Moving into a new house can be one of the most exciting times in your life – new neighbours, new community, and all sorts of new opportunities in your new abode!
But while the idea of decorating your house to reflect your personality and style can seem fun, it can also be a bit overwhelming.
What will you do with all of that space!?
This concern is especially true for those who are moving into their first home and aren’t bringing a lot with them.
But don’t feel defeated. We are here to help you with a step-by-step guide on how to style your brand new home from scratch.
1. Clean the New House
We know what you’re thinking, “The house is new. It’s empty. It doesn’t need to be cleaned – it’s not dirty!”
You are right in a few areas. The house is new and empty, but that doesn’t mean it’s not in need of a cleaning!
Even empty houses still have dirt and grime left over from previous owners. And, if your house has never been lived in, it still needs a once over to get all of the construction dirt, dust and other miscellaneous construction things out.
Give your home (and yourself) a fresh start by deep-cleaning each room before you begin to style. Take advantage of this opportunity as you probably won’t get another chance to work from such a clean slate.
Also, cleaning all the nooks and crannies in your new, empty space will give you a good idea of how much space you actually have and might help spark some inspiration!
2. Evaluate Your Space
After your house is officially clean, you want to evaluate your space. Consider the rooms that you need to fill and how each room could function.
Do you have a 2 bedroom home, but only need sleeping arrangements in one bedroom? Think about what you might do with that extra room.
Do you have a formal dining room, but have no need or desire to set up a formal table? Consider other options for this space. Office? Art studio? Gym? Indoor garden area?
Thinking about your lifestyle and incorporating it into your new place is both exciting and essential.
In your space evaluation, think about how many rooms will need large furniture additions, which ones will need additional décor items, and even consider which rooms could use a paint uplift.
3. Look for Inspiration
Now that you have an idea of your space constraints and opportunities, find some inspiration on how to decorate.
In looking for inspiration, think about your own style. Are you more traditional? Modern? Eclectic? Do you enjoy the boho aesthetic or are you more into coastal vibes? Country or kitsch?
After narrowing down your style options, check out interior magazines and websites that embody the look you’re trying to create.
Some good magazines to start with are:
- Homelife Magazine
- Modern Home Ideas
- Home Beautiful
- Country Home Ideas
And don’t be afraid to mix and match styles. A little modern/country flare could make for beautiful home décor style!
4. Inventory Your Current Furnishings
Consider the furnishings you already have.
If you already have a living room or bedroom set, will they fit into your new house? Can you salvage them with a bit of paint or furniture covers?
If you aren’t bringing any big furniture items into your new home, think about the smaller, personal items you have.
Do you have some pictures of family and friends that could make nice wall art? Maybe you have some throw pillows or a dorm plant that could help further personalise your new space and make it feel more like home.
And while you are thinking of how to make your current items work in your new home, don’t be afraid to throw things out. If you have to force a way for something to work in your new space, it’s probably best not to bring it.
After all, you want your house to feel beautiful and practical, not like a haphazard future episode of “Hoarders.”
5. Look for DIY Opportunities
Styling your new home isn’t all about furnishings. You should also consider easy and minor cosmetic upgrades you can make to your house to facilitate your desired look.
Some easy and inexpensive DIY’s for your new home could include:
- Painting accent walls
- Changing cabinet knobs and pulls
- Painting kitchen cabinets
- Adding or removing crown molding
- Installing new house numbers
Even a few small changes can help make your home feel like yours.
6. Include Personalised Lighting
As a subset of looking for DIY opportunities, make sure to consider the lighting.
It’s so important, we had to make sure it had it’s step.
Lighting can create mood, atmosphere, and ambience. If you want to create an intimate dining space, 100W bulbs are probably not going to do the trick.
Think about how you want each room to feel and consider how lighting will affect that.
7. Create a Plan
After completing steps 1-5, create an action plan.
Now, you know how much and what type of space you have to work with, what style you want to channel, which of your previous items you want to incorporate, and how you can incorporate DIY.
Take these ideas and write them down. Then, prioritise the order in which you will complete the rooms.
Make sure that your plan includes potential timelines and considers other life obligations, like work and social engagements.
Think about ways your friends and family can help with your execution and work them into your plan as well.
If you have drawing talent (or not), you can even include some sketches of how you envision each room.
Make sure that your plan is reasonable and focuses on one room at a time. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself and push off execution until a later time.
8. Set a Budget
Once you have your plan together, think about your financial constraints.
Set an overall budget for the styling of your house and go back and look at your vision for each room. What percentage of your budget can you devote to each space?
Make sure to annotate your budget for each room and include a potential shopping list.
9. Shop Around
Shopping around is key when committing to a budget and incorporating diverse styling needs.
You want to avoid only shopping in one store to get all of your home décor and furniture. Doing so will relegate you to accepting whatever prices they offer and buying things in sets.
While sets will most certainly match, you don’t want your house to look like an Ikea advertisement. You want it to be reflection of who YOU are, and the best way to achieve that is to buy items from different places.
And, make sure that you check different types of shopping outlets, like:
- Furniture stores
- Furniture consignment shops
- Yard sales
- Online stores
If you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to purchase inexpensive temporary furniture until you find the right piece.
There’s no rush to make everything perfect immediately. You have time, and it’s better to wait than purchase something you’re not entirely happy with. Remember, your preferences and applications for rooms, spaces, and furniture pieces could change as well.
Now that you have your plan and have completed your shopping, it’s time to execute!
Above all, have fun with your home decorating and don’t allow yourself to get stressed out. As you grow into your new home you will certainly change your mind about some things, so know that everything is flexible.
Congratulations and enjoy.