Need help knowing where to begin when starting your room makeover? These six steps will help you get going; they work for me every time!

We’re starting a room makeover in our basement – our storage room is becoming a pretty guest room for some summer guests! I thought I’d take you along with us as we renovate it from start to finish, and share some of my favourite room makeover & decorating tricks.

Colorful Boho Farmhouse Photography, Videography & Craft Studio

My Studio that I designed

One of the most common questions I get asked about decorating a room is “How do I even START?!” I use 6 steps when I begin a makeover to help me get focused, stay focused, and begin decorating a professional and cohesive looking room. Ready to go?

1: Identify Your (Physical & Emotional) Needs

The most important step to beginning any room makeover is nailing down what you’ll actually use the room for and how you want it to make you feel. Start thinking about the practical, physical needs of the room like seating, floor space & table or desktop area, but also think about how you want this space to make you, your family and your guests feel. You could identify three key words that will describe the feeling of your room (for example: cozy, romantic & unexpected) and use these to help you narrow down images for the next step – gathering inspiration photos.

For our guest bedroom, it needs a bed, side tables and clothing storage and I want it to feel cozy, romantic and have unexpected elements.

Colorful Farmhouse Breakfast Nook

Our Colourful Breakfast Nook I designed

2: Gather Inspiration

One of the first things I always do when I’m planning a room makeover is gather inspirational images of other rooms, items, and lifestyle images that I love. My favourite tool for this is Pinterest – I usually create a “secret” Pinterest board that only I can see when I’m planning a makeover – but you could also go old school and clip out magazine photos and pin them to an actual bulletin board! After you’ve gathered all of your inspiration photos into one place, you can look them over and identify reoccurring elements (wall colours, furniture styles, fabric patterns, accent colours, light fixtures etc) that you’ll include in the next step – making your mood board.

3: Create a Mood Board

Though not absolutely necessary, this step will really help keep you focused as your gather and purchase items for your room makeover. I love making mood boards! I make mine in Photoshop and if any of you are interested in a tutorial on how I do that, please let me know in the comments; I’d be happy to share! Otherwise, you can trying making one in a free photo collage editor like Adobe Spark.

Here’s the mood board I’ve created for our cozy, romantic guest bedroom:

Cozy & Romantic Guest Bedroom Inspiration

4: Make a Floor Plan

Because I’m often so focused on look and feel this is a step that I can forget, but it’s really important! Measuring your room and creating a floor plan (on your computer or on paper) will help ensure that you find or buy furniture and accessories that will be the right size for your space. Measure the length, width and height of your room and draw it out on a piece of paper or on your computer (I use Illustrator to make my floor plans). Then, when you have prospective furniture for your space, you can draw it into your plan to see if it will fit and if the scale looks good in your room.

5: Create a Shopping List

Now that you’ve identified how you want your room to be used, how you want it to feel, and how big your room is, you can create a shopping list for all of the items you’ll need for your space. Take inventory of what you already have that can be used first, and then create a list to fill in the holes. What you need will really depend on your room and personal taste, but add things like large furniture, small furniture, artwork, rugs, small accessories, light fixtures, drapery and plants to your list.

Rustic Glam Master Bedroom Tour

Our master bathroom I designed

6: Set Your Budget & SHOP! (And keep your eye out for your muse!)

Now it’s finally time to shop! Decide upon your budget, and then with your list in hand and the items you already have in mind, start shopping around for the items you’ll need for your space. Shop at obvious places like furniture & big box stores, but don’t forget to look online, at antique stores, at thrift stores, and on local buy & sell sites for used items that could use some DIY love. Mixing old and new pieces helps give your room character! Also, keep your eye out for an eye catching piece of art, furniture or fabric that can give your space some personality and help you choose your paint colours and final accessories near the end of your makeover.

Going through these steps is a great way to start any room makeover – they’ll get you focused and help you create something you love!

Now tell me: What steps do YOU take when decorating a room?

Watch my video on how to start a room makeover: