Five Questions To Ask Before You Decorate

five questions

You move into a new apartment or home and suddenly the sky is the limit! You can’t wait to jump on Pinterest and get out your credit card — it’s time to make your new home insta-worthy!

This is where the camera pans to me screaming into my laptop: STOP THE PRESSES!

Seriously, let’s take a deep breath together. Or maybe four or five. I have five questions to ask you before you get to any mood-boarding or ordering. Trust me, it’s worth the wait.

01 | What makes you, uniquely you?

This is a very loaded question. Who are you? What do you love to do? What are your dreams? If a stranger walked into your home, would they be able to understand the type of person you are? This one is tough for me to explain because the process of answering this question is going to be different for every single person. If you only answer one out of five questions then let this be the one.

02 | How do you want the room to feel?

Do you want to feel peaceful? Energized and inspired? Calm and rested? Your answer to this question is going to vary depending on the room you’re working on. It might sound easy to say that everyone wants to feel calm in their bedroom, but I encourage you to dig a little deeper than that. For example, in my home studio, I wanted to feel creative, connected and inspired. I wanted the room to feel like a physical manifestation of my personality and a place where I felt safe enough to explore my creativity. Every element in the room serves this very clear purpose. Follow your gut and play around with different words. Try using a thesaurus app to really nail the exact words you want to embody! If you want to dig a little deeper, consider each of your senses and integrate them into the design.

03 | What is the purpose of your room?

Are you decorating your living room where you watch TV and entertain guests? Or are you decorating a small bathroom that no one else will see? Think about the activities and people that will be enjoying the room when you answer this question. If the room is fairly public, then maybe you keep trinkets to a minimum to leave room for snacks and drinks to be set down. Most of the time our rooms are multipurpose so consider what zones you’ll need to create to make sure every need is met and fits comfortably.

04 | What features will make your life easier and more pleasurable?

I’m using the word pleasurable very intentionally here. And no, I don’t mean what you think I mean. I believe that pleasure is found in the small details that make your heart happy. For example, I painted my entire office a beautiful light blush pink. Every time I step into the soft, pink space, my heart flutters a little bit because it feels so me. This is just one example. Storage plays a big part in making our lives easier. Consider what kind of storage you need to keep your house tidy so everything has a place. Maybe you need a big bookcase to display your favourite reads and trinkets. Or maybe, a few well-placed baskets will help keep the chaos at bay. When thinking about creating a functional space we want to approach it with the lens: will this make my life easier?

05 | What sentimental pieces will help cultivate a sense of belonging?

Think family photos, your mom’s crocheted blanket or your favourite childhood books. What items can you incorporate that tell your story? If your best friend were to walk into your home, would they recognize your soul in the art on your walls or books on your shelf? I love that my Nancy Drew book collection is on the bottom shelf of an antique desk from my boyfriend’s family home. It makes me so happy to see the blanket his mom made us thrown on our sofa. I get excited every time I fill the vase I bought in university with flowers. These pieces mean something to me and make me feel like I’m living amongst the physical elements of my story. Put up family pictures, meaningful artwork and quirky childhood favourites.


Now that you’ve answered these five questions, you are ready to dream! Have fun, you are ready. If you need inspiration for your next room design, follow me on Pinterest!

Which of these five questions was the most helpful?

Sincerely, Rowan Logo
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