Decorating Help & Ideas

To create a finished space that fits the way you live and reflects your personal style takes patience, planning and an eye for design.

Below is an overview of the process DIDAA recommends professional decorators use;

Expected use

    • List your top three expected uses for the room. 

    Feeling & Style

    • One to four words identify your style preference: traditional, contemporary, modern, chic, mid-century modern, transitional, country, eclectic, etc.
    • Identify the feeling or mood you want for the room…  is it a warm, cozy lounge-worthy feeling with low, intimate lighting or does your family love a rustic, rough and tumble feeling?
    • Create a mood board with a statement at the top that describes your ideal experience in using your room. Add pictures of the items you are keeping, or are thinking of adding to the room.
    • Colour is the first thing you notice when entering a space; create a short list of the colours you think will be reflective of the mood and atmosphere you want to achieve in the room.
    • Based on your expected use and desired mood for the room, choose some inspirational fabric, artwork, or other objects.
    • Collect pictures of spaces or products that you like from magazines or websites and compare with the images on your mood board.


    Taking Stock

    • Top three things you like and dislike about the space.
    • Make a list of things you wish to keep, get rid of, or change.
    • Measure out the space and draw a plan. Consider the traffic flow in and around the space.
    • List any elements in the space that limit your design alternatives such as a fireplace, windows, stairs.
    • List any elements you wish to change that may require building permits or structural assessment.
    • Make note of any critical disagreements between family members.        
    • Consider whether the changes to colour and furnishings will affect adjoining rooms or traffic flow.

    Special Considerations

    • Make note of any occupants that require special space or furnishing considerations.
    • List any special considerations for purchases (example: some flooring can off-gas and cause breathing problems for occupants).
    • Consider if the current lighting or electrical outlets will be sufficient for tasks once you have reconfigured the space.
    • To avoid critical mistakes, plan to spend more time than you initially expected sifting through all the intricacies of kitchen and bathroom design.
    • If a kitchen or bathroom renovation is planned, make a list of the requirements for special
      waterproofing, electrical and plumbing adjustments.


      • Agree to the most money you want to spend on the changes.
      • Determine the priorities for your available budget.
      • If your budget does not allow for all changes, list which changes are critical and which ones can wait until later. 
      • No matter what, plan for unexpected expenses. A 30% contingency is reasonable for most renovations.


      • Make a list of all the new materials and furnishings that you require for the renovation, along with all necessary measurements of your space.
      • As you shop add photos or samples to your mood board. The visual comparison will help guide your decisions.
      • Based on your list of changes, identify what you need a professional trades person to do.
      • Interview and hire a contractor or individual trades people to work on the renovations that you are unable to handle yourself.
      • Plan an expected timeline for all your shopping and renovations.



        The patience and passion to sift through thousands of details...

        A decorator is a person with the patience and the passion to sift through thousands of details, organize them in order to make informed decisions and plan the preparations for a smooth renovation. In addition to advising on color, fabric, and furnishings, professional interior decorators have an in-depth knowledge of flooring, wall coverings, window treatments, finishes, hardware, lighting, acoustics and many other elements.

        An interior decorator:

        • Saves time and indecision. They know the process, the products, and the industry.
        • Shares sources and resources. They have access to thousands of products, materials and finishes--some of which are exclusive to the decor industry.
        • Saves money. Besides having considerable product discounts they can also save you from costly mistakes. Many provide a consultation service to provide advice as needed during the renovation process.
        • Save stress and heartache: whatever you didn't get just right will become apparent once you start living in your new space

        Please use our membership list to find DIDAA decorators who have the qualifications and experience appropriate to your project. The decorators have provided additional information about their specialty areas, and design philosophy to help you finding the person with the right fit. Their websites are included, where you can view more samples of their work.