I know many of you arrive in Hong Kong with very little and furnishing an entire flat from scratch can be overwhelming.
Start with inspiration: have an idea of what you want - you can find it in current magazines or on the internet.
Then find a great fabric that you love and build your design around it! Whether it is plaid, floral, striped or solid, make it the foundation fabric for your room. Try not to use more than 3 fabrics to a room, it can cause confusion rather than balance unless you know what your doing. There are many on-line fabric stores in the USA - have them ship US Postal Service - order a swatch first. It will arrive in about 10 days. Email me for the sites.
There's a 60/30/10 rule in decorating. 60% is the main color in the room (walls or sofa) - 30% can be the accent fabric(pillows) and 10% small accessory accent for a punch.
Make a floor plan - find the traffic flow. You can break rules - and place furniture in unconventional ways. Most flats are NOT built to accommodate normal placement.
Carry your fabrics, wish list & measurements when you shop. You never know when you might find something special.