Buying a new house can be exciting and overwhelming and wonderful -- all at the same time! Many homeowners find that furnishing and decorating their new home has its challenges, and they find themselves standing in their new home asking themselves "Now what? How do I make this home mine? Where do I start?"
Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Churchill Mortgage to create and present a webinar for their clients who have purchased a new home and face these exact challenges.
In “I Bought a House, Now What?” I offer advice for furnishing and decorating your new home as well as provide real-life video examples from my own home. You can view the entire webinar recording here or read some of the tips below.
When you purchase a new home, you might realize some of your furniture and accessories from your old home won’t work in the new home — they might be the wrong size or color or maybe your season of life or your needs have changed. How do you know what to incorporate and what to let go?
Make a Design Plan and Stick to it
The most important part of decorating a new home is to create a thoughtful design plan and stick to it. This plan should include all family members — both the logical and the creative ones. Both function AND feel need to be important parts of the design planning process to make everyone happy.
If you are unpacking, only unpack the necessary items as this point. Don’t hang artwork, roll out rugs, or place accessories because it will influence your design plan. If you have already unpacked, move everything out that isn’t necessary when you decorate, so you can start with a clean slate. This will help you be your own designer.
With a solid design plan in place, you should have the tools to make wise design decisions. Once you are ready to implement your plan, below are some design tips to help you avoid buyers remorse.
Choose Timeless Looks for Large Ticket Items
If your purchase is pricey or hard to change, choose something that has a timeless color and pattern. A sofa is one of the most expensive furniture pieces you will buy so make sure the shape and color are timeless, like linen or white. Also, the sofa might be the most used piece of furniture in your house, so choose a quality piece even if you need to spend a little extra money.
Tile shopping can be very fun now with all the new, trendy patterns, but since tile is not easy to remove, go with a timeless, neutral tile for big areas. You could do fun tile for a backsplash or a small bathroom floor.
If you love looking at Pinterest to see all the new, trendy home decorating items, just remember these might be out of style next year. It’s best to incorporate bold or trendy styles in items that are inexpensive or can easily be changed such as pillows and lamps.
Spend the Money if it Will Enhance Your Life
Think about the areas of your home where you need the most functionality or areas that will give you the most joy and invest in those areas. For some, it might be a large kitchen where many people can cook together. For others it might be a peaceful, zen outdoor area.
With the basics of design under your belt, consider these
7 Design Steps to Furnish and Decorate Your Home Wisely
1) Do a total home assessment. Walk through your entire house and go through your whole day to determine how you are going to use your home. Decide where you are going to do things like work, play, watch movies and sports, exercise and entertain.
2) Choose one room to focus on and decorate at a time. It can be overwhelming to try to decorate the entire house at one time. It’s best to focus on one room at a time, and start with the room you and your family will use the most.
3) Determine the room’s function. Start with the determining the purpose of the room and make a list of what you need to serve the purpose.
4) Determine the feel you want the room to have. After determining the room’s purpose, decide how do you want to feel when you go in that room? Do you want to feel calm, inspired, or productive? Make a list of what you need to make you feel that way.
5) Have an inspiration piece to guide your plan. Determine what will give you the feeling you want when you walk in the room. It might be wallpaper, a piece of furniture, an antique/family heirloom, or even a rock concert poster. Use that piece to establish your color palette and pull out colors from your inspiration piece to incorporate around the room.
6) Establish your focal point. Every room should have a focal point. Most of the time it is an architectural feature built into the room, like a fire place or wall of windows. Arrange your furniture to draw attention to your focal point. Make sure to not block your focal point with furniture, large pieces or too many accessories.
7) Measure 100 times and buy once! Furniture is expensive and is taking a long time to be delivered these days, so do everything you can upfront to ensure your happiness when your items arrive. Measure the area the furniture will be placed, but also measure any door opening the furniture needs to be moved through. You will want to make sure you can easily move around your furniture, so it’s best to make a floor plan and draw it out to scale or tape off the areas on the floor where everything will go. Consider the tips above for each piece before you buy to make sure it fits into your design plan.
My client loved her vintage concert poster, so we used that as an inspiration piece to establish the room's color palette and convey the "glam rock and roll" aesthetic. We balanced it out with calming gray colors to bring a sense of peace and order so she could be productive in her home office.
I have several free design guides on my website that can help you when decorating your new home including:
• 7 design mistakes and how to avoid them, • Buying furniture online guide, and • The investment guide to furnishing your home. I hope this information helps you when decorating your new home. For more detailed information, please watch the webinar recording above or contact me to schedule a complimentary discovery call.