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    This Online Course Will Actually Help You Decorate The Room Of Your Dreams

    The best of the basics.

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    Hi! I'm Natalie, and I love watching design shows, writing about homes and decor, and (most of all) shopping for new home decor.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed, HGTV / youtube.com

    I've always been interested in interior design and home decorating, and (thanks mostly to HGTV, my mom, and research I've done on the topic) I think I have the basics of interior style down already.

    But you know what? I've never had any official training in it, and I really wanted to see what else there might be to learn. So I decided to try the Udemy course "How to Design A Room in 10 Easy Steps", taught by Erikka Fogleman, an interior designer from California.

    Erikka Fogleman / Udemy

    ^^ That's Erikka!

    The course description makes the disclaimer that it really only covers the basics of the basics, but I was okay with that — even though I figured I'd already know quite a bit of the info, I was happy to hear it again anyway, especially if it would be part of a larger step-by-step.

    And while much of the course was a refresher for me, Erikka's straightforward 10-step method definitely gave me a more concrete sense of exactly what to do the next time I get to put a room together.

    Erikka Fogleman / Udemy

    While I definitely knew quite a few of the tips and rules already (like how to pick furniture that fits a space, work with a basic color scheme, and choose a design style), her systematic approach makes a TON of sense. It put what I already knew into a useful framework along with other things I *didn't* know (like how to draw a to-scale room plan and put together a lighting scheme). I know the basic 10 steps may not look like much, but the full course is packed with all kinds of useful information and tips.

    (That said, if you def know all of this already, she also offers six in-depth courses, including ones on color design, lighting design, and eco-friendly/sustainable design.)

    Before you know it, you've put together a gorgeous, actionable plan that looks (almost) as professional as if you've spent hundreds of dollars with an actual designer! First, you'll have your to-scale floor plan.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    She walks you through how to measure your space then scale it down — I chose the living/bedroom area of my studio apartment, above — then gives solid tips and advice on how to choose and lay out everything from furniture to lighting to window coverings to accessories and greenery, using your to-scale space. To help make it extra easy for you, besides all the info she gives you in her video lectures, she provides several printable resources to help you out with your planning.

    I took it one step further: because I wasn't completely sure what layout I wanted, as I found pieces of furniture I liked, I used the scale technique to cut them out of a separate piece of paper, which let me play around with different floor plans in my space. (You can click/tap to enlarge either of my floorplan photos, btw.)

    Then that floor plan will tie directly to a comprehensive ~mood board~ of furniture, rugs, lighting, and other items you like or want for your space, based on your chosen color scheme and decorating style.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    She suggests making your mood board in Power Point (I used Google Slides), which makes it easy. You can even add links to each of the photos to remember where you found each piece (she also gives you lots of ideas for where to shop, depending on the style you want). I think a mood board's incredibly helpful because it can give you a sense of how everything in a space will look and feel together without making any $800+ commitments to furniture — as I mentioned above, anytime I found a piece I loved, I drew a to-scale cutout of it to see exactly how it would fit in my room. (In case you can't tell, I went for a Bohemian theme with a few Midcentury accents!)

    Once you have a mood board and coordinating room layout you're happy with, you're all set to start purchasing pieces for your new, designed room!

    (Wicker headboard $299 on Etsy; Textured duvet $248+ from Anthropologie; Yellow chair $344.99 on Wayfair; White inlay desk $1598 from Anthropologie; Blue and white pillow $29.99 from Target; Yellow crochet pillow $49 from Urban Outfitters; Marble-top nightstand $349 from West Elm; Recycled leather love seat $699 from Urban Outfitters; Green and teal rug $369+ from Shop Jungalow; Mango wood media stand $299 from Urban Outfitters; Jute pouf $72.18 on Wayfair.)

    BTW, I'm not the only one who's enjoyed her course! Here are just a few of the 1,000+ 5-star reviews:

    Ron Frazier / Flickr: tomronworldwide

    "I have been interested in interior design for years but never had an opportunity to learn more about it. Erikka's class gave me the opportunity to explore my interest further. I am so excited and thankful I stumbled upon her classes! Her courses are full of useful information and she presents it in such an organized and easy to understand manner. This course is perfect for anyone interested in interior design or just wants to learn how to design a room in their home. Erikka is also very accessible if you have questions. I highly recommend all of her courses!" —Anisha Philip

    "This course was a wonderful introduction into interior styling. It gave a clear framework to use and repeat when designing a space. Erikka is absolutely lovely. She openly shares her knowledge and experience in a clear, comprehensive manner. She also lets students in on designer secrets as well as great "where to get" websites. Highly recommend for those starting out in styling, or those wanting to improve the overall styling of your own home." —Sarah Howe

    "I can already see where I have been going wrong when trying to lay a room out. And I'm only in the first couple of modules. This is going to be good." —Malcolm L Davis

    "It's amazing how Erikka makes this course look so simple. Personally I needed some order in my mind, for example, where to start so I don't spend money on a wrong item. Fully recommend for those who need to give a fresh look to their homes and don't want to make mistakes when deciding about walls, furniture, lighting etc..." —Borana Kullolli

    Ready to design the home of your dreams? Check out her course on Udemy, on mega-sale until September 9th for $9.99 (regularly $99.99).

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