DIY Interior Design: The Beginner’s Guide to Decorating Your Home

Think Interior
6 min readJan 27, 2023

Decorating your home can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be overwhelming, especially for beginners. Interior design can seem daunting whether you are moving into a new home or just looking to refresh your current space. The good news is that anyone can create a beautiful and functional home with a little planning and creativity. However, being certified by an accredited interior design academy is fundamental to working in this field professionally. This guide will provide you with the basic principles of interior design and the tools you need to create a space that reflects your style. From choosing a color palette to incorporating sustainable design elements, this guide will walk you through the process of decorating your home step by step. Whether a beginner or a seasoned DIY interior designer, this guide will give you the confidence and inspiration to create a space You will love.

Interior design can seem daunting for beginners, but with a little knowledge and creativity, anyone can decorate their home to reflect their style. Here are some tips for DIY interior design:

Start with a Plan

Before buying furniture or picking out paint colors, take the time to create a plan for a space. Consider the function of the room and overall design aesthetic.

Create a Mood Board

A mood board is a collage of images, fabrics, and paint swatches that can help to visualize a design plan. You can create a physical mood board or use an online tool like ‘Interest’ to collect and organize your inspiration.

Use a Color Palette

Choosing a color palette for a space will help you create a cohesive look and feel. Consider the natural light in the room, as well as the existing finishes and furniture.

Invest in Key Pieces

Instead of buying many small decor items, invest in a few key pieces that will impact the room. A statement piece of furniture or a large piece of art can anchor the space and serve as a focal point.

Layer Lighting

Lighting is an important aspect of interior design, and layering different types of lighting can create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Consider using a combination of overhead lighting, table lamps, and floor lamps.

Mix High and Low-End Items

Mixing high and low-end decor items can add visual interest and personality to a space. You can pair a designer sofa with a vintage coffee table or a thrift store painting.

Add Plants

Plants are not only beautiful, but they also purify the air and make a space feel alive. Consider adding various plants in different sizes and textures to a space.

Personalize It

Personal touches like family photos, collections, and artwork can make a space feel like home. Feel free to showcase your unique style and interests in decor.

Don’t be Afraid to Mix Patterns

Mixing patterns can add visual interest to a space, but choosing is important. Try large-scale pairing patterns with small-scale patterns or mixing different textures.

Use Rugs to Define Spaces

Rugs can define different areas within a room or add a pop of color or pattern. Consider using a larger rug in the center of a room to anchor the space and smaller rugs in other areas to create a sense of flow.

Make Use of Wall Space

Walls are a great opportunity to add interest and personality to a space. Consider using a gallery wall, hanging a large piece of art, or using a statement wallpaper.

Accessorize with Pillows and Throws

Pillows and throws easily add color and texture. Designers can use them to make a piece of furniture feel cozy and inviting.

Get Creative with Storage

Storage doesn’t have to be boring. Consider using a vintage trunk as a coffee table or a ladder as a towel rack. Getting creative with storage can add character to a space and make it feel more personalized.

Experiment with Different Textures

Using a variety of textures can add depth and interest to a space. Consider mixing smooth surfaces like glass or metal with rough surfaces like wood or stone.

Be Mindful of the Scale

When decorating a space, paying attention to the room’s scale and furniture is important. A large piece of furniture in a small room can make the space feel cramped, while a small piece in a large room can look out of place.

Use Mirrors to Create the Illusion of Space

Mirrors can create the illusion of more space in a room by reflecting light and the surrounding area. Consider using a large mirror in a small room or a group of smaller mirrors in a larger room.

Use Different Heights to Create Visual Interest

Creating visual interest in a space can be achieved by using different heights in decor. Place a tall vase or sculpture next to a small table, or use a tall bookshelf next to a low couch.

Incorporate Natural Elements

Bringing natural elements into a space can create a sense of warmth and bring the outdoors in. Consider using natural wood, stone, or rattan in furniture and decor.

Use Window Treatments to Add Style and Function

Window treatments add style and function to a space. Consider using curtains, blinds, or shades to control light and privacy.

Have Fun and be Creative

Remember that interior design is about expressing yourself and making your home reflect who you are. Don’t be afraid to try new things and have fun with them.

Consider the Flow of a Room

The flow of a room is important for both aesthetics and function. Make sure the room layout makes sense, and there is a clear path for people to move through the space.

Use Accent Pieces to Add Personality

Accent pieces such as vases, sculptures, or unique objects can add personality to a space and make it feel more interesting. Use these pieces to add a touch of your style to a room.

Don’t Forget about the Ceiling

The ceiling is often overlooked, but it can be a great opportunity to add interest to a space. Consider using a bold paint color or a statement light fixture to draw the eye upward.

Play with Different Textures and Finishes

Experimenting with different textures and finishes can add depth and interest to a space. Mix and match wood, metal, glass, and ceramics to create a unique look.

Make Use of Negative Space

Negative space, or the space in a room, can be just as important as the filled space. Use negative space to create a sense of calm and balance in a room.

Remember 5 Elements of Design

The five elements of design are color, texture, form, line, and pattern. Incorporating these elements into a design can create a harmonious and balanced space.

Make Use of Outdoor Spaces

Outdoor spaces can be just as important as indoor spaces, especially in warmer climates. Use outdoor spaces to create additional living areas and extend the living space of your home.

Add Character with Vintage and Antique Pieces

Vintage and antique pieces can add character and personality to a space. Consider using a vintage piece as a statement piece or incorporating vintage elements into a design.

Use Symmetry to Create Balance

Symmetry can create balance and a sense of order in a room. Consider using matching furniture or decor items to create a symmetrical look.

Experiment with Different Styles

Don’t be afraid to mix different styles in a room. Incorporating various styles can create a unique and interesting space. For example, combine vintage and modern pieces or traditional and contemporary styles.

Consider the Function of a Room

The function of a room should always be a top consideration when decorating. Make sure the room is functional and comfortable for the people using it.

Use Lighting to Create Different Moods

Lighting can create different moods in a room. Consider using dimmer switches to create a cozy and intimate atmosphere or bright lighting for a more energizing space.

Make Use of Vertical Space

Vertical spaces, such as walls and ceilings, can add interest and function to a room. Consider using wall-mounted shelves or hanging a ladder as a towel rack to use vertical space.

Use Neutral Colors as a Base

Neutral colors can be used as a base for a room and then accentuated with pops of color. Neutral colors are versatile and can be used to create a variety of different styles and moods.

Keep it Simple

Less is often more when it comes to decorating. Use a limited color palette and keep


In conclusion, interior design can be a fun and creative process. Following these tips, a DIY designer can create a beautiful, functional, personalized space that reflects their style. Remember to take your time, have fun, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. With creativity and effort, you can turn any home into a beautiful, inviting space that everyone will love. To learn interior design as a profession, you must get a formal education. Check out which academy offers home design courses near me, and register yourself today!



Think Interior

Think Interior provides you with the highest standards of education in interior design to enhance your ability of creating ideas.