Designing your own home can seem a daunting prospect if you don’t know where to start.

However, it can be a very rewarding experience choosing and developing your design, eventually seeing your dream home and knowing that the result is because of your hard work and creative vision.

This article will help you understand some of the steps involved in designing your home, and provide you with tips to ensure you have everything you need to plan and design the home of your dreams.

Collect your design ideas

Your first step when planning to design your own home should be to collect all of your ideas in one place. Set aside a box or a drawer where you can put anything that you think could be useful later on in the design process.

  • Carry a camera around with you and take photos of any buildings, décor or furniture that you like.
  • Cut out pictures and articles from magazines of designs that you would like to copy or take inspiration from.
  • Collect paint and fabric swatches.

Consider layout

When designing your own home, it is important that you have a developed vision of how you want it to look. Even if your plans are forced to change because of regulations or practicalities, it will save a lot of time if you can go to your architect with a set of specific requirements rather than poorly thought through ideas.

You need to consider how many bedrooms you want, how large you would like your kitchen to be and where you want your staircase, as well as all other possible layout requirements.

Draw your house design

You will need final blueprints of your house design drawn up by a professional architect. However, before this, you should try to draw your floor plan yourself, specifying where you would like doors and windows to be, and how large you would like the rooms. Use graph paper, a ruler and a pencil, and choose a scale (such as 1 inch = 4 feet).

You may find it useful to utilise some home design computer software to help you visualise your plans. There are many online resources that can help you to create a floor plan of your dream home for free, and view the design in both 2D and 3D.

Take your design to your chosen architect who can draw your plans up professionally, and who will be able to suggest any changes that should be made in order to meet building regulations and get the best from your budget.

Design tips

Here are a few other ideas to help you when you come to design your own home:

  • Take your time to decide exactly how each room will link to the next one and consider how furniture will work in each space.
  • Don’t rush into drawing up plans until you are certain about your requirements.
  • Consider your use of light – not only artificial light, but also natural light and the size of any windows or skylights that will help maximise it.
  • Don’t be afraid to contact a professional and ask questions. Even in the very beginning, most architects will consult with you for a small fee.
  • Never forget your budget. Whatever plans you make, know you can and can’t afford, and spend time looking for alternatives that won’t break the bank.