A Guide to Decorating Your New Home

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For those of you who found your Dream Home this fall during our Parade of Homes (like the one above by Country Joe Homes), or anyone making a move to a new home, here are some exceptional style tips from our friend, guest blogger, Savannah Hemmings.

The boxes are packed, the truck is loaded and it’s time to go. After the house-hunting, negotiations and closing, you’re finally moving into your new home.

This time of life can bring a whole host of emotions and concerns. What will my neighbors be like? Is the commute too far from work? How should I decorate? I don’t even have a couch.

For the latter of these, at least, there’s a little help on the way. Navigating a new space, especially when the style is different from your last home, can make decorating a little complicated. Use these tips to find your own personal decorating style that can make your new home truly your own.

Tune Into Your Own Style

The best way to decorate your new home is by first figuring out what styles you gravitate toward. By using sites like Pinterest or Houzz, you can create idea boards specific to the rooms in your house. (Editors Note: You can also click on our Parade of Homes Photo Gallery link to find inspiration from the thousands of photos from Twin Cities builders and remodelers, and try out our Idea Gallery which lets you re-decorate colors and finishes on hundreds of photographs with our Personal Designers.)

Pay attention to the feel of the spaces you most like, whether they are warm and inviting, or cool and exciting. Look for color palettes that appeal to you, as well as furniture pieces, artwork or photographs that leave you wanting more.

Consider the House

Wooden Dreams Remodeled Home Historic beauties like this one remodeled by Wooden Dreams beg for a few antiques.

Robert Dana Design Artisan Home While clean lines and industrial chic may be the way to go in a contemporary beauty like this Artisan Home by Robert Dana Design.

Aside from your own personal style, consider the style dictated by the house. A 19th century home, for example, will typically require a different style than that of a modern studio apartment in New York City. This isn’t to say that, should your personal style and that of the house conflict, all is lost. Quite the contrary, actually, as a creative blending of two styles can create a truly unique and homey space.

Measure the Spaces

Before any work can be done or furniture added, it’s important to first measure the space. This helps guide your shopping, as it’s important to look for pieces that are actually going to fit in your home. There’s nothing more frustrating than looking at the refrigerator you’ve always wanted to find out it’s an inch bigger than what the kitchen allows.

Use a Floor Plan Tool

Once the rooms have been measured, use an online floor plan tool to work out a few design scenarios. There are many of these floor plan tools out there that are great at helping you maximize your space.

Seek Out an Interior Designer

If the work becomes too overwhelming, there’s always the option of consulting with an interior designer. Interior designers are trained in decorating and can help navigate this new and exciting process. If anything, a designer could help narrow your focus and style, as well as help with a floor plan.

Choose a Color Scheme

Parade Home #294 by Creative Homes, Inc. This kitchen by Creative Homes, Inc. brings a touch of the sun with bright yellow accents.

Parade Home #256 by Creative Homes, Inc. While another of Creative Homes' kitchens creates a calm and welcoming flavor by the addition of soft blues.

A color scheme can help narrow down and refine your tastes. The color scheme should make you excited to wake up, excited to brush your teeth and excited to come home. Think of colors you tend to gravitate toward, ones that make you feel most yourself. Use those colors as foundations for your beautiful home. (Editors note: looking for the "new" trending colors? Check out these from Behr.)

Invest in Foundational Pieces

Foundational pieces are those that, no matter your age or style, can stick with you through the years. Items like your china cabinet, couch and dining room table are worth putting some money into. Choose neutrals for these, and use accessories to freshen them up for the seasons.

Mix Old Items With New

Not everything in your new home has to be new. If there are pieces that have passed through your family that you would like to incorporate, hang onto them and await the opportunity to use them. Do you like the idea of reusing and recycling? Hit up yard sales, auctions or your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore for items that are used but in good condition. (Editors Note: In the Twin Cities make sure to check out the semi-annual BATC Foundation Builder WareHouse Sales in April and October, details can be found in the Parade of Homes Guidebooks).

Rent Trial Furniture

If, after all this work, the thought of committing to new or used furniture gives you hives, consider renting furniture until you can make up your mind. This is especially helpful when you’re deciding between two particular styles. You’ll get a sense of the furniture style that best suits your house before making a long-term and costly commitment.

Take Your Time

Nothing needs to happen overnight – at least in most cases. Take your time turning your house into a home, and let go of the need for it to be perfect. Like a diamond in the rough, sometimes the most beautiful things have imperfections.

Savannah Hemmings is a lifestyle blogger and personal shopper. She has a passion for curating and creating beautiful spaces. You can read more of her work at SincerelySavannah.com.

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