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Recently, we got our carpets cleaned and I had to move everything out of the living room. Before putting it back together, I got the idea to photograph each step so my readers can see how I go about designing a room. Starting from a blank space can leave you struggling and drawing, well, blanks. With these six steps to designing a room, you will be able to put together a room that feels well-designed and functional all on your own!

When you start with an empty room, do you get overwhelmed trying to design it? See my step-by-step process for how to design a room.

This is our empty living room. As you know, I have updated the windows, painted the trim white, and replaced the stair railing in this room since we moved in. The other thing to make sure is done first is that you pick your wall color. This is a great article to help you pick the perfect paint color the first time.

An large empty living room can be daunting, but with this step-by-step tutorial, your home's gathering space can be well designed.


When it was time to start arranging things, this large living room was daunting to design. To get started, I hung curtains.

Hanging curtains the best way to let the most light into your space and make your room feel larger.

Curtains should always be hung from the ceiling to the floor and lay covering wall at the far edges of the window. In order to find curtains long enough, you’ll want fabric that measures 94-105″ in length. Consider saving money by using table cloths or drop cloths instead. Otherwise, take advantage of this crazy deal on 95″ curtains I found on Amazon.

Step 1 to designing a room, start by choosing basic textiles. Curtains, rugs, or fabric accented architectural features bring softness into the space.

I also added a rug to break up all the beige and ground the space. Putting a rug over carpet seems weird, but it is actually very clever for both aesthetic and functional reasons. The rug protects high traffic areas from ruining your carpet.

The rug I’m using is smaller than I should have in the space. Usually you will want a rug at least 8 x 10 feet large, like this one.


The next step was choosing artwork for the walls. I do not like to overdo it on my walls because I like more minimalistic décor. I painted one large abstract piece of artwork for my big blank wall instead of choosing to go the gallery wall route.

Step 2 in designing a home, is hanging wall art. One large piece of art can really make a statement or cover your large blank wall with a gallery arrangement.

Hanging wall art can be done after placing furniture so that it is sure to balance out. I usually do these steps in conjunction with each other. For instance, I did not center my piece of artwork on the wall, I centered it over where I wanted the couch to go. If you are going to do the gallery wall route, be sure you never include more than 11 pieces and the arrangement is slightly heavier on the left. These tips will result in aesthetically pleasing wall art.

How to properly hang artwork so that it is visually attractive.


Arranging furniture can be very difficult. A few tips I have for you:

  • Choose furniture that is the right scale for your space. It’s easy to go too big, but remember that smaller scale furniture will make your room look larger.
  • Facilitate conversation by facing your furniture towards each other or separating little nooks of chairs turned towards each other. Since I did not feel my space was big enough to separate into two conversation areas, I tried to make a U formation so that everyone can speak to each other.
  • Symmetry is the most aesthetically pleasing in furniture design, NOT matching furniture. It is a good thing to mismatch your chairs and sofas to add interest and elevate your design.
  • Pay attention to walking paths, never block doorways or architectural features in your home. Be sure there is at least 3 feet of walking space between large pieces of furniture and doorways.

Step 3 in designing a room is placing furniture. Your wall decor and furniture should be arranged to compliment and balance each other.

This article has more great tips for arranging furniture.

Ideas for placing furniture to facilitate conversation and be visually attractive.


When I add in accent furniture, the room really starts to take shape. The big, bold teal coffee table anchors the room and provides presence to take up the visual space in the center of the room.

Adding enough accent furniture in a gathering space increases comfort and functionality.

Be sure each seat has a table or surface to set a drink and there are at least two seats where people can put their feet up. You want your room to be super functional and comfortable. You don’t have to spend a lot, this inexpensive white side table can make a big difference in the functionality of your room for a small cost.
Step 4 in designing a room is adding accent furniture to increase functionality and comfort in the room.


Even if you are not the best at keeping houseplants alive, consider adding greenery to your design. I’ve come to learn that natural plants are an important part of every room’s design, adding texture and breathing life to your design. Green plants are considered neutral so they can be paired with any colors.

Step 5 in designing a room is adding plants to breath life into the space. The green is considered a neutral in design and is easy to pair with any color.

I added plants at multiple levels, from the hanging spider plant to the potted grass on the end table.

Adding plants to room design is considered a neutral and can be paired with any color.

There are types of houseplants for every spot in your home, from the hot and sunny to the cool and shady. You can even cheat and place faux plants throughout your home.

Designing a room needs a lot of components. This tutorial shows you how it is all put together step by step.


Lastly, the finishing touches of the room add more functionality, comfort and style. I placed my DIY lamps on the end tables to frame the couch and provide more symmetry.

This turquoise coffee table is amazing! I love this whole living room design...

I added more textures on the table tops with natural elements. The sleek tray, ribbed cloth, driftwood, and succulent garden all juxtaposed makes a visually attractive centerpiece.

Various textures make a room design interesting and look more put together.

Each piece of furniture gets a complimenting textile utilizing throw pillows and blankets.

Step 6 in designing a room is to add accessories like lamps, throw pillows, decor and throws to add texture to the design.

The faux sheepskin rug is one of my favorite textiles that adds luxury and comfort to any room!

Mismatched furniture and lots of textiles are key to a well-designed living space.

Decorating table tops should never include more than three items. It is important not to over-do it.

Step 6 in designing a room includes accessorizing with lamps, throw pillows, home decor pieces, textiles, and more.

For a more modern look, use larger items. My rule of thumb is that usually I do not decorate with anything smaller than my fist.

Pops of teal bring this living room design to life. See how the space was put together step by step.

Each element in this room was chosen for its function and purpose to create a well-designed space.

Learn how I put together this living room into a cohesive and beautiful design with step-by-step photos starting from a blank space.

My living room has changed a lot over the years, but I really feel like I’ve settled on the perfect design. Hopefully you can benefit from this step-by-step process of how I put it all together!

This living room design was put together showing step-by-step photos starting from a blank space.

Thank you for reading! Designing a room can be tricky, please let me know if you learned anything or if you have any questions.

Signature welcome to the woods






Designing A Room Starting From A Blank Space

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