A Beginner's Guide

How To Decorate Your Space LIKE A PROFESSIONAL

1. Rip off that bandaid & start!

Listen.  You’ve got this!  Every person, family and home is different.  Trust me it feels like I’ve been in thousands of homes and not a single one is the same.  So, while you see all of these polished and professionally curated images on Pinterest and in magazines, just know that they are most likely staged!  Your home is not a museum or a perfectly lit picture of beauty… it needs to function well and meet your needs!  Think about yourself and what you need your space to do!

2. What stays and what goes?

Take a look at your space now… what pieces do you like?  What do you want out of your house asap? Many times a space doesn’t need to be completely thrown out – there are staple pieces (especially more expensive items like a sectional sofa) that can stay and act as the baseline for your design inspiration.  This also helps you keep your budget in check too!  Take stock of what you have in your space now (and others around your house!) and pull from them for inspiration.

3. Mood Board!

Take pictures of those items that are staying and build your mood board off of that!  These don’t need to be fancy and you don’t need to have a high tech software like photoshop to complete it!  You can print and cut-out everything you want by hand or you can use software like Canva that has a free version with mood board templates.

For the mood board you want to start with your staple pieces, which typically are the largest items in the room (sofa, bed, etc) and work your way down.  Typically here’s how I create my mood boards:

  1. Large Staple Pieces | Bed Frame, Sectional, Built-in Cabinets
  2. Large Textiles & Finishes | Area Rug, Curtains, Bedding
  3. Paint Color (Or Wallpaper)
  4.  Smaller Textiles & Finishes | Accent Pillows, Metal Finish Color, Lamps
  5. The Final Touches | Artwork, items for shelves, tables, etc.

Once you start placing all of your items together into a mood board you’ll really begin to see what works and what doesn’t.  The colors and textures will all begin to take on a concept as one, cohesive palette for your space.  Here are a few mood board examples:

4. Buy in Stages

Not everything has to be ordered all at once!  As a matter of fact, sometimes it’s better to buy in stages so you can adjust as you go – refining your design with each new layer. Speaking of layers…

5. Don't forget to layer your look

Other than some extremely minimalist spaces, you’re going to want to have layers of decor in your space!  Don’t be afraid to mix old items with new; personal items with sculptural.  The space should feel comfortable and “filled” not barren or cold.  This takes time!  I cannot tell you how many spaces I’ve put together only to shift and develop futher over time.


Be true to yourself and your household!  The best spaces are always the ones that reflect YOU!  What is “in” only lasts a season – true design curates a space for years!

Jessie Ellis

Jessie Ellis

Wife, friend and dog mom with 18+ years of education and 12+ years as a commercial design professional. Always inquisitive, creative and empathetic; trying to live each day with intention.

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