When challenged with designing an entire home, it is best to take it one room at a time. Still, you must come up with an overall plan. You will need to key in to your own personal tastes and work to give each room function and character, while keeping a cohesive plan throughout the home.

1. Look through design magazines, taking account of what you do and don’t like. Pour over the pictures and make a portfolio of your favorite home decor trends and color palettes. Take the portfolio with you when you shop for your home.

2. Design the room in which you will spend the most time first. For some, it is the family room; for others, the kitchen. Whichever room you consider to be the center of the house, begin there.

3. Choose your favorite color palette from your portfolio for this room, from paint color to fabric choices. You may also want to paint hallways and other common areas in the same colors. Choose good, well-made furniture for this high-traffic room as well. Keep the function of the room in mind when you are making furnishing and placement choices.

4. Look at rooms adjoining the room you have finished decorating, and choose a wall color that coordinates with the color from the previous room. Don’t follow the same design plan, but work to compliment it. For example, if your main room has walls painted pale green, with red and yellow accents, an adjoining room can be painted in yellow and red. You don’t need to use all three colors in the adjoining room. You can choose to use two of the colors and add a third color to the mix. The key is to allow the eye to flow from one room to the next without witnessing any jarring clashing of colors and styles.

5. Move to the next room, following the same rules. A good way to make sure your room design is cohesive with adjoining rooms is to stand at different points in each room. Look into the next room, while also observing the room you are in. Make sure that the colors and styles for both rooms, or all rooms that you can see from your vantage point, are complimentary to each other, while not being the same. Each room should still have its own personality and stand apart from the next.

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