Tips for Decorating Your First Home
Updated August 9, 2022
You’ve just closed on your house with the closing title company signing page after page (not really knowing what anything means) BUT signing anyway, and you’ve just received the keys to your new house. Then, it hits you that you now have to furnish and decorate it all.
Here is my advice for decorating your first home:
Decorating will take TIME and is an ONGOING PROCESS
We are 1.5 years into decorating our home and still have a long way to go! I would say at this point, only our living room is “finished.” Everything else still has work to be done. Be patient and find the pieces that you absolutely love and want to bring into your home. Don’t settle!
YES, FURNITURE IS EXPENSIVE
You may be used to Ikea prices from furnishing previous apartments but now want to invest a little more in the quality of the furniture so you hit up West Elm and are like “that costs HOW MUCH?!” We definitely were shocked at how expensive furniture is.
Thankfully, there are ways to figure out where to splurge and where to save. It’s worth it to spend more to get good quality pieces for the furniture that you use DAILY and will get a lot of wear (like the couch, dining room table and chairs, etc) and save everywhere else for things like accessories, rugs, lighting etc.
DECORATE ONLY WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE IT
Some days you’ll feel empowered and ideas will start racing through your mind and other days you’ll be SO SICK of looking through what seems like EVERY nightstand that exists on the internet (true story) that you just wanna give up.
On a day that you don’t feel inspired to decorate or browse for furniture, YOU DON’T HAVE TO! Don’t make it harder than it already is – you already have so many decisions to make. You’ll end up hating the process and feel super overwhelmed and burdened.
DON’T BE LIMITED BY YOUR DESIGN STYLE
Knowing what your design styles are can help narrow down your search for furniture and zero in on certain stores to shop at, but sometimes it can cause you to DOUBT whether you should buy a piece that doesn’t necessarily fit in your design style but that you still really want.
As long as you LOVE each piece and it doesn’t clash with the rest of your house – it’s okay! It’s YOUR house so who cares.
CONSIDER YOUR SPOUSE
If you’re married, ladies I am talking to YOU! Please take your spouse’s opinions into consideration. They do live there too. It is their house too. So your home should reflect BOTH of your tastes and personalities 🙂
In my opinion, the whole house shouldn’t look super girly or only reflect one person. I got Timmy’s approval for every piece that we bought and there were plenty that I suggested but got shot down. It’s all about compromise.
TRENDS COME AND GO
It’s okay to implement the trendy stuff into the decor like wall art or things that you can easily swap out if you get sick of it or if it goes out of style, but for the bigger, more “permanent” pieces like tables or couches try to pick a style that you can envision still loving years down the road.
IT’S OKAY TO MAKE MISTAKES
Don’t be afraid to get rid of something that you had bought for the house but realized months later that it actually doesn’t work. I’m not saying you should be throwing money down the drain just because you change your mind all the time.
BUT if you feel like a piece really doesn’t go in the space like you had imagined and you pass by it everyday thinking it just doesn’t work, I’m giving you PERMISSION to sell it and buy something else that DOES WORK and is PERFECT for the space.
GET A LOT OF MEASURING TAPES
If you have a multi-story house (we live in a townhouse with 3 levels – yep lots of stairs) my BEST ADVICE THUS FAR is to get yourself a set of 3-5 MEASURING TAPES that you keep around the house. I’m saying like in every room.
I cannot tell you the amount of times I’m browsing on instagram or pinterest and I find a product/furniture piece/whatever it is that I absolutely am in LOVE with and want to see if it’ll fit in my space… but am screaming to Timmy “have you seen the measuring tape? WHERE is the measuring tape?!” and have to hunt it down ALL over the house because somehow it never gets put back in its proper spot.
Well, one day I had had enough and ordered FOUR more measuring tapes to scatter around the house and my QUALITY OF LIFE has increased that much more since then.
make sure it fits
Speaking of measuring tape, take the extra time to measure properly before you buy. Don’t assume or think “oh it’ll be fine” and end up with a piece of furniture that is too big, too small, too short for the space.
If you have trouble visualizing if it’ll work, use painter’s tape to physically tape out the dimensions in the room.
CREATE MEMORIES NOW. like right now.
Lastly, INVITE others over even when you don’t feel your home is ready yet. Don’t wait to have your housewarming party only when it’s fully done! Your friends won’t mind and would love to see the progress anyway!
This is SUCH an exciting time for you and a beautiful beginning to creating memories in your new home with family and friends. You might get overwhelmed at points because there’s so much to think about when furnishing the house from scratch and so many options to choose from.
BUT don’t forget to ENJOY THE JOURNEY and be proud of each little step that you’ve taken.
Soon enough, you’ll look back and see how far you’ve come from that empty room with bare walls.