So you want to redecorate but you don’t know where to start?  The first thing is to know what style you want.  If you are not sure, browse through design magazines such as Elle Décor, Architectural Digest, or look at pictures in the style you like online at places like  What do you like?  Do you like Modern, Contemporary, Eclectic, Traditional, or Shabby Chic?  Put together a collage of pictures that peak your interest.  Decide what specifically you like within these designs. Take inventory of what you have, what you can modify, update or repurpose.  Don’t forget to check the garage or storage for items you may want to use again.  Make a list of what is most important to you.  Do you want to just paint, add some accessories, change only one room, etc. 



Design is just that, it is a planned thought out process of creating what you would like to see in your home.  Here is a resource that can help you sort out your wants and needs.

Some helpful books are as follows:

Home Decorating for Dummies, 2nd Edition, written by Katharine Kay McMillan and Patricia Hart McMillan.  (ISBN: 0-7645-4156-0) 

House Beautiful Colors For Your Home (ISBN: 978-1-58816-739-2)

Fabrics for Your Home (ISBN: 978-1-58816-741-5)

Home Color Bible by David Willis published for Benjamin Moore Paints (ISBN: 978-0-09-182574-3)


Overwhelmed and need help with your design project?  Pick other people’s brains for free.  There is limited free advice out there in the retail environments.  You can get help at the home improvement stores with your paint projects and get help with picking fabrics and coordinating them at a retail home fabric store.  


Not everyone can afford to hire an experienced Interior Design professional.  Why not consider a design student?  Interior Design students are hungry for experience and would love to build up their design portfolio (pictures of finished work) while they are in school or fresh out of school.  You can hire someone on a contract basis or even list the work as intern work.  Look to local art schools or community colleges by searching online, and then put in a call to the school to see if they have a job placement department. 

Another idea to find someone to help you without paying an arm and a leg for a design professional is to put in ads listing your requirements.  Besides Craigslist, you can search on,,,, or 

Need someone to paint or shop for you then try,, or 

Written by Janette A.