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How to Create a Design Concept for Your Home


Ever made a late-night impulse purchase after a couple glasses of wine? That alarm clock rings and hellooo, buyer’s remorse. Sure, $100 worth of premium matcha won’t break the bank… but the wrong $5,000 sofa might.  

When it comes to investing in pieces for your home, you want to do it right the first time. Not to mention that buying on a whim will leave you with a disjointed home design, like that super-sized sectional in your smallest room or a color palette that’s just not quite right. 

Fortunately, there’s a better way…creating a design concept first. 

Today, I’m going to show you how to create your design, work with us to do it for you, and purchase those furnishings wisely. Even if there’s a glass of Pinot in your hand. 


From our San Francisco Style Project. Photographer: David Duncan Livingston.

Step 1. Take our Style Quiz 

The first step in the process is to gain a clear vision for your home goals. How? By discovering your unique style. If you’re looking for a fun way to discover your style, begin by taking our Interior Design Style Quiz

The quiz will help you see a clear picture of which design direction is best for you…and may even result in a surprise or two. This happened in our Eclectic Classic Piedmont Project, where they discovered their love of Art Deco-inspired elements. Who knew?

With Coddington’s Online Interior Design: If you’re working with us, we’ll then send you a detailed Client Design Questionnaire. The more we know about you, your family, and Fido, the more we can craft thoughtful and intentional designs based on what you need.

A peek at our fun Style Quiz

Step 2. Collect Inspirational Images

Now that you know your style, it’s time to start gathering inspirational images. Pinterest, Houzz, blogs (like this one), and magazines are great places to start. Whether you’re creating a digital or a physical mood board, make sure all of your images are in the same place. This will help themes stand out to you, like that moody blue catching your eye or your love of warm leather accents.

Working with us? We’ll ask you to share everything that inspires you for your new space, from color palettes to specific furnishings — the more info, the better. It’s also important to identify what you don’t like. If there is a particular trend or style you absolutely can’t stand, it’s not going to hurt our feelings. Tell us early and it will help us refine your ideal design and style even more. 


Final selections for our Cheeky Modern San Francisco Project…coming next week!

Step 3. Create Floor Plan Options

The next step is to create multiple floor plan options based on the measurements of your space. These floor plans should be precise. Otherwise, you run the risk of overcrowding (or under-crowding) your space. E.g. The sofa and two end tables that don’t fit against the same wall. Having a floor plan will also help you make decisions. Sectional or sofa? Round coffee table or square?

With Us: This is exactly what we will do for you as part of our Online Interior Design process. Not only does floor plan mapping help us create the best configuration for your lifestyle, but it also allows us to search for your desired furnishings efficiently later. After creating each option, we will present the floor plans to you, and you get to select your favorite. 


Step 4. Source Items and Materials

Now, you’re ready to source your furnishings. Notice I didn’t say “buy?” That’s because you’re not pressing Add to Cart just yet. Take your inspiration from Step 2 and your floor plan from Step 3 and start hunting around for furnishings that match the style, quality level, and dimensions you’re looking for.

I have to tell you — this step is harder than it looks. For us, sourcing furnishings takes many hours behind the scenes, and we’re literally pros at it. If you get stuck, our Online Interior Design Service will do this step for you. And if you have a tight timeline and need stuff ASAP, let us know, and we will try to source each item based on in-stock items only. 


Step 5. Get Ready to Buy with Confidence…

You’ve finally made it to the exciting part of this process — the finalized design. If you’re doing this yourself, you’ll have your own design concept ready to execute. Your finger is poised over Add to Cart and buyer’s remorse is a thing of the past. Get it.

If you’re working with us, this is the moment when we’ll present your concepts to you. And remember, our design concepts are still initial suggestions. Reselections are almost always a part of the process. You can feel confident that we won’t stop until we get it right. What’s included?

  • Mood boards to help you visualize how the selected items will look together in your space.
  • An itemized shopping spreadsheet with dimensions, suggested finishes, prices, lead times, and links to purchase your desired item.
  • If spreadsheets aren’t your thing, we can put together Pinterest boards with purchase links instead.


Two mood board options we presented to a client. Can you guess which one she chose?


Now…it’s your turn. Log in to Pinterest, or go old school with magazines and scissors, and start dreaming big. 

Ready for a personal, functional design “recipe” that you will be able to create to perfection? You know where to find us.




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