How to Create & Execute a Decor Plan!

How To Create And Execute A Decor Plan ©AlyssaRosenheckYou guys! I have an incredible reader question to respond to today. 

Q: My biggest struggle is where to start (what vibe and colors I want). And when do you know that a room is finished :)? -Eva

A: Great question, Eva. I am so passionate about the planning aspect of decorating, and I am SUPER excited to share my process with you today! I'm going to share this in two parts! First, how to create a decor plan and then how to execute your plan! 

How to Create a Decor Plan 

In past homes, I lived by the rule that if you only buy things you love, your house will feel like you and in your own special way… kind of match. And while I still appreciate the thought there, I do think it takes a lot MORE planning than that to make a truly great room. Planning has made ALL the difference for me. In my last home I made dozens of regret purchases (those things you randomly buy at Target because they're cute and then realize later that you don't need or want), and in our current home that hasn't been much of a problem. The difference, PLANNING. 

So, quickly, I am going to run you through some simple steps to plan a room before you buy ANYTHING. And if you already have some things you want to use for your room, be sure and include them in your plan. 

  1. Choose a color scheme. I cannot emphasize this enough. A strong color scheme of 4-6 colors that play well together will save you so much stress and wasted money. It will make it much easier to pull your room together. Choose the main color, some accent colors, your metal finish and your wood finish. 
  2. Make a pin board for things you are shopping for. Using a pin board is a great way to see how that new sofa would look with those fun chairs you've been eyeing. It's also a good way to spot which things don't fit into your vision. 
  3. Take the time to really figure out the function of your room. What will you do there? Is it more an entertaining space or a space for just you? What function does it need to be set up for? There's nothing worse than an adorable room that doesn't function as it needs to for your home or family life! Take that into account and plan accordingly. 

How to Execute Your Plan 

Now that you have a plan, how do you execute it while staying budget friendly. And most importantly, how do you know when to call the room complete

I like to shop in layers! First get the major pieces. These are the ones you need to save up for like maybe a quality sofa or a new rug. Take care of those first; they're the biggest priority. 

After you have the main pieces in place that will be there year round, add the decor that will also stay year round. Things like curtains, light fixtures and accent tables. I find it very helpful to shop for these after the main pieces are in place so you can make sure the pieces work together. I believe very strongly that a good shopper is good returner. I typically have to return at least a handful of things when I'm decorating. It's just a part of the process! 

Then last, add the fun personality pieces like a beautiful candle, a vintage brass figurine and some plants! Theses are the finishing touches. You'll get a better result if you shop for these items after you've already mostly finished the room. 

Knowing when to call a room complete is a tough one. A lot of people (myself included) finish a room 80 or 90 percent and then lose steam at the end. After a few months of seeing your mostly finished room everyday, it's so easy to forget that there's still some more to do.

On the other hand, a lot of us struggle with the need for change. If you let me, I'd redecorate a room ten times. It's like an addiction. And that's not so good either. 

So my best suggestion for knowing when a room is complete is to keep to your plan. When you've checked off all the boxes, you're done. And if you still struggle with a need for change, get into seasonal decor. It's the best medicine!

I hope this was helpful! I'll be here to chat in the comments if you guys have any questions! xx -Elsie 

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Alyssa Rosenheck

  • Great tips!!! I struggle with wall color, part of me wants to paint every room the same neutral color but the other part of me likes each to be a little different. I struggle with not being to OCD with it but also not feeling too choppy. This was very helpful though to break down all the steps that you take and lately I’ve been trying to focus on the little details they are everything!!

  • I think that because I like to decorate for the holidays- my rooms are unfinished until the different holiday pieces are in place- different wreaths for the doors or fun signs, seasonal prints for different frames, little touches here and there along with some changeables- like bedding, throw pillows, and such. My color pallet is very neautral so for each holiday or season I can bring out the little extras and have them play in smoothly! It all depends on what kind of person you are- seasonal, holiday, mood evoking, etc.

  • Thank you very much for answering my question Elsie, this helps a lot! Happy holidays, Eva

  • Soooo good a description of what happened in some of my rooms by accident. Now I can see clearly what didn’t happen at all in the others and why they bother me so much. One thing: how to get rid of things that don’t match the theme of the room but you live them anyways because they were a gift from your mom or something you’ve made as a toddler?

  • Hi girls, I am new to your site and finding it very inspiring, thank you for sharing ?. There are a couple of problems I am having with the site though…One, as I browse through I would have liked to comment on certain posts but they were closed, in fact this is the first one that is open that I have found. Why do you do that can I ask? Also in trying to scroll through things there are places that will not stay still, I have to hold the page still with one finger whilst I try to select a topic or page, why is that do you know? Sorry to have to ask a lengthy question in this post but I couldn’t find a general area to use. May be me, I am to computers what Donald Trump is to hair styling!

  • I can’t help but point my finger and jump up and down while shouting, “Yes, yes! Please reply to the question above. I love the metallic containers with the plants in them. With all the impressively well-made (and of course always stylishly on point) items this site produces I can’t help but hope there might be a DIY around the corner for these lovely hanging gold spheres. (Pretty pleeease?) I would LOVE to not only know their origin but, if it’s applicable, see an ABM take on them. Thanks for sharing so many helpful tips and ideas. Without fail they always impress and are usually easy enough (even for someone who can barely cut a straight line, let alone use power tools!) to follow, useful, stylish, tasteful…Too many adjectives to list…just all around WELL DONE. PS I should add that my aversion to power tools is slowly becoming a thing of the past. You all rock.

  • I couldn’t agree with you more. Like any project, you need a plan for decoration too. Great tips, btw. 🙂