If you’re in the market for a new abode or have officially signed on the dotted line, congratulations–goodbye renting and hello homeownership! You’ve finally achieved what so many seek out to do: you have a place to make all your own. Since you’ve just plopped down a chunk of your finances to get this place, the thought of decorating it may feel totally overwhelming. Whether you’re starting from scratch or just creating a more grown up atmosphere, this guide should serve you well. Let’s talk a bit more about what should be considered when decorating your first home.
Decide what you like. Some people aren’t well-versed in design styles–and that’s OK. It doesn’t mean they have no opinions, it just means they aren’t sure how to articulate their preferences.
A good place to start is by looking through photos of other homes. You can easily do this on Pinterest. Create a board of your favorites and then look for the common denominators in terms of furniture style, patterns, and color. Our past “Design Styles Defined” blog posts break down elements of each design style, which can also help.
Create a budget. Budgets vary between homeowners, so the ability to decorate will vary as well. Figure out how much you can spend and stick to it. If your budget doesn’t allow for decorating the whole place at once, pick the room where you will spend the majority of your time and then make it your priority.
Invest in a bed and a sofa. These two pieces of furniture should be at the top of your to-buy list since they are the two pieces most likely to follow you onto the next home. The bed will be the center of your bedroom and the sofa will set the stage for your living area. Aim for pieces that are well-built. Even a custom piece is worth considering. Finding something of quality will cost a bit more, but you’ll benefit from it in the long run.
Pick a color palette. Your color palette can be pulled from anywhere. An outfit, a piece of art and an area rug are just a few things that can fuel your color inspiration. Whatever you use, just make sure you are happy with your color choices. You can easily change paint and accessories but it’s not as easy once fabrics are involved. Stick with neutrals on large investment pieces and save the patterned fabrics for a beautiful accent chair or some decorative throw pillows.
Sketch out a floor plan and measure everything. A rough sketch of how you’d like the room laid out is a good idea. This allows you to see your ideas come to life, so you have a better picture of what your home’s footprint will look like. You can find several free floor plan programs online, including this one.
Additionally, it’s important to take measurements of everything, including doorways, stairs and elevator openings (if you have any). Furniture will look very different in your home than it does in a showroom, so measure, measure, measure!
If you have to skimp…
…do it with accessories. You can easily pick up mirrors, pillows, and lamps from stores like T.J. Maxx, Target, and Ikea. No one will be the wiser.
Another little tip is to mix some old with your new. Hit up the local antique stores, of pop into flea markets, auctions and garage sales. Your home will have more personality and depth where there are pieces that have some history behind them.
If you have to hold off on that custom couch until you can afford it, it’s okay to buy an inexpensive, “temporary” piece. Fill the empty spot and then save up until you can really splurge on that dream furnishing.
Before you throw in the towel…
…take a deep breath and remember that your first home probably won’t be your last home. As much as want to have instant gratification, there’s no rush. You can still have fun with what you’re able to do and enjoy your space as it is in the here and now.
When you are looking for a fabric store near you in Katy, stop by our Interior Fabrics locations in Houston, TX for great deals on interior upholstery fabrics. You will find something for every home interior project from gorgeous drapery fabrics to lightweight cotton fabrics.