When decorating an unfurnished home, many questions revolve around price, timeline, and expertise.
If you want your house to look like a magazine, but can’t afford a designer you’re going to want to take the time to study what tricks they are using to create that perfectly curated and layered look. Read below to see how to furnish and decorate your home without using an interior designer. Tips, tools, and more!
Check out a few of these best selling interior design books for tips and inspiration. These books can then, double as gorgeous coffee table styling items! My friend and fellow blogger, Hannah Benak of Looks & Merit blog suggested this design book and her house is absolutely impeccable! It’s in my Amazon cart right now.
New Construction Interior Design Ideas
As mentioned in this post, we are building our first home and will be doubling in size! Needless to say, I have a lot of design work to do in the coming months. Since we know the layout, finishes, and dimensions I luckily have the luxury of starting my self-design process early. If you are buying an older home and are moving in quickly, your timeline can feel much shorter, but remember, you don’t have to rush your whole house design. Start small! It’s always important that you live in the space for an amount of time to get a spatial feel for where furniture should go.
When you design a home quickly, I feel like this is when your budget can start to go out the door. When decorating a house, don’t just buy furniture to buy furniture. Everything should be intentional and planned out. When furnishing and designing a home without an interior designer’s help, follow these steps to help you stay organized and cohesive.
Whole House Decorating Plan:
- Start Small
- Make a list of what you already have
- Create a budget
- Decide on an interior design style
- Collect Inspiration and Ideas from different interior designers
- Find an inspiration piece
- Have fun. Nothing is permanent
When I say start small, I suppose that is all relative depending on the scope of your project. But #1 and #7 really are just put in place to remind you to not get overwhelmed when designing your home and to have fun with it!
So when people ask how long it takes to decorate a house, there is no perfect answer. However, if we take my guest bedroom project as an example, I can tell you how long it took to decorate just one room.
Step by Step House Decorating Plan
When we decided to redecorate the guest bedroom, I already had the bed frame and mattress (#2 – Take Inventory of What You Already Have), but everything else I needed to buy. I wanted to do this project on somewhat of a budget, so I shopped at places like Amazon and Target for a few of my filler pieces (#3 – Create a budget).
After taking inventory of what current furniture and outlining a budget, I browsed Instagram and Pinterest for bedroom designs that had a wrought iron metal bed — similar to the one that I already owned (#4/5 – Decide on an Interior Design Style).
While you’re searching for inspiration online for your design project, you should be on the lookout for pieces of furniture or art that really speaks to your style. If there is a specific piece that you can’t imagine the room without, then deem that your inspiration piece (#6 – Find Your Inspiration Piece) and design the entire room around that. That said, you’ll want to go ahead and order your inspiration piece. Often times, furniture and home decor have lead times as short as 2-3 weeks, or as long as 6 months. Lead times for furniture delivery will determine the timeline and completion date of your home decor project.
The nightstands for my guest bedroom had a 3 week lead time, so I ordered those, and had a few weeks to gather all my other design elements like wall art, bedding, and accessories. Redecorating my guest bedroom took me about a month to complete.
TIP: When gathering home decor ideas and inspiration, you might find multiple pieces that you love and fit within the same aesthetic, and that’s great! This means your entire house will start to have the same design style.
Home Design Mood Boards
So, when people ask if you should decorate one room at a time, I think it’s important to have one project you are fully dedicated to at one time (with a completion date), but you should always have the other rooms in your house in mind when furnishing your home.
To see your design style and conception come together, you should start by putting it on paper. Create interior design mood boards using Canva. Just screenshot the photo online and upload to their media library and drag and drop!
Finally, have fun with furnishing your home (#7). Remember, most things are returnable and nothing is permanent.
See my interior design mood boards for our new home build below!
Master Bathroom Design Ideas
Guest Bathroom Design Ideas
Open Concept Living Room Decor Ideas
Man Cave Decor Ideas
Transitional Dining Room Design Inspiration