If it’s your first home, generally speaking, money is pretty tight with all the moving in expenses. Here’s advice I give to my clients who are decorating their new homes.
1. Prioritize. Try to finish your main, more public areas first like your living/family room and dining area.
2. Lay It Out. You need a floor plan of the space so that you can determine the best way to arrange your furniture. This is one of the first things I do for clients. Then, you know what size sofa or rug you need, etc.
Here it is in 3D…don’t worry, the actual furnishings will be prettier…these are prototype for scale.
Here is a different layout…but they picked the one above. Now they know what sizes work in their space.
3. A Good Night’s Sleep. Your bedroom can be a second priority but make sure you have a good mattress. A headboard can wait.
We are thinking about buying this Westin Heavenly Mattress. Has anyone else tried it?
4. Paint, if necessary. If you are renting, your landlord shouldn’t object to a fresh neutral and if you own it, consider ways to put your stamp on your space (test colors though).
5. Mix not Match. Resist the urge to buy all matching furniture…seems easier but you want your home to be interesting and have soul. The plan for this newlywed couple is a neutral, cottage feel…
This is the plan for the couple with the toddler and baby on the way (their floor plan is above). They wanted neutrals, too, and a little mid-century modern. They may wait to buy the leather swivel chair but the television console is from IKEA.
6. In With The Old. You can find great new items at Target, West Elm, IKEA, Etsy, etc… but also look for vintage furnishings at garage sales, thrift stores and family hand-me-downs so that you can mix in items with age and patina. Remember our daughter, Alexandra’s collected feel…
7. Reflect YOUR Personality. You are young and may not have a lot of “things” yet and that is OK. Less clutter! Now is the time to think about what speaks to you. For example, Alexandra collects flea market globes.
What about black and white photos of your grandparents? Or maps of cities/towns you have visited or want to visit? I like boxes, design books, white Portuguese pottery, vintage books, tiny bowls, antique French and Italian prints and designer PILLOWS, of course. What do you like?
8. Light it Up. Remember your living room needs two to three lamps. A pendant or chandelier (like this one from World Market) over the dining table is nice, too (for the cottage newlyweds).
A filament bulb may easily update an existing pendant.
9. Take Your Time. You don’t have to fill the space all at once. Start with a sofa, a table and some chairs. And when in doubt…tape off the furniture to see how you like the scale in the room…here we are testing three different sized sectionals.
10. Entertain in Your Space. It doesn’t have to be “finished” to have a party. Invite your friends over while there is more room to dance! (better invite/warn the neighbors).
At your party, how about serving Watermelon Mojitos while it’s still summer. Turn down the lights (oh, yes, and get dimmer switches) and turn up the music!