So it just happened. You moved into your dream home.
Congratulations! There is so much excitement at that moment and… I am sure there are many happy days ahead in your new home.
But quite possibly you are wondering how do I decorate my house now? There are so many options available and so many decisions to be made that it is simply exhausting and stressful, but don’t worry. We are here to help you.
There is no need for you to feel burdened.
Whether it is your first home or the home of a new stage in your life, this guide will help you step by step navigate the difficult process of decorating a house for the first time.
With our decoration guide, you can create the space of your dreams.
The guide is divided into two parts. In the first four steps, you can create your plan to define your idea, needs, budget, and inventory. We will also help you with all the necessary information.
In the next five steps, you will take action. Now is the time to decide, measure, and go shopping!
I hope that sharing this guide with you will be of great use to you, and above all, you take advantage of it so as not to end up falling into certain common mistakes when decorating your home.
1. Inspiration and Style
The first step to start decorating your new home is knowing where you are going, and for this, you need to have a plan.
Many people do not know what style of decoration they like, and it is not that they have no opinion. They do not know how to prioritize their preferences.
The easiest way to find out what attracts you is by looking at photos of other spaces that catch your eye. Today with social networks, we have it very easy, dive into Pinterest, Instagram, blogs … this is how you will start with the collection of information.
You can create a board on Pinterest by spaces. At first, you may have an identity crisis, but you will discover little by little that many patterns are repeated. We will call this part your wish list.
Once you have all your inspiration in one place, find the connecting threads, you have to sit down and compare them.
What are the common denominators? In terms of color, what is the predominant color? If you are not sure what colors to use, this post can help you. The style of the furniture Straight lines? Are all the accessories the same in style, or do you like to mix? What density of objects are there in space? Do you have a penchant for a particular style?
If you need extra help at this point, we have created a deco-style test that will make your work much easier, and you will also receive a guide with tips on your style so that you can implement them in your new home.
Once this work is done, identify the elements that stand out to you the most and use these pieces, textures, and materials as the basis of your design plan.
It is also essential that you consider the architecture of the space that you see in photos that inspire you and the limitations you could have in your own space.
At this point, we will have already given a more concrete form to our gallery of ideas. We will already have defined the color palette, style, type of furniture, and textures to help you in your future decisions with all this information.
Exercise: Create your inspiration board and wish list, everything you would love to have in your space, no matter the location or budget.
2. Decide Functional Needs
So that space is not only beautiful (it would not make any sense) but comfortable, practical, and functional, you have to write down your needs.
For example, you love giant sofas, but is it practical for your way of life? Does it fit well in your living room? It is essential to identify your needs.
Consider how many people, for example, you will usually have as guests in your dining room. What kind of activities do you like to do? Do you love playing board games, sleeping on the couch, or doing marathons on Netflix?
Let your lifestyle guide your decorating plan. These types of questions adapted to you are the ones that must be answered before continuing.
Make an inventory of the furniture you have and want to take advantage of, decide if each piece has a place in your new home.
Is there a place for your favorite painting? Does your old headboard fit in your new bedroom?
If you have furniture or accessories that no longer fit you, a great option is to sell them on Wallapop; We leave you this post to help you buy and sell without being deceived.
Remember, at each stage of our lives, we have needs, and you can mix styles that will add personality to your decoration. Only you can judge which pieces will make a difference.
Calculate how much you can spend. If you can’t afford to decorate your whole house at once, choose the space where you spend most of your time and give it a priority.
In this way, if you have disorder in the rest of the home, we all know what moves are. You will always have a finished space where you can feel comfortable and disconnect.
From the beginning, create your general budget. Be real with the numbers down to the last penny, don’t forget to include everything you’ll need. All the little details add up.
You must be aware that not being an expert on the subject can lead to errors in purchases or unnecessary. Hence, it is advisable to leave a 10% margin for unforeseen events.
Having a general budget will help you not make impulse purchases such as those precious beanbags you have seen in a shop window that does not fit your decoration.
5. Plan and Measure the Space
Now that you know what you need, it is time to plan the distribution of your space and place the items you need on a plan to see what fits and what does not. In other words, the time has come to measure! If you do not know how to do it, I leave you this post where I explain in a video how to measure a room step by step how to do it.
Make sure your plan does not lack a floor plan to decorate. Follow these simple steps:
First, draw the perimeter of your space freehand. You can use graph paper to make it easier for you. List the walls to establish order. They can go clockwise and thus also guide you in the following steps.
Add all the elements you find in it, such as doors, windows, columns, sockets, and radiators.
Begin to take and write down the measurements by placing the meter inside the skirting board. You should always keep order to avoid confusion.
There are specific measures in decoration, here are some to consider: Corner tables: between the corner table and the sofas leave between 8 and 12 cm.
Pictures: when hanging pictures, keep the center at eye level, which is generally 1.50 meters. If you want to create a checkered composition, keep the center point at this level.
When placing pictures on top of the sofa, make sure it is no more than a third of the sofa’s width. Leave 12 to 20 cm of space between the sofa.
Distance from the television: The distance from the television to the sofa will depend on its size, the easiest rule of thumb, multiply the tv diagonally x 2.
Carpets: If the room is large enough, you can put it to cover all the furniture in the living room and dining room, for example. If the room is small, place the rug only on the front part of the sofa, it will unite the entire space and create a feeling of openness.
The good thing about the rules is that they are to be broken. They are good guidelines to follow, but don’t be afraid to break them.
6. Choose the Furniture
Now that we have our list of needs and gallery of ideas, we have a good starting point. We start with the fun part!
The time has come to buy the furniture you like. As you select each piece, add the price to your budget spreadsheet. If you go overboard, try composing until you fit your budget.
Most items can be found at a wide variety of prices and styles, so don’t be afraid to search multiple sites to see if you can find a similar item at a better price.
Always take the floor plan with you when you go shopping. Furniture looks much smaller in a store display than it will look in your home. You’d be surprised at people who buy furniture and come home and don’t fit.
Do not forget your budget, and it is easy to get excited (we know each other) and spend more money than one has. Don’t let a wonderful store or a skilled salesperson ruin your budget.
That said, I am convinced that in your visits to various furniture stores, you have come across items that you have loved but have not adjusted to your budget: this does not mean you should discard them forever. Consider if the splurge is worth it. After all, investing in a piece can do wonders for your décor. You can leave it for the end and decide there.
Once you have the plan created with the furniture, use that same plan to draw your lighting plan. Consider all the possibilities (pendants, sconces, floor lamps, table lamps, etc.) and take into account for what type of lighting you will need an electrician and for which not.
It may be a cliché in décor, but good lighting really is everything. Lighting affects the environment and mood of a space. Get it right, and your overall decor will win, which is why I’m going to expand at this point.
General tips for good lighting: Consider the height of the ceiling. Knowing the height of the ceiling is essential to select a pendant lamp. Some come with adjustable cables or rods, but others do not. If they are fixed, you have to take them into account.
When hanging a lamp over a feeder table, the recommended distance from the bottom of the lamp is 45 to 85 cm. However, the size of the lamp will make a difference. In general, a small lamp can be placed lower, while a large one can be closer to the ceiling.
Don’t limit yourself to just ceiling lamps. Depending on the location, you can consider wall sconces to create a warmer environment and avoid stronger light, casting shadows.
The lamp’s design should not be the only thing you should consider, the type of bulb is equally important. Halogen and LED bulbs come in a range of cool or warm shades. Like the color of the walls, the type of atmosphere you want to create is primarily personal.
If the walls have been painted in colder tones, you can give it warmth with a warm light bulb and vice versa.
Do not forget how decorative the lamps are, and they can be the decorative point that your space needs. Also, flashes of color can work wonders.
Add floor lamps near sofas or armchairs to create a reading area, table lamps on corner tables, and consoles. As a general rule, each room should have three light sources.
8. Color on the Walls
You might think that the best time to choose paint is initially, but we prefer to choose it last. Why? It’s easier to choose a shade to complement your entire furniture collection than the other way around. Choose paint swatches and compare them to the furniture you’ve chosen until you find the perfect match.
Color is one of the elements that is most noticeable when you enter a house.
It is an essential part because the wrong color palette or combination can spoil your decoration.
It is essential to do a test and observe it at various times of the day, depending on the sunlight.
Choose your color palette. If it is difficult for you to decide, you can use it as a starting point, a painting that you love, or for example, a rug.
If you are madly in love with a color, start there. The colors do not necessarily have to match, just that they complement each other.
Take into account your location if you are near the sea, mountains, or other specific environments. You can also use them as a guide. Warm blue or brown tones can make you feel at home, inside and out.
Paint, paint, paint, it is the cheapest way to personalize a space. Even if you prefer white, paint a wall that makes a difference.
9. Finishes, Fabrics, and Textures
Choosing the correct fabrics and textures for your home is very important; however, it can become quite a feat due to the large number of materials, textures, and colors that we have.
Very possibly, at this point, you are wondering: Where do I start?
Cold and warm colors:
Warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow provide energy, so it is advisable to use them in the most active areas of the house.
Cold colors like blue help us relax, and they suit the bedroom as a place to relax and unwind.
Color can affect emotions and behavior, and getting it right in your décor can be a crucial element.
There are many types of prints. Floral, geometric, ethnic stripes are some to choose from. When deciding on the pattern, you must consider the other elements, such as the furniture and the size of the room.
The choice of finishes should be practical for the use that will be given: curtain, sofa, cushion … most fabrics do not work everywhere.
There are two categories of fabrics to choose from, natural or synthetic. The most popular fabrics are cotton, leather, silk, linen, and wool. It is leather, very durable. Cotton and bedding are less resistant to dirt and will wrinkle easily. Synthetic materials like acrylic, microfiber, vinyl, polyester, and rayon tend to be stronger than natural materials.
10. Add Personal Touches that Tells your Story
You are creating and designing your home, and you have to talk about yourself, your story. We love filling our spaces with articles from our childhood, pieces from our relatives, memories of your travels.
Those pieces are what make a house a home. That is the reflection of who lives there, of your family.
A room that looks magazine-worthy is pretty, but nothing can match a room that is decorated with the heart.
How to Decorate a Double Room
The bedroom must be your sanctuary. Choose soft colors and a calm palette of monochromatic tones, and blue, lavender, green tones are considered calm.
The ceiling is the fifth wall in your bedroom. Adding a touch of color to the ceiling will give the bedroom a feeling of comfort and privacy.
Furnish the room only with what you need. Any furniture that you put that is not useful will help the clutter.
As with decorative accessories, keep them to a minimum. Please choose a picture, some family photos, flower candles, and that’s it.
To get the feeling of serenity in your bedroom, do not leave your things in view so that they will look more peaceful and spacious.
A custom organization system can help you make the most of your storage space.
Nothing adds more comfort to a bedroom like sheets or more decorative than a plaid with cushions decorating the bedspread.
How to Decorate a Dining Room
A fundamental part of finishing shaping the decoration of your living room is the choice of upholstery and textile for cushions, curtains, and walls.
Sofas and armchairs are the pieces that capture all the attention in the living room. Therefore we must be cautious when choosing the design and upholstery.
Light Colors and Small Prints:
They give a feeling of spaciousness and provide a lot of light. On the contrary, dark colors and larger prints give more prominence to upholstery and decoration.
Smooth upholstery with patterned cushions:
When you use light-colored upholstery with patterned cushions, avoid overloading the rest of the decoration, this way, you will make the upholstery the powerful part of your decoration.
Furniture. As we have said previously, it is important to be clear about the distribution, what fits and what does not, where it will be located, and our measures.
Carpets. It is important to use them as they decorate and give warmth.
Tables and Pictures. A room with empty walls gives the feeling of incomplete. This does not mean that you should fill every corner, but decorating the walls is important.
Illumination. It is a complex part of any room. You have to have three main types of lighting; environment, work, and roof. They should be placed at different levels throughout the room.
How to Decorate a Terrace
Certain tricks can transform your terrace into a cozy place. The best thing you can do on your terrace is to take advantage of every corner while making the most of the space, and you can also make it useful.
Plants are an excellent way to decorate your terrace. Adding a little green gives a feeling of freshness, adds a variety of plants of different sizes.
The size will help you with the selection of furniture. If you have a small space, opt for folding furniture, which you can store when not used.
Corner furniture is also perfect for making the most of space.
As in all the spaces we have talked about previously, lighting plays a significant role. To enjoy yourself on your terrace, even at night, place white or yellow lights. You can also add garlands around it.
The candles will give a cozy and summery touch to your terrace.
For the summer, cotton and linen are the fabrics that are best adapted.
White and beige go very well for the terrace. If you want to give it a more colorful touch, use pillows and cushions with summer prints.
Do not forget to place decorative cushions on the sofas to create a more comfortable area.
Lastly, don’t forget about the soil. There is nothing better than walking barefoot on your terrace, and you can use a natural fiber rug.
Another option is to upholster your terrace with artificial grass, which will give a more natural look. Whichever you choose, make sure it can withstand the weather conditions.
How to Decorate a Children’s Room
Like adults, children want a comfortable and functional room.
The wall stickers are a perfect way to decorate a children’s room, and they are easy to remove and replace with something else.
Once your child is old enough to have regular homework and study time, he needs an area designed for homework and study and another for relaxing and daydreaming.
Young children and clutter go hand in hand, but you can make organization easier by placing open shelves with bins and baskets to store toys and games.
If you share a room, do not automatically decide that everything should match, some children enjoy having a symmetrical room, but others prefer to establish a more individual style.
Most children have a passion for space, insects, the color pink, or a cartoon character, and this can be the starting point in their bedroom decoration.
Every closet needs organization, but it needs to be reduced to its level in a children’s closet. Place hanging bars low enough for your child to reach easily. Here is a post about the Montessori method.
Label each drawer if necessary to make it easier for your child to remember what is going and where.
Have fun decorating your child’s bedroom and make sure he can comment on the colors, furniture … and be part of the decoration of his bedroom.