Whether you’re moving into your dream home in the suburbs or a quirky, downtown apartment, you’ll want to make your new home feel like your home. The way we decorate our homes helps us define our space and how we connect to it. Decorating your home isn’t just about aesthetics, it’s about seeing ourselves reflected in the places we inhabit. No matter your price point, your home should bring you joy when you open the door.
To make your home feel more uniquely yours, try these ten tips:
1. Figure out your decorating style
If you want your home to feel like it really reflects your unique style, then you need to know what style best reflects your personality. Is it the bold look of industrial style, or the clean minimalism of modern design? Maybe it’s the lovingly cluttered look of shabby chic or the warm, welcoming vibe of farmhouse style. Find out what style speaks to you the most by researching photos and design styles online and seeing which ones you gravitate to the most. This can take some time, but if you create Pinterest boards or save pictures, you will most likely start to see a pattern emerge that will help reveal your preferred design style.
2. Go room-by-room
Trying to decorate your entire home can be overwhelming. Instead, it’s best to start with a room-by-room plan that allows you to precisely map out how furniture, paint colors, and décor will flow into each other. Once that plan is in place, focus only on one room at a time. Doing piecemeal painting or fits of decorating in one room, only to leave it to jump to another will only make your home look less cohesive and more cluttered and may discourage you. Instead, focus all your attention on one room until it’s complete so that you can see your progress and enjoy it.
3. Choose the biggest piece first
If you’re buying all new furniture for a room, choose the most significant piece of furniture first. This piece (whether it’s a couch, a bed, or your dining table) will act as a focal piece and serve to define the room. Because of this, you want to make sure that the piece of furniture you choose defines the room in the way you want it to. Since the biggest piece of furniture in the room is often the most expensive and most often used, go for quality. You can cheap out on side tables and small decor pieces, but things like couches and beds should be investment pieces you plan to keep for years.
4. Customize your artwork
While art is probably one of the most essential components of home decor, that doesn’t mean you need to buy big box store, mass-produced artwork if you can’t afford one-of-a-kind, original pieces. Instead, use the Marie Kondo way and create your own artwork that “sparks joy.” If you’re thinking we’re suggesting you take up painting, don’t worry, we’re not–unless you want to! Get your own photo poster prints made from family photos, vacations, or even abstract photos you’ve taken while hiking and walking to work. You can choose a series of photos that are cohesive in color or design and give your home’s artwork a genuinely personalized feel, all without breaking the bank.
5. Transform with paint
One of the cheapest and fastest ways to transform a room is by using paint. When you’re looking to make your home feel more like your own, choose a paint color that reflects your personality. No stark whites here! Look for vibrant accent walls or draw inspiration from paint companies “color of the year” charts. Not sure if you’re going to like the way it will look on your walls? Look for examples of people who have already used the paint in their homes. If you like the way it looks in the pictures, consider getting a sample and trying it out for yourself.
6. Decorate by layering
Decorating your home should be more of a marathon than a sprint. Just like with the room plan, decorating will take time, and that’s something you should embrace. As you spend more time in your home, you’ll learn more about the light, the layout, and ultimately how you want it to look. This means decorating in “layers”: buying furniture and living with that to see what paint would work with it, choosing paint and then deciding what accents you’d like, etc.
7. Swap out light fixtures
Sometimes, we can get too caught up in the “big picture” and forget the little details. Light fixtures play a huge role in how our homes look, but we can sometimes get so used to them that we almost forget they’re there. Look at your light fixtures with a critical eye to see which you can swap out to better personalize your home.
8. Paint the front door
Personalizing your home isn’t only about what’s on the inside. Let passersby know that your home is 100% yours by painting the front door a bold, vibrant color that helps define your home’s personality. Plus, painting a front door is less commitment than painting the entire exterior of your home, and it’s a good time to change the locks if you haven’t done it yet (very important when you move into a new house).
9. Upgrade your window treatments
While most people will leave the window treatments in a home when they move out, that doesn’t mean they’ll work for you! Swap out window treatments to better reflect your own style. Having new window treatments can make your final look feel more polished. One pro tip is to hang your curtains right from the ceiling to make your windows appear bigger
10. Upgrade bathroom details
If you can’t spring for a full bathroom remodel, consider swapping out some bathroom details that can freshen the space. Things like shower curtains, vanity mirrors, hardware, and faucets can help upgrade your space and make it feel more like the spa bathroom you deserve.