Moving into a new home is a liberating experience, whether it’s your first home or your dream home. Your new space represents a blank canvas for you to create your own special haven. Traditionally, interior design help was the province of wealthy homeowners. Today, anyone can find professional design tips for a comfortable, artful home. Here are some suggestions for transforming your new, empty shell into a warm and inviting home.
1. Clean House at Your Old Home
Before you move into your new home, start cleaning out your old place. This will make your current home easier to pack and move into the new one. Aim to eliminate 25 to 50 percent of your old things: wobbly furniture, broken appliances and accessories you no longer love.
If it’s hard to part with your belongings, remind yourself that moving is a great time to start over. Pare down your possessions with a garage sale or online auction, or donate your items to charity. Your “trash” could be someone else’s treasure, and you’ll be surprised by what you won’t miss.
2. Make Thoughtful New Purchases
A new home provides an opportunity to decorate your space with new finds. Don’t buy everything at once, however. Live in your home for a few months before you shop for interior design. Consider how you will use your house and how you will live in the rooms.
Since you spend a third of your day in bed, start with your bedroom. Consider new bedding, wall colors, window treatments and maybe even a new bed. From your bedroom, move to the living room, den, kitchen, dining room and other spaces. Don’t forget the special rooms like exercise rooms, media rooms, libraries and wine cellars.
3. Resist the Urge to Match
Retailers encourage shoppers to buy in sets so that everything is matching. Resist the urge unless you like the generic look of a furniture store showroom. When you shop for interior design, look for objects that reflect your personal style. A few pieces of similar style are fine, but stay away from bland, boring items. Consider furniture and accessories in terms of scale and balance.
4. Tie Things Together with Color
Does the furniture in your home span several decades? Color is the easiest and most economical way to tie everything together. Find a unifying color and paint a wall with it. For a less labor-intensive solution, shop for curtains, rugs and other interior design accessories in the same hue. Learn the color theory basics to find what works best in your home.
5. Look for Inexpensive Solutions
Decorating your new home doesn’t have to be expensive. Consider cost-effective ways to brighten a dark room or freshen up a drab space. For example, change the hardware on your kitchen cabinets or replace the lighting in your bathroom. Install dimmer switches to change light levels depending on lighting needs or mood.
Creating your dream home is less overwhelming when you take one practical step at a time. Work slowly and thoughtfully as you consider cost-effective solutions for every room in the house. Resist the urge to match anything but your personal style as you shop for interior design.