Learn how to style the perfect coffee table.
5 complete looks with shopping links!

How to Start Your Home Design Project

A completed living room designed with my unique planning process in mind

It can be overwhelming when creating your home design project or even planning the design for one room in your home. People are often just so unhappy with what they have that they think anything would be better.

But when you’re designing your home, you have a fresh start, and with that comes the opportunity to make your home so much better: to function better, to have the right storage, to have a place for all of your activities (if you just thought of the movie Step Brothers, you’re my people), to entertain with ease, AND to be beautiful.


Where do you start? You start here:


a detailed living room design completed with my home design plan process in mind Assess Your Current Space

Really take time to think about the whole picture: how it looks, how it functions, the storage or lack of it, the organization, all the things. Make a list of what is working and what isn’t.

A great way to understand where your needs are is to take some photos of your room and print them out on a full sheet of paper. The printing out part is key to seeing your space—when you take the 3rd dimension out and see your space in 2d, you can easily spot things you may gloss over in your daily life.

Now, take a look at what you see. If you’re looking at a clean and organized space, you can move to the next step. If not, take notice of things: are there charging cords out everywhere? You may need a charging station. Are there kids’ or work papers all over the place? You may need a work area. Are there toys on the floor? You may need better storage.

Do you like the layout, or is it not quite right? Is there enough seating for your needs? You get the drift. This exercise is about understanding how you feel about your current home. There is more to it (in most cases) than just hating the old brown sofa. The things you see in those photos are usually your pain points, which should be addressed in your design.


a designed entry way with my unique home design planning process in mindDecide What Your Goals Are For Your Home Design Project

Again, this goes beyond the old brown sofa. This is where I tell people to dream big! Make a list of everything you want to happen in your home—all the important things in your life and then design around that.

If you want to have big family dinners every Sunday and have a table for 4, you’ll likely not have them because it is difficult. Find the space for a big table and have the dinners.

If you want to practice yoga every day, make sure you have that in your home design project—a place of solitude, a place of zen, and that place needs to house any equipment you need for your practice.

Are family game nights on your list? Make sure you have the games and anything else you need easily assessable. Board games, their pieces, and instructions can be housed in decorative boxes stacked in bookcases or on a console—styling them within your space for easy access.

When designing your spaces, you have a blank slate, so make them work for you. Design around what is important in your life.


Make a Plan for Your Home Design Project

a completely designed kitchen space with my design planning process in mind

Planning is the key to good design! It’s in the planning that you get to where you want to go—a beautiful home that supports your family. There are five steps I use for planning home design projects. These steps take you through the process I use every time I design a space—all projects, big or small. Planning is the foundation of your project, and in the end, you’re only as strong as your foundation. Learn the five steps here.

I talk a LOT about function, planning, systems, and zones in these blogs. It’s because these are the things that can make your home work for you. Remember when your English teacher told you to make an outline for your paper, and your first thought was, ugh, that is such a waste of time? But when you did an outline, you realized it made everything easier, and the outcome was much better. It’s the same thing I’m talking about—do the steps, trust this process, and it will be so much better.

Please let us know if you have any questions. We’re here to make your design journey easier!




Molly Hirsch interior designer Ridgefield, Connecticut

Hi, I’m Molly Hirsch, and I help women founders, executives, and entrepreneurs translate their highly effective work approach to their home design, creating a space that rises up to meet their needs while enhancing the warmth and style of their family home. Discover all the ways we can work together to create a home of your dreams.

You’re one step away from a well-designed life.