11 Steps to a Well-Designed Room

Design experts share their tips for creating a stylish space that is uniquely your own.

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Some designers can keep all of this information in their heads, others carry their floor plans, photos and design ideas around with them at all times, but they never dive in without thinking it all through.

Be sure to create your own room-design file. You'll want to include key measurements and inspiring images. You'll also want to keep a shopping list based on things you've seen in stores, on websites and in catalogs that are a good fit for your dimensions, theme and budget (you may find something even better down the road, but it's good to have a point of comparison). Designer Stephanie Henley suggests keeping plastic baggies of the fabric swatches, flooring samples and paint chips you'd like to use (label their purpose clearly, she notes, but write in pencil because you may change your mind).

Clearly everything is flexible, but having this plan at your fingertips will help you make decisions and keep the momentum going.