How to Decorate a Room from Scratch – Sunroom Reveal!

Summer is on its way – no matter what else is going on in this crazy world! I thought it would be a good time to share another happy, colorful room reveal and my pro tips for how to decorate a room from scratch.

psychological color expert

I was brought in for a design consultation after the new addition was framed out. My client was adding a sunroom and a garage on the backside of her home.

Knowing we were going for a Palm Springs inspired space, my client and I began imagining a sophisticated sunroom for entertaining friends and lounging on hot summer days.

Pro Tip #1:  If you are trying to decorate a room from scratch, start with the floors.

Since this is a sunroom, hardwood isn’t the best choice. We needed something hard-wearing that wouldn’t fade from the sun, so we decided to go with a patterned encaustic tile. I found this gorgeous blue patterned tile at ProSource, which is only open to the building trade. Naturally, this kind of pattern and color is going to set the tone for the whole room, so we would have to choose our upholstery fabrics wisely!

encaustic mosaic tile flooring

While usually not a big deal with hardwood or neutral carpet, in this case it is crucial to choose patterns and colors that coordinate with the flooring.

Pro Tip #2: View samples in relationship to one another, keeping in mind their scale.

how to decorate a room from scratch with fabric selection for palm springs inspired sunroom

Although the encaustic tile is a busy pattern that will be across the entire floor, that doesn’t mean you can’t use other patterns (selectively, of course)! Keep it interesting by mixing smaller and larger patterns, geometrics and florals, and coordinating colors.

Pro Tip #3: Choose paint color and overhead lighting that tie the fabric colors and patterns together.

white beam vaulted ceiling with gold light fixture

With so many windows in this sunroom, it made sense to simply paint the trim and what little walls there are white. The sky-like ceiling color I chose serves to emphasize the architectural detail and distribute some color towards the top of the vaulted room. The gold geometric light fixture from Grahams Living speaks to the pattern on the upholstered chaise longue.

Pro Tip #4: Install and arrange upholstered seating FIRST.

Gosh, it’s soooo important to be patient when you decorate a room from scratch! After the flooring, paint, and lighting are installed, the large upholstered furniture should be arranged before anything else in the room. Before tables, art, accessories. Determine the arrangement based on the architecture of the room to create what I call architectural harmony before moving forward with the design.

blue patterned encaustic tile flooring

This isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially if your architecture is a little wonky. Once your most important pieces of furniture are in, you can then determine what you need to fill in the space. When my clients’ upholstered furniture is delivered, I measure for coffee table, side tables, lamps, etc. THEN AND ONLY THEN, is it time to accessorize! Be sure to take paint color samples (SmallWall sample boards, of course) and upholstery swatches along with you when you shop for accessories

high/low shopping from HomeGoods

This is the fun part – when anticipation is building, and you know the design is about to all fall into place! Now it’s time for before/afters:

how to decorate a room from scratch with color and patternbefore

blue cr laine sofa and green art deco chairsdesign by The Decorologist, sofa and chairs sourced at Merridian Home Furnishings

And that brings me to

Pro Tip #5: Choose accessories that add personality, warmth, and meaning to your space.

I always prefer to shop for accessories WITH my client. I offer guidance and direction to keep you on-task and focused, but you make the final decisions about what feels most like “you.” Afterall, it’s YOUR home!

green and blue living room

gold coffee table and chinoiserie lamp



white painted brick in blue and green living room design

sunroom with vaulted ceilings

blue and green sofa and pillows

green club chair, blue sofa from cr laine



blue and green palm springs sunroom design by The Decorologist, Kristie Barnett

I hope you all have a good weekend, maybe even doing little decorating projects around your home to lift your spirits!

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  1. Elizabeth

    In love with the lighting, the coffee table, the pattern mix- all of it!
    Beautiful design my friend♥

  2. Jenny Abrams

    Beautiful room! Love the gorgeous colors!!

  3. Tammy Roberts

    Oh that’s beautiful, well done! That rug made my heart skip a beat. Hmm.. 🧐 inspiration.

    • Kristie Barnett

      I’m glad you like it, Tammy! Hope you are doing well!

  4. Michelle Walker

    This might be my favorite room of ALL the faves that you’ve done. I just chose two encaustic tiles for our remodel and they make me so happy. Your steps are perfect advice to follow. Love that couch 🛋 and chaise. And then the green chairs. Boom – Perfection.

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thank you so much, Michelle! Those green chairs. They are seriously the sexiest chairs I’ve every seen. And I didn’t know a chair could be sexy!

  5. Sheri Bruneau

    This new space is so beautiful. All of your tips are spot on.

  6. Joanne

    Kristie, I liked where this was going as soon as I saw Tip #2! Another beautifully coordinated room. I’ve been a fan of navy blue and green for a long time and this room is absolutely lovely! 💙💚

    • Kristie Barnett

      Why, thank you, Joanne! A blue and green palette is always a winner. 🙂

  7. Debi Hendershot

    Kristie, this is a gorgeous room! Can you please share the name/source of the gorgeous navy Chinoiserie fabric on the sofa pillows? Thanks so much!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thank you, Debi! That is a CR Laine fabric that we were considering for the sofa initially. Decided to do pillows in that fabric instead!

  8. Molly Hendricks

    Oh my goodness, gorgeous. Esp in love with the green chairs and the FOXES!

  9. joe

    Cool decorative post.

  10. usvintagewood

    I absolutely love it!!! The navy and green together are stunning! Thank you for all your hard work doing this!!

  11. Susie

    Wow, my friend!! What a gorgeous room and great post!

  12. Kristy J.

    I like the idea of working on the floor first if you are starting from scratch. That’s how it should be. By the way, the couch looks elegant. I love it!

  13. Alex

    Point #2 – so common sense and so often forgotten … and so many surprises afterwards 🙂 (like for example, what was I thinking when I chose that bright red sofa! haha, now I’m stuck with it and need to figure out how to make it less visible)

  14. Jennifer Design Freak

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful piece! I cant thank you enough!

  15. usvintagewood

    The most important part is focus your energies on finding the perfect furniture and accessories for the space.


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