Are you the type of person who walks into a room and knows exactly what color you want on the walls, furniture to fill the spaces, and décor pieces to highlight the room?
Yes? Then, this isn’t the blog post for you. This article is for the people who don’t have direction…yet.
When you first move into your new home, you may have a surface idea of how you want the home to look and feel. You may know which colors you lean more toward. You may even know which styles you like. But if you’re like me, you haven’t a clue how to pull it all together. That’s okay. You just need some time to work through it.
In the first house I owned, it took me years to hang anything substantial on the walls. Part of it was because I’m very bad at choosing one style and sticking with it. The other reason was because I knew it wasn’t my forever home and didn’t want to do anything that would affect the sale. I finally gave in and hung pictures of my kids after they were born. The house felt so much more welcoming afterwards and I regretted waiting so long.
Moving into my new home, the one I’ll be in for years to come, I face new obstacles. First, I have no furniture! Well, I do, but not nearly enough for the space I have, and I don’t want to place wall art until I have my furniture where it’s going to stay. I also don’t want to rush into buying home décor, because I want each piece to bring me joy, which is why I’ve only bought pieces I really need right now, like the foyer table where we can keep our face masks and storage to replace what my daughter lost in the move.
But I don’t want to go forever with my house feeling impersonal and cold due to lack of décor. So, I’m going to share how I plan to decorate my home while not knowing quite what I want to do yet.
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Sticking with Our Current Wall Color
I must admit we got lucky with this house. The entire interior was painted Sherwin William’s Agreeable Gray, which is a light gray with beige tones (“greige”) and neutral. The trim is bright white.
Our last home was painted with a primer, which I didn’t realize until it started to fade and became an ugly gray. So, I’ve done a lot of painting over the past years, and I’m kind of tired of it. For that reason, we’ll be keeping our current wall color until I become inspired.
I want to put up art and family photos but putting screws or wall hooks in the walls means creating holes in the drywall, which then leads to filling and painting. That’s more work than I want to do when I’m not sure if I’ll be sticking with a specific theme and layout. Luckily, Command makes removable hooks for hanging picture frames and art.
There are some drawbacks for these hooks, which I know from using them in the past.
1) They can remove paint. I used them in a dorm room on a wall that wasn’t drywall or cement – I’m not even sure what the underlying material was – and it took off the paint when I removed them. But when I used them in my last house on drywall, they came off with no issues.
2) Whatever you hang up will stick out from the wall about 4mm and you may catch a glimpse of the stabilization stickers behind, depending on the size of the frame. This isn’t always avoidable, but it helps to remember to put the stickers as far inward as possible.
3) There are weight limits. As far as I know, the largest Command wall hanger you can purchase holds 8lbs. According to Command, this is a gallon of milk. I would not feel comfortable hanging a gallon of milk from one of these hooks, so I will not be using them with a heavy mirror or piece of artwork.
Despite the drawbacks, these hooks will help me to try out the layout of my frames and allow me to change my mind if I come across a must-have piece of furniture or art that changes where I can put things.
Creating or Buying Printable Art
There are a few focal spots in my house, like over the fireplace, where I already know I want a good quality piece of art. Those are first on my list for purchasing something on a canvas or metal plate. As for other places, I will either create or purchase some low-cost art that I can print and frame right at home.
Etsy is a great site for affordable and original art, including digital downloads for personal use. I also use Canva for work and it has a ton of elements for creating prints and canvas art that you can order right through the website or print at home. Both will provide plenty of variety to choose from when filling empty wall space in my house.
Using What I Already Have…In a Different Way
In my old house, I didn’t have a lot of room for decorating, especially after my husband moved in and the kids were born. I slowly packed away lamps and collectibles I gathered throughout the years and stored them in the attic. Some of it was kitschy and appealed to my much younger self, but now that I have more room, I’ll be revisiting my trove to see if I can use anything around the house.
Some of my old décor items can be painted to fit the new décor. Yes, I did say I didn’t want to paint anymore, but a couple coats of spray aren’t quite the same as painting a whole room. It’s a much more creative experience.
I’ve already started to repurpose other items in my décor cache. The space above my kitchen cabinets was looking bare, but I didn’t want to put up anything that would be hard to clean or easily show dust. I’ve collected special baking pans and molds throughout the years. A quick rinse and pat dry is enough to make them suitable to display, so I put them on top of my cabinets.
Quick tip: Put down wax paper or parchment paper on top of your cabinets. Remove and replace when it’s time to clean. No more dusting!
Reveling in My Current Lifestyle Improvements
I have to admit that there are times when I start to feel anxious because my house isn’t “put together” yet. The exterior needs some paint and stain. My dream library is currently old, mismatched bookcases. My couch looks even older than it did now that it’s in a large, updated space. My cream dresser doesn’t match the wall color. None of my bathrooms have toilet paper holders. And all of my wall plates and register covers need to be painted or replaced, because they’re all old.
BUT I’m working on looking beyond all that (and more) to focus on all the positive effects this home purchase has had on my family. We now have the space we need in a location the suits our lifestyle. In other words, we have the bones and the rest is cosmetic.
Our house may be a bit of a mess, but I know I’ll be happier if I take time to be in the moment and get a feel for the ebb and flow of life here, including where my family naturally congregates, how the light comes through the windows at different times of the day, and where the foot traffic flows. All will affect the colors, finishes, fixtures, and finishes I choose.
Do you have any recommendations for decorating a new home? Share them in the comments.
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