Get your family together and determine how you will be using the living spaces in your new home. Will your new home be casual or formal? Contemporary or traditional? Do you plan to blend styles?
Whatever your choice, make it fit your family’s lifestyle. Above all, you want to be comfortable in your new home.
Don’t be afraid to get ideas from magazines and catalogs. Gather photographs of design elements, furniture, colors, flooring or accents you like and bring them along to help us plan your design. Although inspiration is an individual experience, you can learn a lot by looking at the decorating schemes in the homes of your friends. Again, planning is the key. It’s easy to paint a wall, or add a new rug or furniture, but very difficult to change permanent fixtures.
Don’t think single rooms when planning, look at the big picture. Make sure your new home has a consistent feel throughout. Achieve this consistency by using common elements from room to room such as color and materials. Each room in your new home should complement the adjoining rooms.
Color is essential, so don’t let it scare you. Colors can be warm or cool, bold or subtle, soothing or exciting. Contrasting colors and combinations are a great way to give your new home personality. Try using a bold color on one wall, for example.
Colors can be used to change the character of a room, Light colors can make a room look larger; warm colors can make a large space look smaller. Cool colors will make a room seem more open. When selecting colors for your decorating color scheme, you may find that inspiration is close at hand, so look around you before searching farther. If your current color scheme does not suit you, examine why and determine to what extent the color scheme needs to be changed
When you design your new home, you want it to define you and your style. After you have selected all the right colors, flooring, lighting, etc., add charm and character with your personal touches throughout. Don’t be afraid to be bold, even quirky, and have fun decorating your new home.
Plan for the future. Keep your materials as neutral as possible and let your belongings give the room personality. Remember, it’s a lot easier to change accents and accessories in a room than it is to repaint or remodel. Use colorful accents such as throw pillows and window treatments to make a bold statement. Accents can add just the right punch of color … and they can be switched out seasonally.
Put all your furniture in place and get comfortable with it before hanging photos and decorating a room. Keep your design simple and uncluttered. Measure your furniture and draw a room plan before moving in. Be sure the pieces you choose fit the room, particularly if you are buying new furniture.
Balance and symmetry are important design elements. Try arranging accessories in groups of three. Hang art in groups of three or try displaying three vases of varying heights in a cluster on a shelf or table. Groups of three create an aesthetic sense of balance.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match styles. Family heirlooms can be used with new contemporary pieces as long as they look good together and complement each other. Be creative. Area rugs can add warmth and coziness to a room and can help define areas of a room. They are particularly useful for hard surface floors such as stone or tile. Remove furniture and rotate your rug seasonally to balance wear and tear.
Lighting is an important element of design. Choose light fixtures carefully to achieve the look you want. After you have moved in, create ambiance in room by adding lamps, or using a dimmer to lower the level of light. Softly lit rooms are much more appealing.
Hang artwork and pictures at eye level. If you hang them too high, your ceiling will look lower. These are just a few ideas. Your new home is like a blank canvas waiting for you to turn it into a work of art.