One of the most intimidating aspects of purchasing a new home, after all the mortgage issues and inspections are out of the way, is the idea of furnishing and decorating all that space. Especially if you’ve been living in smaller living spaces before now, you might be at a loss for where to begin when it comes to designing more than four rooms. Here are a few tips for decorating your first home to help you start enjoying the process.
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Know Your Options
First, it’s important to know before moving in exactly how many changes you can realistically make to the space. Some homeowners will go full DIY on their space, knocking down walls and building new fixtures. A lot of this will depend on whether you’re planning to own your home with conventional loan rates, or if you’re planning to rent for a while. Renters can still make changes to the space, but you’re generally limited to things that are easy to reverse when it’s time to move again.
Audit Your Possessions
The first and best thing you can do for yourself as you begin moving into a new home is to take a good look at what you already own – furniture, decorations, etc. – and decide what will serve you in your new space and what won’t. It might feel counterintuitive to get rid of things just when you have more space for them, but it’s a lot easier to move what you need instead of waiting until you’re already moved in to do it. Now, don’t go too crazy with this step and just throw out everything you have doubts about. Until you know exactly what type of look you’re going for in your new home, it’s better to keep things that you still like or are still functional.
Begin with the Bedroom
You might be tempted to start your decorating process with the most public-facing rooms in your homes, such as the living room or entrance hallway. But it’s generally a good idea to start with your bedroom instead. You definitely want to make sure that your decorating budget is being used for things like a quality mattress, good bedding, and whatever else you need for comfort. Having your room furnished and decorated is going to be a huge relief during this process because, at the end of a hard, long day of moving and decorating, you’ll have a comfortable and pleasant room to sleep in. It’s also a good place to practice your decorating skills and play around with different looks before moving on to the rest of the house.
Take it Slow
Unless you have the budget to get everything you need to furnish all at once, most people find that it’s preferable to make the buying and decorating phase a little at a time. Generally, it’s a good idea to furnish and decorate one room at a time and not rush the process. If you want to take the time to find antique or used furniture, it can take years to find all the pieces you need to furnish a home. But at the end of the day, you’ll be glad you waited around for the right elements instead of getting everything from IKEA on day one (unless that’s what you want).
Work With What You Have
When homeowners are presented with a decorating problem, such as hating the kitchen cabinets their home comes with, there’s an impulse to pull everything out and redo it. However, gutting your home can be incredibly expensive, and many times unnecessary. Instead, try to think about how you can achieve what you want with what you already have. Do you need a new armchair, or can you reupholster the one you already have to match your decor? Does the kitchen need to be remodeled, or do the cabinets just need new hardware and a fresh coat of paint? Decorating a home is all about enjoying the process and staying open to new ideas.