a couch, a KitchenAid mixer, an antique bowl you bought when vacationing in Asia, or anything else that stands out to you or means something to your family.

Don’t Forget Your Budget

You’ve got your research done, photos saved, centerpiece chosen, and you’re ready to take a design risk. Now it’s time to calm down. We know you just got all excited and ready to go, but it’s vital not to forget your budget. Nothing can bring a design to disastrous outcomes like a tapped-out budget. So be sure to plan ahead, nail down your budget, and choose items for your space accordingly. For example, in your bathroom, maybe the bathtub is an important feature you don’t want to go cheap on, but you don’t care as much about the vanity countertop. These are great opportunities to pull and push the budget to suit your specific needs and desires.

You might feel discouraged when you realize how much it can cost to hire a professional designer. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t still get a well-designed home! Use these tips to train yourself to think like a professional interior designer and design your space exactly how you want it.

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