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How to Make a Decorating Plan


I am a member of Wayfair’s Homemaker Program and Wayfair has sponsored this How to Make a Decorating Plan post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

I have had several friends comment when visiting my home that they are inspired to redecorate their own houses, but they don’t know where to start, so I thought I would share my How to Make a Decorating Plan which includes the steps I’ve been taking to decorate the rooms of our (newish) home along with some of my favorite decorating tips and tricks as well as places to shop.

How to Make A Decorating Plan // Salty Canary

First, take your time. Unless you’re working on a decorating reality show, you’re not in a rush. We bought our home a little over 3 years ago, renovated it for 2 years, and only now am I really going through the house room by room and starting to decorate (or redecorate). I feel that when you rush to decorate, you end up spending more money on things you don’t really love or need, and that if you take the time to live in a space, you’ll figure out how you live and use the space and what type of furniture or decor you need for it.

Next, find your inspiration. I like to look at Pinterest to see what others are doing, as well as magazines and catalogs for the latest trends. Create a board on Pinterest for your kitchen redesign, or living room, or bedroom, and only pin kitchens you LOVE to your kitchen board, or bedrooms to your bedroom board, etc.

How to Make A Decorating Plan // Salty Canary

Then look at your pins or pulled magazine clippings and look for common threads, styles, colors, and textures to find your personal aesthetic and style.

For me, I can look at my Home Office Pinterest Board and notice the overall common themes of modern, white, pink, gold, organized, colorful, gallery wall, etc.

How to Make A Decorating Plan // Salty Canary

Next, think about your lifestyle. Are you single, married, have kids or pets? Are you a binge-watching couch potato in need of a cozy living room and comfy couch or are you an avid at-home entertainer in need of a large dining room table or bar cart?

For me, I design and decorate my home keeping my husband in mind. He doesn’t want to live in an all pink home. Just like I don’t want his nerdy action figures all over my home. We also have kids, a cat, and will likely get a dog or two in the next year, so I need to purchase things that will hold up with a little abuse.

Start with what you already have. Shop your home for furniture, decor, lighting. Will a certain piece look better in another room?  For example, I was recently redecorating my guest bedroom (blog post coming soon), and it needed a new rug, but I was having trouble finding one to go with the curtains. Well, I ended up deciding that the curtains didn’t belong in there (they went into my walk-in closet), I got new curtains, and I stole the rug I was going to use in my basement home office for the guest room. Yes, I will still need to purchase a rug for my home office, but I don’t need to purchase it right now and the rug that I was saving for the office actually works better in the guest bedroom!

Set a budget. Don’t have a big budget? Don’t forget about step 1: take your time! Redecorate slowly – new curtains one month, new rug the next. Go slowly and be realistic with your budget because redecorating can be expensive. Don’t forget to try DIYs if you’re crafty or handy in order to save money and only splurge on timeless items or furniture you plan to keep for years!

Create a floor plan. Measure your space, draw up a floor plan on paper (or using an app, but I’m old school and use a notebook), and use the measurements to decide what size furniture, lights, art, plants, etc. you need.

Create a mood board. Look online and in stores, but before you pull the trigger on anything, pull photos of everything you’ve decided upon and create a mood board or collage. Make sure everything is cohesive and goes together. You can see my Master Bedroom’s Makeover Mood Board here. Also, double check the measurements with your floor plan to make sure everything will fit.

Finally, go shopping!  This is the fun part! Go shopping! Online or in-store, pull the trigger on the items you’ve decided you need to finish your room that fit within your budget and design.

How to Make A Decorating Plan // Salty Canary

Don’t forget the following tips:

  • Paint or wallpaper can add a huge impact to a room. You don’t have to paint an entire room – you can just paint half a wall, or just the door. You can only wallpaper one wall, or only the inside of the closet.
  • A rug can really change a room. But make sure you’re buying the right size. Because larger rugs can be so expensive, a lot of people buy rugs that are too small. But if you take your time and save up a little more money, you can afford a rug that really fits a room and pulls it together.
  • Lighting is another huge impact in a room. I have gorgeous overhead pendants in each room (no ceiling fans, thank you very much, I hate them!), but I also have table or floor lamps in each room because the light that they put out is just cozier.
  • Don’t forget about art when you’re decorating! You can find art almost anywhere, so be creative!
  • Textiles such as throw pillows and blankets can add a trendy touch to room and they are inexpensive enough to switch out once that trend dies.
  • Vintage decor can add some soul to a room. I love shopping at the flea market and finding little one of a kind unique pieces of decor to add to each room.
  • And don’t forget some plants. They can be real or faux! I’ve decided to go faux because I can’t keep any plants alive. I’m just trying to keep my children alive, so I have no time for plants. Faux plants are a little more expensive up front, but for me personally, I’ll be saving money in the long run because I’m not purchasing a second or third fiddle leaf fig to replace the previous ones that I’ve killed.

How to Make A Decorating Plan // Salty Canary

And last but not least: Remember that your home does not need to be Pinterest-worthy or look like it’s in a magazine or catalog. Decorate your home for YOU! Decorate it with what YOU like, not the current trends. If you like something, then put it in your home!

The green storage cabinet and the faux tree plant are both from Wayfair, a company I love for unique, but budget friendly furniture and decor for my home. I got both of these pieces for my future basement home office for which I am currently working on my decorating plan.

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