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How to Create a Design Plan for Your Office or Home

About once every six months, I get hit with design inspiration and decide "I should redo one of the rooms upstairs into an office!" But then I stop and realize I have no idea how to do that — and perhaps more importantly, I do not own this house. My boyfriend does, so I’d probably need to run that by him first. In this video, Emily Henderson of HGTV’s Secrets of a Stylist shows us how to create a design plan for this type of project.

On Secrets of a Stylist, Emily Henderson seems magical in the way she quickly designs a space. This video kind of feels like catching a magician pulling a card out of her sleeve.


Henderson starts the design process by looking for inspiration; she scours magazines, blogs, pinterest and books for aspirational shots of what she wants the space to look like. Armed with torn-out pages, scans, copies and print-outs, she and her team put everything in a binder. She likes a binder because she can write on the pages. Then she looks at all the images and tries to find a common thread. It could be a color or a style of furniture. It could even be a feeling. From there, ideas start forming.

Once she has a general idea of the style, she and her team start on the floor plan. They create to-scale plans using Vectorworks of the existing area and then another showing her proposed changes. Once the floor plan is approved, she gets organized and lists out everything she needs to get. She lists them in detail because finding the right color can prove very tricky.

Next she goes shopping, taking pictures of anything that looks good so she can compare them with photos she has back in her office. From there, she makes a final plan. Pulling out photos of the things she wants to buy, and placing them with the paint samples she wants to use and separating them by area according to the floor plan. Once everything is set she makes it all digital to show her client a "digital mood board".

I could do that! I’m going to go make my boyfriend a digital mood board so that he knows I’m qualified to redo his house.

Bonus info: You can buy some of Emily Henderson’s shopping trip finds on her website’s flea section.