How to Design Your Room When You’re Not a Designer

LAST UPDATED: Jun 29, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Mar 16, 2018 | By: Julie Blanner

Simple tips to design your room, without a room design app, software or any experience!

modern farmhouse tour filled with easy diy projects and decorating ideas

I am not a designer, I am merely a design enthusiast that loves decorating our homes for our family. Through the years, I’ve found several ways to make design easier, even foolproof.

You may be surprised to read this, but you don’t need a room design app or special software to design your room. Sure, that fancy software can be nice, but I find it to be so intimidating.

How to Design Your Room

Determine your style.

Use catalogs and magazines as your guide. Study room layouts and consider what might work well in yours.

Pin your favorites to a board dedicated to the space, then pare it down. Ask yourself common themes that you see among them all.

Use Microsoft Word. While it’s nice to have fancy design software or a room designer, it’s not required! In fact, I wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to use one! Instead, I determine everything for how pieces coordinate with one another to room layout in Microsoft Word. See more on how I do this below!


Cut and paste photos, fabrics and more onto foam board. There’s nothing like doing things the old fashioned way and you can see and feel how colors and textures play together.

Measure. Knowing the dimensions of a room can help ensure you purchase pieces to scale.

Shop!  You can read about how to get the same piece/look for less here, or shop via my curated online store here! Be sure to check dimensions before you purchase and consider how they play into your room measurements.

modern bath

Room design without software:

Create a new folder on your desktop.

Find the images you want to use. Drag and drop them into the folder or right click to save image to the folder. {Remember, these are for your personal use only as they are copyrighted}.

Create a new Word Document and if needed, change page layout to landscape.

Individually drag and drop each image one by one to the document. Crop images if needed and change the format to “in front of text”.

Once all of your images are in your document, resize and rearrange as needed.

You can see how the room layout will work, how patterns, textures and colors look together as well. I do this for every room I design from “scratch” {rather than along the way} or before making big purchases.

modern bedroom

You can see an example here – above is how I designed the lake cottage guest bedroom. I played around with it on Word until I loved the design. I included the rug, furniture, a couple accessories, textiles and paint color. You can see how it came to fruition below…

the look for less - a Serena and Lily inspired bedroom

I changed the orientation of the rug, selected a different lamp {the one I originally chose wasn’t available soon enough}, added bamboo shades, a drum shade pendant light and a piece of art.

tips to get the look for less luxury home for less

This method makes designing nearly foolproof!

Check Out Some of My Room Designs

What do you think? Have you designed this way or will you try it?


mini loaves of bread gift wrapped