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How to Measure Rooms for Decorating Projects

Measuring rooms for a decorating project may seem hard, but it’s actually really easy.

When you’re planning to decorate a room, it’s important to have the space measured so you can come up with a furniture plan that works. Measuring room size, walls, doors, and windows provides you with the ability to choose items that fit your space well.

If you’re only changing bed linens and drapery, of course measuring isn’t necessary, but when assessing a room’s layout and planning for new furniture, artwork, and window furnishings, a floor plan (floor sketch) and wall elevations (wall sketch) are genius tools to help make the rest of the decorating project so much more easier!

Measure Rooms

How To

To measure rooms you’ll need a tape measure, paper, pencil, and someone to help (depending on how big the room is).

  1. Roughly sketch the existing layout of the room. This does not have to be perfect. You should include the placement of the windows, doors, closets, built-in lighting fixtures (sconces & ceiling lights), radiators, and electrical and/or cable outlets.
  2. Measure each wall from corner to corner and record the measurement on your sketch. Record as feet and inches (5’-6”). For me, it’s easiest to measure when I place the measuring tape on the floor. Measure the ceiling height and label it on the sketch.
  3. Then, measure and record the location of each door, window, closet, built-in lighting fixtures, and radiator (if you have one). It may not be necessary to measure the location of the electrical and/or cable fixtures unless you have issues with your outlets being visible.
  4. Lightly sketch each wall, including the doors, windows, closets, and radiators. On each wall elevation (wall sketch), measure and record each door from the floor to the top of the door. Windows need to be measured from floor to bottom of window and also from bottom of window to top of window. Make sure you sketch and measure all your trim, too (baseboards, crown moldings, etc.).
  5. If the drawing is too messy, you may want to redraw it so it’s clear and easy enough to read when going to stores to look for furnishings. These drawings and measurements will prove super valuable when looking for that perfect size bookshelf to fit in a tight corner.
  6. If you’re planning to keep any furniture, I suggest measuring them and noting them somewhere on the outside of your sketches. This helps make sure that any new pieces you get will work with existing furniture. It also helps when you’re trying to create a new furniture layout.
  7. I’d also suggest scanning and saving your sketches on your computer for safe keeping and/or viewing on your computer screen.

It may seem like a lot to do, but I promise, measuring your room first will make your decorating projects a whole lot easier. With your sketches, you’re able to see how large a wall is, how much space is in between a window and the end of a wall, how high your window is, and more. You’ll now be able to quickly see if that dresser you’ve been eyeing would be too big or too small. That art print on Etsy? You now will know if it’s the right size for the wall space between your two windows. You’ll know where the outlets are located and would easily be able to see how far or near your outlets that your furniture should be.

If sketching and measuring rooms still seem too hard, I suggest getting someone to come and do it for you, or even pay a professional. Trust me, it’s worth it, especially for large rooms when you’re starting from scratch.

Don’t forget to check out my LOVE YOUR HOME 4-week decorating workshop – measuring will be apart of the workshop!

Was this post helpful? Will you be measuring your rooms for future projects? I want to hear from you, so leave a comment below!

Till next time,



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10 Reasons YOU Need a Decorator…

It’s tough trying to decorate your home by yourself. If you’re way good at it, YAY! But, if not, you need to hire a decorator. Here’s 10 reasons why you need to get some help…

10 reasons why you need to hire a decorator

  1. You’re not good with colors… any colors.
  2. You just need a paint color for your kitchen, or bath, or bedroom that coordinates with the rest of your home.
  3. You don’t know your design style.
  4. You don’t like to shop or just don’t like to shop for stuff in your home.
  5. You don’t know the best way to layout your furniture.
  6. You’re increasing the number of people in your house (i.e. new baby or moving with new hubby) and need to maximize a small home.
  7. You’re ashamed to have company over, because you don’t like the way your home “looks”.
  8. You host a lot of parties, but never feel like your space accommodates your guests well enough.
  9. You don’t like to decorate and/or don’t have the time for it.
  10. You want to use the same furnishings in your home to “redecorate”, but don’t know how.

So, do you need a designer/decorator? There are many more signs/reasons why someone should hire someone to help them with space planning and decorating, can you think of more?

Did you like this post? If so, please share it! I would also LOVE for you SUBSCRIBE to the newsletter. You’ll get loads of great decor tips and tricks, be in the know of fun new contests/giveaways, and you’ll get all the latest blog posts delivered directly to your inbox. There won’t be any spam… pinky swear! Just enter your email address in the box at the top of the right sidebar.

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Till next time,
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Bedroom Decor Board Inspired by Anthropologie Outfit

I’m on the Anthropologie email list and when I opened up an email from the last week, I was so inspired by this image below, that I just HAD to create a decor board…

Anthropologie Pink Blouse and White Pants with Green and White Bird Wallpaper in the Background

via Anthropologie

I love the colors of the pink and white outfit paired with the green and cream bird/floral wallpaper. The wallpaper provides a beautiful contrast and together the look is very serene, feminine, nature-like, and even a bit rustic.

Pink and Green Design Board Inspired by Anthropologie Outfit


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18


I don’t use green often, so this decor board was a fun challenge for me. I wanted the style to be eclectic so I used a variety of pattern, textures, and styles. The chandelier, bonsai tree, floral chair, and tree artwork all create a whimsical idea of nature and I kept the color scheme simple with soft pinks and deep greens.

So… what do you think? Could you picture this as your bedroom? Was I successful at creating a serene, feminine decor board with a nature vibe? Please chime in and drop a comment below!!

Did you like this post? If so, please share it! I would also LOVE for you SUBSCRIBE to the newsletter. You’ll get loads of great decor tips and tricks, be in the know of fun new contests/giveaways, and you’ll get all the latest blog posts delivered directly to your inbox. There won’t be any spam… pinky swear! Just enter your email address in the box at the top of the right sidebar.

You can also like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter or Instagram!
Till next time,
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Designer Roundtable Q & A Session: Small Spaces

Howdy peoples!

Thanks for dropping by for my second installment of the Designer Roundtable Q & A Session!! I’ve rounded up some fab designers to answer questions related to interior design and decor. Today we’re talking small spaces!

Be sure to join into the conversation.




via First Time Fancy

1. Name an easy, inexpensive way to make a small space look bigger.

  • “The least expensive way to make a small space look bigger is to eliminate the clutter. Neatly tuck things away in bins under the bed, decorative boxes on shelves, or hide them under table skirts. Too many accessories can also look cluttered; pair them down. Rather than having a vignette with several items on display, opt for one larger piece that makes a statement.” – Peggy Pardo
  • “Light and Mirrors!!!” – Adam Zollinger
  • “The most critical element in small space design is creating negative space volume. One of the easiest ways to insure that the space reads open and airy is to make sure that there is a clear line of sight from the entry to the furthest point in the room. Furniture layout tricks include putting your highest pieces against the far wall, and avoiding the creation of “virtual walls” that will cut up the space by making sure that deep case goods, and mounted shelving on walls perpendicular to the entry, are considerably below eye level. In small spaces, I like to limit any deep furnishings that will not be against the far wall to a maximum height of about 35 inches. When wall mounted shelves are required for storage, I situate them so that they are viewed from the front, rather than the side. If the configuration of the room doesn’t allow for that, I will use relatively narrow shelves and stagger them to avoid creating a monolithic structure that will impede the eye from traveling effortlessly around the room. Having a focal point on the far wall will also work to direct the eye to the farthest point in the room and make the room feel larger.” – Peggy Berk
  • “Mirrors are by far one of the easiest ways to make a small space look bigger! Helps bounce around light through a space that may have otherwise been dark… by brighting and therefore visually expanding the space!” – Whitney Jones


2. List the most essential furniture needs of a studio apartment.

  •  “When choosing furniture for studio apartments, it’s important to select items that have more than one purpose. For example, storage ottomans are a stylish way to store linens, towels and other items when cabinet space is lacking. They also provide extra seating when you have guests and are easy to move around so you can put them where you need them.” – Peggy Pardo
  • “Sleeper sofa with Air Dream Mattress!” – Adam Zollinger
  • “It’s important to meet the functional needs of your client in every situation so it’s really is the client whose needs determine what is essential. However, fulfilling those requirements should be accomplished in a more efficient way in small spaces. In multi-functional small spaces, multi-functional furniture can be a great asset, however, its use needs to be balanced against lifestyle issues and the importance of maintaining discrete functional areas when they are warranted. For example, a coffee table that elevates to dining table height might work great in some instances, but might not be practical for someone living in a studio who entertains a lot and wants to separate the dining experience from the conversation area. No matter the size of the space, I don’t expect my clients to accommodate themselves to furnishings – the furnishings should accommodate the client. Individual culture is just as important as individual style when designing a successful room and should be respected in spaces of all sizes.”– Peggy Berk
  • “I’m not sure if these count as ‘essentials’, but stools/ottomans that double as storage and nesting tables are great for small spaces. The stools/ottomans store items and do double duty as extra seating, while nesting tables can be stacked together to make space or moved around a space separately to give a hard surface to sit drinks, snacks, books, etc on.” – Whitney Jones



3. What’s one great tip for decorating small spaces?

  • “My favorite tip for decorating small spaces is – Bring the eye up! Using both the wall space up to and ABOVE eye level makes a room seem much larger and provides an opportunity to display items you may not have room for at floor or table level.As you can see in photo #1 (above), I’ve used a wall-mounted plant stand to add height and visual interest to an otherwise “dead zone” behind the bathroom door and above the towel tower. There is no room on the floor for a plant stand so placing it up on the wall creates a nice “green scene” and gives you something pleasant to enjoy while “catching up on your reading”. An additional tip is to “cheat the corners” of a small room to avoid a boxy feel. You can see that the angled placement of this bookcase in photo #2 (above) opens up the space and eliminates the sensation of being in a long narrow room. Topping it with objects of varying heights also draws the eye up as I discussed previously, bringing the whole corner to life.” – Susan Lacy
  • “Multi Function!!! Do not put anything in that space that only acts as the thing is was intended to be!” – Adam Zollinger
  • “To unify the rooms in a small house or apartment, choose a main color and use it in some way in each room. It could be the dominant color in one room, a secondary color in another, an accent color in another room, and so on.” – Peggy Pardo
  • “When it comes to style, the eclecticism that can work so well in larger rooms serving just one or two functions, can easily cross the line into a cluttered look if not handled deftly in a small multi-functional space. Choosing a more homogenous style will help maintain a sense of harmony in the room. The smaller the room, the greater the impact of wall decor – so if you love a busy look, try to incorporate it into your room with your wall decor.” – Peggy Berk
  • “Embrace natural lighting and mirrors! They both help visually expand the depth of a room. Another tip for decorating a small space is to use double duty furniture. For example, if space is limited, use your dining table as a desk for work. Just bring in stylish file cabinets to combat clutter and add a wood top to serve your dining needs, like storing dinnerware.” – Whitney Jones



4. How should you organize a small, cluttered space?

  •  “When organizing a small, cluttered space, be creative in your use of storage containers. Use things you would not normally for storing necessary objects. For example, in the closet/office I’m creating(see my blog at I’m using the recycled candy wrapper planters in photo #3 (above) for paper clips, tacks, etc. In photo #4 (above), you see the wire baskets I’m going to spray paint and mount on the wall to hold post-its, index cards, and the like. The whimsical cat planter in photo #5 (above) will hold pens and pencils. Using these items as unexpected storage pieces allows them to serve form and function in a fun way.” – Susan Lacy
  • “Any way you can – Only have the things you will actually use in your home.” – Adam Zollinger
  •  “When organizing a small space, think vertically for storage. Most rooms have lots of unused vertical space that you can take advantage of for storage. Floor-to-ceiling bookcases or shelving will give you plenty of much needed space-saving storage. For easy access to the items stored on top, keep a step stool handy.” – Peggy Pardo
  •  “Space planning for a small space has to be meticulous. Limit your traffic pattern to one continuous linear, L-shaped “corridor” that will enable you to navigate through the space and access all areas without weaving in and out among the furnishings. This not only will preserve as much floor space as possible for necessary furnishings, but also help to define functional areas and keep the space feeling open and uncluttered. Define and mentally draw a virtual room around each functional area (or use painter’s tape on the floor to help you visualize it more easily), leaving the traffic lane free of furnishings . Then, approach the furnishing of each area as if it truly were its own room, staying within its confines, and selecting furnishings of an appropriate size and scale for the allotted space. Take into account the visual weight of the styles you select, not just absolute dimensions.” – Peggy Berk
  • “Stylish cubbies and baskets! I’m not big on labelling, sometimes it looks a bit too “DIY”, but I find that a great way to ‘label’ a basket is just by separating them by color, style, and with decorative tassels or trim.” – Whitney Jones


5. Is there a small space decorating rule that shouldn’t be broken?

  • “The unbreakable small space rule: Do not use furniture that is too big! Your room will NEVER feel comfortable if the furniture is too big!” – Susan Lacy
  • “Don’t buy stuff for hypothetical situations, dinner parties, or guests that may NEVER happen!” – Adam Zollinger
  •  “The only rule I follow in design is that there are no rules. It’s about what you love. Design should be fun and you shouldn’t be afraid to try something new.” – Peggy Pardo
  •  “As a rule, I’m not big on rules. But generally I would say that you should avoid anything, such as furniture and area carpets, placed in a way that that visually cuts up the space.” – Peggy Berk
  • “Using furniture that is too big or too small! Just because your space is small doesn’t mean you should have itty-bitty furniture, but you shouldn’t have furniture that’s too big that it visually looks ‘squeezed in’.” – Whitney Jones



6. If you had the ability to decorate a very small 250sft studio apartment however you wanted, explain briefly what it would look like.

  • “My ideal small space would be full of multi-purpose furniture, functional storage, lots of natural light, and have plenty of comfortable seating. It would also be warm, inviting and have a touch of glamour.” – Peggy Pardo
  •  “I would do it just like the model IKEA homes, but with higher quality materials! Don’t reinvent the wheel!” – Adam Zollinger
  •  They say a picture is worth 1000 words, so I thought I’d share a recent project. This owner of this small studio apartment required both a home office and an area in which she could set up a portable rehabilitative massage table when needed for her clients, as well as dining for four to five, and sleeping accommodations for three on occasion – a formidable challenge in a room that is only 12 feet at its widest point.Multi-functional furniture from Resource Furniture provided a great solution. The sofa on the right is framed in a wall unit that lowers a queen size side sleeper over the sofa and ottomans without necessitating that any furniture be moved. On the opposite wall, Resource’s Cabrio desk converts to a side sleeper as well. Side sleepers are not that common in the market, but can be great space savers as the beds open parallel to the wall, instead of perpendicular to it. A built- in banquette in the widowed niche is a great dining solution in a small space because it eliminates the need for pull-back space for chairs. The two ottomans in front of the sofa were customized to dining chair height so that they can be pulled up to the dining table to provide the additional seating there when needed. The far wall adjoining the dining area was used to create a horizontally oriented focal point that would draw the eye to the farthest wall from the entry and promote a feeling of spaciousness.” – Peggy Berk
  • “I would have a wall of built-in bookcases for storing everything from clothes to movies to books. I’ll have a sectional sofa that does double duty as a sleeper and a bed built on a platform tucked away in a corner with linen drapery mounted from the ceiling separating it from the rest of the space. I would have a rectangular table that serves both dining and work surfaces and small kitchen that opens up to the entire space.” – Whitney Jones


Resource Furniture's Cabrio Desk
Resource Furniture’s Cabrio Desk

The Designers/Decorators


Adam Zollinger
Interior Designer/Owner of Adam Zollinger Interiors
Owner of Shabby – Your Chic Lamp Boutique on Etsy


Peggy Berk

Interior Designer of Area Aesthetics Interior Design


Susan Lacy
Interior Designer/Owner of Pepper Creek Interiors


Peggy Pardo
Interior Decorator & Professional Organizer, Owner of Spaces by Design
Author of The Moving Handbook


Whitney Jones
Interior Decorator/Owner of Whitney J Decor

Care to chime in about small space decorating and any of the questions/answers above? Agree or disagree? Be sure to drop a comment and let us know!

Did you like this post? If so, please share it! I would also LOVE for you SUBSCRIBE to the newsletter. You’ll get loads of great decor tips and tricks, be in the know of fun new contests/giveaways, and you’ll get all the latest blog posts delivered to directly to your inbox. I promise there won’t be any spam. Just enter your email address in the box at the top left.

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Till next time,
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Small Spaces & Creating Separate Zones

In my opinion, a great way to make a small space feel larger is to create zones. Space planning is super important when trying to figure out where to allocate space and to what tasks to allocate to those spaces. In really small spaces, like small studio apartments, it’s probably best to have your one room have work as a multi-space. I’ll touch briefly on combining zones, but will dig deeper in a separate post. For now let’s concentrate more on creating separate zones for small spaces.

A good way to make your space feel bigger, is by creating as many functional zones (work, sleep, play, eat, etc.) as you can. Jot down all the things that you will need to do in your space and start planning to separate your room into areas to complete each of these tasks. Some areas can work double duty if needed, for example, eating and working can both be completed from the same small dining table.

There are many ways that you can section off each of these areas: with furniture, room dividers, curtain panels, rugs, empty floor space, etc.

Separate Zones in Small Spaces

Below are ways to create zones for your small space:

The Entry Zone

I think it’s a great idea to have a determined “entry” in a small space. When walking into a home with a defined entry area, it definitely gives the illusion that there is a lot more “space” left in the home. One way to define your entry is by adding a rug right at the inside of the door or having a different floor treatment in this space that’s different from the rest of the floor in the room. Although a rug may be less expensive than changing the floors, but if you’re planning to be there long term, having a beautiful, contrasting floor treatment in the entry area of a small space creates a bigger impact. Another way to define your entry is by placing a piece of furniture there that serves all the entry needs, like a tray to corral clutter and keys, a spot for mail, and space for cute accessories. You should also have some space to put dirty shoes and umbrellas, and hooks to hang jackets and purses. I love to see a vintage chest of drawers in a bright color at the entry of a small space, because it brings a big pop of color and character as soon as you walk through the door. I also think that the entry is a great spot to add cute knick-knack decorative accessories that don’t necessarily “fit” in with the rest of the space.

Make sure that there is sufficient lighting in your entry zone, too, like overhead lighting or a floor or table lamp.


The Dining Zone

To create your dining zone, you can use a small table and four chairs. There is an unlimited supply of apartment sized tables. You can go simple with your table and bring pizazz with cute chairs, or get a crazy good table and tone down the wow factor of the chairs. It depends on your style and budget. Or, you can go all willy-nilly good for both your table and chairs, just make sure that it’s a good fit for the space, style-wise and scale-wise. If you don’t have enough space for a small table and chairs, look into a fold-away table or think about combining your work and dining zones in one space. You can do your eat and work from your laptop from at the dining room table.

If possible, get a rug under your table and an overhead light fixture to furthur define the space.

The Living Zone

My favorite zone, and one of the easiest to define, in my opinion. It all starts with a great sofa. Make sure that it is the right size. You don’t want a huge sofa in a small space, especially if you’re trying to create other zones. It isn’t necessary that your sofa has to have two side tables and a cocktail table, but you MUST have atleast one flat surface for you and guests to be able to place stuff on, like drinks and books. In small spaces, I love to see two upholstered ottomans in the front of the sofa, because they work multiple purposes: they can be used as a table top surface and they can be used as extra seating. The best part is that they’re usually lightweight and easy to move all around the space.

Another important part of the living area is lighting. If you have a small studio apartment that has one really good overhead light, you may not NEED another light elsewhere in the space. Yep, I said it, I’m telling you that you can break a major “design no-no” rule and forgo the extra lighting if you need to. With that being said… it’s a really, really, good idea to have another light source where you’ll be reading, writing, and/or working. If those tasks are done in the living space, you should get at least a small task light. Table lamps and floor lamps are easy and affordable ways to bring in more light and help further define the space.

The Sleep Zone

In very small spaces, the sleep zone can consist of a daybed with a small dresser. That same daybed can function as a sofa. and that same dresser can function as an entertainment center, by housing a TV and other electronic components.If you have a small space, but it’s still big enough to separate your sleep and living zones, a good way to define the sleep zone and to give privacy is to curtain off the area. Ikea sells some great curtain panels that are track-mounted either to a wall or a ceiling.

Your sleep area should have at least a bed (or daybed) and a hard surface to put items on, like a lamp or books. If you can’t fit a nightstand next to the bed, maybe you can fit a dresser or tall chest somewhere across from it.If your space is really small, like I mentioned earlier, you may want to combine your sleep and living areas together. A tall armoire can hold clothes and things needed for your living room. The drawers of the armoire can be used for your folded clothes, while the section behind the doors can be used as bookcase (or even a bar), for example.

You may not want to use a curtain to hide your sleep area, if this is the case, and you still have enough room to separate your bedroom space, make sure you keep clutter at a minimum. You also want to make sure to find a neat way to store your shoes. If you have a closet, great, but if not, try using the cubby storage units.

The Work Zone

If you work from home (a job, business, or schoolwork), you’ll need a functional area to complete your work tasks. It’s a great idea to have a separate zone for this, but you can combine your work zone with your living, dining, or sleep area, if you need to. If you have enough space to have a separate work zone, I suggest going with a small desk and chair. A parsons’ desk is great for small spaces. Your desk can be placed on a wall if you have extra space, or behind a sofa if that works better. Your chair can work double duty by serving as extra seating in your living and/or dining areas.

So, there’s a lot of ways to create functional zones in a small space. Depending on how small your space is, you may not be able to have all your zones separate. You also don’t want your space to look “cluttered” with furniture. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you have at least 3′ of clearance between all furniture in your space. If you want to have a separate living, dining, sleeping, and work zone, but don’t have good “movearound” space, you may need to think about combining your zones.


I hope none of this seems complicated, these zones are supposed to help create defined spaces in your home. As mentioned before, there will be times when you may need to have one zone multi-function and that’s OKAY. Make sure that you get rid of (or conceal) clutter and that there is ample space to move around your room(s) or that traffic isn’t blocked by your furniture plan.

What good tips do you have for creating separate zones in a small space? Do you prefer your zones do double/triple duty? Be sure to drop a comment and let me know!!

Till next time,


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Home Feature: Organized Closet with a Burst of Color

Today, I’m featuring a hall closet before and after of my fellow blogger friend Kristen. She’s the blogger behind The Road to Domestication. We met in a Facebook blogger group that we are apart of and since then, I’ve enjoyed reading her blog that has everything from cute printables to organization tips to cooking.

Kristen loves to organize, so I wasn’t surprised when I saw her hall closet transformation. Look at the burst of color:

As you can see, Kristen made good use of storage containers to corral clutter. Here’s what she said:

“I have this crazy awesome closet in my hallway that can really take on a life of its own if I’m not careful. In order to tame the beast and make it the best it can be, I hit The Dollar Tree and purchased a bunch of colorful containers. Once I organized everything into bins, I created some labels with PicMonkey and added those, too. What a difference! I LOVE opening this closet now!” – Kristen

Here’s more After pics:

I love that Kristen bought the baskets at The Dollar Tree. I’m all for saving money. She also labeled them all, which makes it easier for when you’re trying to find things and when you need to put them back.

For more organization tips or to see more pictures of Kristen’s closet, check out her post blog post.

Do you have any great organization tips? Got a splash of color in your closet? Be sure to drop a comment and let me know!

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Till next time,