It’s difficult to call a house a home if it lacks creature comforts. Without the right furniture and accessories a house is just an empty shell. Nevertheless, deciding how to furnish a home can be intimidating when you’re staring at blank walls. Here are six tips to help furnish your new home.
1. Take Stock
Before you begin shopping for new furniture for your home, clean house. Go through the belongings at your current place, taking stock of which items you want to keep or get rid of.
2. Collect Your Thoughts
Once you have a handle on your belongings, determine your personal style. Don’t get bogged down trying to understand interior design principles. Instead, go through magazines and browse the Internet to get inspiration from the images of things you find functional and fashionable.
When you’re ready to window shop, measure your new digs so you know what will fit your home. The sofa sectional you swoon over on the expansive furniture store floor might not be a good fit if you are confined to a smaller floorplan.
Also take time to test the furniture and comparison shop. Do you need durable materials to withstand pets and toddlers, or do you prefer to host elegant dinner parties? You can get a sense of how well a piece will meet your needs by testing the comfort level before buying (sit down, lie down, recline), and taking home a color swatch to see if you still like a fabric once you’re home.
3. Choose a Color Palette
Color can set the tone for your home’s personality. If you already own art or a rug, or have a fantastic view, then you can choose a hue from that element and carry the color throughout a room. Not everything needs to match, but it’s more economical to pick neutral furnishings and use color on an accent wall or in accessories like pillows, lamps and throws because you can quickly change those colored items to suit your mood.
4. Go for Quality, Not Quantity
When shopping, seek out high-quality furniture that will last longer and be comfortable for years to come. Although fashion fads come and go, classic, simple-line designs never go out of style. Save the frills for smaller furniture pieces, new fabrics and accessories.
5. Add Accessories
Accessories add personality to rooms. Mirrors, mantels, plants, clocks, carpets and area rugs are often overlooked home furnishings that can make a unique fashion statement. You can draw attention to a couch by hanging artwork overhead or arranging seating around it. You can play up a bed with matching sheets, comforters and pillows. Alternatively, you can shine a spotlight on your furnishings with an array of modern-day lighting solutions.
6. Be Patient
Don’t be tempted to buy everything you want at once, even if your budget can afford it. It’s better to start small and focus on one room at a time to make sure you’re happy with each purchase. While the set-up in a home decor store may look fabulous, buying the entire set will make your home look like, well, the home decor store.
Remember, when you make the invesetment to purchase a house, you’re likely planning to live in the home for a while. So give yourself time to settle in. Plus furniture shopping should be fun, so you should enjoy and not rush through furnishing your new home!
This article has been updated from an earlier version by Deena Weinberg.