4 Tips to Decorate Your New Home

Amanda Fallon
Amanda Fallon
Published on February 7, 2018

Professional decorators see the same decorating faux pas repeatedly. Hey, it’s only natural that those of us who don’t do it for a living are winging it.

One of the mistakes most frequently made by novices is that we don’t pay attention to scale. Specifically, some of the items we use to decorate our homes are far too small, according to Taryn Williford, lifestyle editor for Apartment Therapy.

Here are 4 super easy tips to decorate your new home that will make your home look just like a magazine.

1.  Cover those walls

You know from your recent home shopping excursions that gallery walls are big with homeowners. Unfortunately, many are just mish-mashes of an odd assortment of photos or works of art.

Believe it or not, there is an “art” to hanging art

Whether it’s a single, stunning piece or you plan on covering the wall with a number of framed photos, Williford suggests that the art should take up a bit more than half of the wall (.57 to be exact).

“So, if you have an empty wall that’s 120 inches wide, you multiply that by .57 to find that your art should be roughly around 68 inches wide,” Williford suggests.

For a gallery wall, measure all the frames together, “including the space in between.”

Other tips for hanging art include:

  • The center of the gallery or a solo piece of art should be 60 inches off the floor.
  • When hanging art above a sofa, the bottom of the frame should sit 6 to 8 inches above the top of the furniture.

Get additional tips on how to arrange your gallery wall at wayfair.com.

2.  Go big or don’t go there

Decorators see a lot of tiny accessories in the average home. Of course they do – “Big decor comes with a big price tag,” according to Williford. She goes on to caution that the three most common too-small items we use are rugs, lighting and art.

She claims that we should go no smaller than 8 feet by 10 feet with our living room rugs, the shades of our table lamps should be “tall enough that the bottom of the shade is at eye level” when we are seated next to it and that our artwork should measure at least half of the size of the wall on which it will be placed.

Too-long, too-short or too-wide curtains are an easy fix. The correct length can be found by measuring the distance from the floor to the window casing (just above it).

The right width is the same width as the window, and place the rod brackets six inches outside of the window frame, suggests Wilson.

3.  Watch the clutter

If you sold a home before buying this one, remember the advice to remove clutter? Just because strangers, possibly willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for your new home, won’t be paying you a visit – it’s no time to go back to the old ways. 

Regardless of your style, eliminating clutter is the most important of my tips to decorate your new home.

Not every surface has to be covered with something. When it is, “nothing stands out as special,” according to Jennifer Wilson at bhg.com. Editing is one of the most important tips to decorate your new home!

She suggests using only half the number of table-, mantle-and shelf-top items you’d planned on using. To avoid making the room look too slick, make sure you use items you love.

“Add a few pieces that have a warm backstory, stack beloved books on the coffee table, or layer in some photos of the people you love, Wilson suggests.

Visit my Home Design Pinterest board for some major decluttering motivation.

4.  Choose your palette (and stick to it)

When shopping for home decor, most of us choose pieces that we like, without regard to how that item fits in with the palette of the room.  Though your intentions are good, what you end up with ends up looking like a collection of random knick knacks, rather than a cohesive story– all items you’ll need to box up and hide away prior to selling your home in  the future (oh, the irony).

To break that terrible cycle, I recommend being very intentional before you go shopping for furniture and decor for your new home.  Choose 3 neutral tones (white, black, and gold, or tan, white, and midnight blue, for example) that you’ll use for your big pieces all throughout the house.  

Then choose 2-3 complimentary accent colors to use in your art and accent pieces like pillows, vases, and candle holders (teal and aqua, for example, seem to be some of buyers’ favorites).  This will help unify your whole house and make your shopping experience WAY easier.  

No matter what colors you choose, one of the best tips to decorate your new home is to include fresh green accents in the form of indoor houseplants.  Every room should have at least one to bring the outside in.

As a huge added plus, you won’t need to hide away your furniture and decor as most sellers do in order to sell your home in the future, and you’ll get to enjoy living and entertaining in your magazine-perfect home until then!

I hope you enjoyed my 4 easy tips to decorate your new home!  For more on home trends, head over to my blog Top 5 Orange County New Construction Trends in 2018!

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