Considering an interior make-over..?

Daizy Obura
6 min readOct 10, 2022

You don’t have to be an expert in interior design to participate in transforming your space. It only takes being intentional about it, understanding your own style, and making the big move. There are also a number of guiding resources for your use on the internet, my personal favorite is Pinterest, you could find anything there. It is however great to seek expert advice before you make certain decisions confidently.

All you want to ensure is that you appreciate your home by the end of the process and that you look forward to the serenity it offers you every day. It is said that on average, a person spends 70–80% of their time indoors; so you want to make sure you love this dominantly occupied space!

Let’s explore this 3 — phase process that can be adapted to achieve a successful interior re-design project.

Planning 🗒

Plan, plan, plan! You can never plan too much when it comes to projects. The more you have figured out, the safer for you. Have a notebook and pen at all times once you start planning, you could also make use of google sheets templates or blank sheets if you don’t want to be too formal. These tools will help for easy tracking and reconciliation of plans, ideas, concepts, and budgets.

a. Set your goal — set a clear, realistic, and achievable goal. Examples of these could be: I want to have more living space, and less clutter; I want to have an extra cozy bedroom; I want to have a modern living room with a museum-like feel.

Setting your goal will enable you to work towards a well-defined result, and to set expectations.

b. Assess your goal — what is the final look, feel & style you want to achieve? Is it something modern, contemporary, bohemian, or perhaps industrial? Asking this question will also help you pick out which items will make it to the “keep list” once you start the prepping phase.

c. Based on your goal, what changes will you need to make? In other words, what will it take to achieve the goal? Will the changes involve breaking walls, plumbing, wiring, painting, or flooring? Will you need a hand full of laborers or is it something achievable with 2 to 3 pairs of hands? Would you need expert advice from an interior designer or decorator, an architect, or any other professional? How long will it take you to achieve your goal?

d. Develop your concept of design. Draw rough sketches of the placements of items across your space. During this process, you’ll also be able to identify items that might not speak to your new desired design. You might also realize that you’ll need to make purchases of items that are more suitable to your design.

e. Draw your budget, considering priorities & service providers. Start to document your requirements & needs. Get quotations from providers where necessary, depending on the size of your project. Document your priorities from the highest to the lowest. Summarize all the above in a budget by laying down how much you are willing to put into the project; keep in mind that this figure could change after prepping or during implementation in case you encounter unforeseen impediments.

Prepping 🗃

After the planning phase, you will need to dive into your clutter, which makes up approximately 95% of the space.

  1. This process can best be achieved by separating all your household items into 3 categories:
  • To keep — these are items that you’ll keep at all costs. Whether or not they will blend into your final look. Your design might also rotate around these items that you value highly.
  • Debatable — these are items you are uncertain about for one reason or another. This particular category can be revisited later on, towards the end of the project. Some items from here could blend in well, whereas others will not fit in.
  • Let go of — for sale, donation, or simply giving to someone who might find a better use for it.

2. Purchase items — decluttering will feed well into this step, as you have now identified what items you might need to replace.

Purchase the items that:

a. Will be used during the implementation process, for example for renovation works, like flooring, painting, etc.

b. Will serve as additions to achieve your desired goal and, those that need to be replaced — these might mostly be furniture & decor pieces. Keep in mind that you might continue to purchase some items as you go through the implementation phase.

Implementation 🛠

This is the phase where things get practical and hands get dirty.

  1. Start by covering up all your items to avoid splashes and stains, where necessary, for instance, if you are going to paint walls or have lots of dust saturating the rooms.
  2. Once your items are securely placed, it's safe to start the renovation works, if ever these were part of your plan. It's still necessary to securely place your items, whether or not you’ll be renovating the space, as clearing the room gives perspective.
  3. Once the wall works, wiring, plumbing, and any such hardware works are over and complete, clean up the space, as you pay attention to residue & dust. A clean & fresh room, that's almost a fresh slate is an indicator that it's time to start the process of harmony & balance!

This is by far the most exciting part for me —furnishing.. setting the tone of the room by incorporating the decorative and practical pieces within, from furniture to electronics to decor pieces. This is the stage where your sketches will be the most useful, refer to these drawings to keep yourself from being frustrated by items that don’t seem to work cohesively, but also feel free to get creative!

  1. Start by placing the furniture pieces that the room gravitates around. In the living room, these are the sofas; in the bedroom — the bed, dining room — the dining table, study room — reading table. Be sure that the placements are practical and that when you add the complementary pieces, there will be enough living and movement space.
  2. Once the primary pieces are in place, start to add the other practical pieces, paying attention to proportion & scale. Make sure that these pieces do not overpower the main pieces of the room or look awkwardly placed because they are small and almost disappear into the space. For instance, in the living room, your centerpiece should be a maximum of 2/3 of the longest sofa and a minimum of 1/3 of the same.
  3. After arranging all the practical pieces, start to add the decorative pieces that complement the former.
  4. Finally, take a step back and evaluate your goal. Have you achieved what you had set out to accomplish from your planning phase? Have you overdone it or does it feel like there’s still something missing? I highly recommend having another eye look at what you’ve done, to give a different perspective. The extra pair of eyes do not have to be expert eyes but of course, the more expertise, the better.

After reading this article, you’ll discover that interior decor or design is not all about aesthetics, but also practicality and customization to one's needs. An interior needs to fit both the aesthetic and practical needs of the individual(s) that make the most use of the space. A room with white walls and all-white furniture might look elegant, glamorous, and breathtaking but is not practical for a family with toddlers, because, well, you can guess why.

It’s hard to get it all right the first time because perspective keeps changing and we don’t always have it all figured out. Moving things here and there is actually fine until you find that look that works perfectly for you! Here are a few tips you can look into for guidance. Enjoy your attempt at interior design and share pictures!



Daizy Obura

Believer in our Lord Jesus Christ | Techie | Web Developer | Interior Decorator | Jeweller | Learning, Unlearning, Re-learning