8.17.2015

10 Key Tips For Decorating Your First Home

 If it's your first home, generally speaking, money is pretty tight with all the moving in expenses. Here's advice I give to my clients who are decorating their new homes.
1.  Prioritize.  Try to finish your main, more public areas first like your living/family room and dining area.

2.  Lay It Out.  You need a floor plan of the space so that you can determine the best way to arrange your furniture.  This is one of the first things I do for clients.  Then, you know what size sofa or rug you need, etc.
This is a preliminary floor plan for a young couple with a toddler and a baby on the way.
 Here it is in 3D…don't worry, the actual furnishings will be prettier…these are prototype for scale.
 Here is a different layout…but they picked the one above.  Now they know what sizes work in their space.


3.  A Good Night's Sleep. Your bedroom can be a second priority but make sure you have a good mattress.  A headboard can wait.
We are thinking about buying this Westin Heavenly Mattress.  Has anyone else tried it?

4.  Paint, if necessary.  If you are renting, your landlord shouldn't object to a fresh neutral and if you own it, consider ways to put your stamp on your space (test colors though).



5.  Mix not Match.  Resist the urge to buy all matching furniture...seems easier but you want your home to be interesting and have soul.  The plan for this newlywed couple is a neutral, cottage feel...

This is the plan for the couple with the toddler and baby on the way (their floor plan is above).  They wanted neutrals, too, and a little mid-century modern.  They may wait to buy the leather swivel chair but the television console is from IKEA.


6.  In With The Old.  You can find great new items at Target, West Elm, IKEA, Etsy, etc... but also look for vintage furnishings at garage sales, thrift stores and family hand-me-downs so that you can mix in items with age and patina.  Remember our daughter, Alexandra's collected feel...
7.  Reflect YOUR Personality.  You are young and may not have a lot of "things" yet and that is OK.  Less clutter!  Now is the time to think about what speaks to you.  For example, Alexandra collects flea market globes.

What about black and white photos of your grandparents?  Or maps of cities/towns you have visited or want to visit?  I like boxes, design books, white Portuguese pottery, vintage books, tiny bowls, antique French and Italian prints and designer PILLOWS, of course.  What do you like?

8.  Light it Up.  Remember your living room needs two to three lamps.   A pendant or chandelier (like this one from World Market) over the dining table is nice, too (for the cottage newlyweds).

A filament bulb may easily update an existing pendant.

9.  Take Your Time.  You don't have to fill the space all at once.  Start with a sofa, a table and some chairs.  And when in doubt...tape off the furniture to see how you like the scale in the room...here we are testing three different sized sectionals.

10.  Entertain in Your Space.  It doesn't have to be "finished" to have a party.  Invite your friends over while there is more room to dance! (better invite/warn the neighbors).

At your party, how about serving Watermelon Mojitos while it's still summer.  Turn down the lights (oh, yes, and get dimmer switches) and turn up the music!


29 comments:

  1. Great tips Mary Ann and these even are applicable to someone downsizing to a smaller space!
    You are huge help to your clients!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Artist Nicoletta Belletti

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great smart tips.
    BTW....
    MC and I have a Westin Heavenly Bed. We love it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had a client who had the Westin Heavenly Bed and they swore by it's comfort.

    ReplyDelete
  4. These are all fabulous tip!!! I'm pinning for future reminder for me or for someone else! Thanks Mary Ann!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny, Vel, that I have three young couples right now with their first homes...all wanting neutrals but different.

      Delete
  5. Great tips! Some lucky young couple is going to have a very stylish home!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cindy, coming from you that means a lot.

      Delete
  6. Super tips and I have been in my home 30 years! BTW we just purchased a Four Seasons Hotel mattress and we look forward to going to bed every night! It's wonderful!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great tips and I think anyone can use these as a great guideline!! Worth sharing on FB!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have slept on the heavenly beds - it is on our wish list to get one - highly recommended.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We bought the Westin Heavanly bed and it's great! My husband says it's the most comfortable bed ever. Only problem is now when we visit relatives or stay in a hotel, you notice the difference. You will be spoiled!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great tips for the first home! My son and his wife are doing it pretty much this way and their home feels very warm and welcoming. I've slept on the Heavenly Bed only twice, both times at a Westin. First time was, well, heavenly. Second hotel location was brand new, and the bed felt soft when we first laid down, but felt harder as the night wore on. Maybe was so new it needed to be broken in? That's my two cents anyway!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Mary Ann, These are great tips! I'm sending it to my niece in Germany who just bought their first home. It's being build and won't be done for about a year, so this is perfect for her to start making plans for the inside. Kenny's cousin has a Heavenly Bed and they LOVE it!
    Trying to keep cool here in HOT Glendale! xoxo Gail

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will have a fun home to visit, Gail!

      Delete
  12. love this. I love you and your blog and your aesthetic so much!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We just have to meet, someday, Joni! My two best friends from SF just moved to Austin...so I see a lot of Texas in my future :)

      Delete
  13. Great tips for newbie homeowners. It's so easy to get carried away and overspend--not the thing you want to do just starting out. Love your mood boards for the two rooms! Heavenly Beds are fabulous--seems like everyone is in agreement.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Very good advice, Mary Ann. We all tend to rush into things, esp. when young….but yes, it's always better to wait a while, live with it, test it out with friends and family!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great info for new homeowners and old timers as well! Forwarded to my darling niece - she and her husband are building their first home and will be moving in a few months. Such an exciting time!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Such good advice Mary Ann. Everyone wants to hurry and get it done but I always say....live in the place for a while and see how the space works for you before you head into so many decisions!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is a great reference for new homeowners Mary Ann! I will have to remember to share this info with my daughter and son-in-law when they buy their first home. They have been married almost a year and are currently in a 1 bedroom apartment with a Boxer! (I told them they should hold off on the dog but they didn't listen of course) ;) She wanted me to help her decorate but it's a lost cause for now until they get a bigger place!

    I'm leaving today to visit my sister Mary Anne in Boise. As she got older most people started to call her Mary, except for family...guess it felt strange for us to call her anything else!

    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great advice! I've slept at Westins and think their beds are pretty comfy but I love my tempurpedic! Btw, what program do you use for your layouts?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great advice Mary Ann...I love the blue tape idea! There's nothing like actually seeing it in the room.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Pffff.. Mary Ann thanks for the tips, they are really really interesting. I love the last part with the party, I cannot agree more that a summer party MUST have Watermelon Mojitos, if not it will be like a table without chairs :D

    You love interior design so I invite you to explore even our lively felt ball rugs hand-made from natural wool by women artisans in Kathmandu here: http://feltballrug.com/meet-the-team/ (it is our new video about our social impact). You’ll quickly find that a felt ball carpet is quite unlike anything else. Carefully crafted by artisans in Nepal, both round and rectangle rug options are available in a myriad of colors.

    ReplyDelete

It's SO nice to hear from you!

 
>