Moving into your first home is perhaps one of the most exciting times of your life. Now it’s time to make it your own by adding your personal style through furniture and décor. Here’s a guide to help you start making your new house feel like HOME. To help prepare you for the big day, check out these insightful decorating tips from HGTV.
- Clean house at the old place. Even before you make an offer on your first home, get ahead of the game by starting this process. Be strong and rid yourself of anywhere from 25 percent to 50 percent of your old stuff.
- Start with the bedroom. It’s where you’ll be spending almost a third of your time when you’re at home, after all. If you’re on a tight budget, opt for new bedding first, but don’t skimp on thread count! Buy as well as you can afford to spend in this area — it makes a huge difference. If you have a little more money, paint the bedroom walls to complement your new bedding. Still more cash in your pocket? Add coordinating window treatments. If you’re really ready to splurge, buy that bed you’ve always dreamed about.
- Don’t buy everything all at once. Live in your new home for at least two months before you make any significant purchases. How you think you’re going to use the home and how you actually live in the home are two different things.
- Fight the urge to match. Retail stores love to perpetuate the fallacy that everything has to match. A few pieces with the same styling are fine, but any more than that and your home has the lifeless, generic look of a furniture showroom.
- Tie everything together with color. If you’ve moved into your first place with furniture that spans the 1960s to now, don’t worry. The easiest, most economical way to overcome this seemingly insurmountable problem is unifying through color. Let’s say you have a sofa that has only one thing in common with the furniture in the rest of your living room: a tiny bit of the color in the fabric is the same as the less dominant color in the rest of the room’s upholstery. Solution? Play up that similarity and make it your living room’s unifying wall color. If that’s too much hard labor for you, find curtains, rugs or accessories in this common hue and see how the pieces begin to complement each other.
- Solve practical problems inexpensively. If your kitchen cabinets are drab, for instance, freshen them with paint and change out the hardware. And don’t bother installing overly decorative (and very expensive) cabinet hardware on cheaply fabricated woodwork — it will look out of place and the money can be put to better use elsewhere. In the bathroom, something as simple as replacing the lighting can immediately improve the room’s appearance. If you find the typical incandescent R-type lamps in your new place, replace them with the less “yellow” PAR-type bulbs. Another inexpensive solution with a big payoff is installing dimmer switches to keep light levels low for a midnight bathroom break.