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4 Tips for Decorating and Setting Up Your First Home

So, you’re moving into your first home. Congrats! Now it’s time to take those empty rooms and transform them into your very own space. Whether you have a big, bursting folder full of design ideas and a budget to match, or you’re just starting out and need frugal decor, here are tips for decorating your first home.

Make a Plan

To avoid getting overwhelmed, pick one room to decorate at a time. Start with the room you’ll spend the most time in; then decide on a decorating style. It’s OK to use different styles in different rooms. Go modern (well-tailored with clean lines) in the living room. Use sleek metal and glass in a contemporary bedroom. Choose cozy and quirky decor for a farmhouse-style kitchen.

Budget tip: Start with functional pieces you’ll use every day, such as a sofa, a bed, and a table. The best designs are built by adding pieces as you go.

In Living Color

4 Tips for Decorating and Setting Up Your First Home

Image via Flickr by NancyHugoCKD.com

Research has shown that colors can affect our moods, but not everyone reacts to the same colors in the same way. Some say green sparks creativity, so consider that for a home office, if you agree. “Warm” colors are thought to stimulate appetite, which may explain why yellow is a popular color for kitchens.

Budget tip: You don’t have to paint every room. Also, consider an accent wall: Pick a bright, bold color to draw the eye, and coordinate by sprinkling that color throughout the room.

Consider Comfort

Decorating sites are full of beautiful designs, but don’t forget that you’ll be living with your decor. That minimalist sofa may look chic, but is it hard as a brick? Will it survive your kids and pets? Don’t be afraid to go big, but keep comfort in mind.

On the topic of practicality, remember to do routine service and repairs on your home, such as having chimneys swept or making an HVAC maintenance plan. You don’t want to be freezing in your stylish, new farmhouse family room.

Budget tip: If you can’t afford new fixtures, install dimmer switches or use softer bulbs to make harsh lighting easier on your eyes. Alternatively, add a pretty, inexpensive lamp to a too-dark room.

Tie It All Together

Create a cohesive design in each room, either through color, texture or theme. Add a bowl of Granny Smith apples to a kitchen accented in bright greens. Match a shaggy area rug to a throw with the same texture. Use crystal lamps and window treatments with fringe in a “Great Gatsby” themed office. Budget tip: Browse flea markets, yard sales or Freecycle — a site for people looking to give and get stuff for free in their community — for interesting accents that fit your personality.

Decorating and setting up your first home can be stressful, but it can also be fun. No matter your budget, remember to make a plan, think in color, and use a unifying element to create a cohesive design. Don’t forget to consider comfort.

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