Designing your own new construction home can be an exciting and intimate process – a process that ends with a place where you will live, grow and create memories that last a lifetime. But once building is complete and the keys are handed over, the real fun begins!
Furnishing a new home offers absolute power to make everything exactly how you want it. It’s a blank canvas that carries endless creative possibilities. But as Uncle Ben said in Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Having total freedom to decorate a new home can be fun, but it also means mistakes can be made that might prevent your rooms from living up to their full potential. To help you better furnish your new home, here are four mistakes to avoid, and how to fix them.
1) Buying strictly matching furniture. Walking onto the showroom floor of a furniture store, it might be tempting to simply buy the fully coordinated, ready-made set. While it might look nice and garner praise from guests, furnishing a room in this way can ultimately make it feel like it’s not really your own, but rather the design of someone you never met, who doesn’t know your unique sense of style and creativity. A room full of matching furniture can also trap you into not buying other furnishings or accessories you like in the future, out of fear that it wouldn’t go with what you have.
Instead of prescribing to a single matching style of furniture, mix and match those ready-made pieces with any accessories and furnishings you feel can make the room better, more unique and more in line with your lifestyle preferences. Doing this will add stronger character to your rooms and turn your home into a place you can be truly comfortable in.
2) Laying too small a rug in the living room. A good rug can completely alter the ambiance of a living room and create a strong focal point for which your decor can complement. While the style of your living room rug should reflect the tone you want to set, the size should adhere to a strict requirement. Laying too small of a rug – such as a 4×6 – in your living room can make it feel fragmented and disorganized and cheapen the rest of the décor.
Instead, invest in an 8×10 living room rug or larger – one that can comfortably accommodate all your furniture. A good rule to follow if your rug can’t possibly fit all your furniture: only the front legs of larger furniture, like a sofa, should be able to fit on your rug, while all the legs of smaller furniture, like a chair, should have rug under them.
3) Placing artwork too high. Have you ever been in someone else’s house and notice you have to take a few steps back to admire the art on their walls? Hanging artwork too high is one of the most common decorating mistakes for the home, simply because it’s many peoples’ first instinct.
Rather, it is a best practice to hang your home’s artwork at eye level for maximum visibility. While this philosophy is subjective, as everyone is a different height, use your best judgement and keep in mind that the lower your artwork is, the better!
4) Cramming furniture against the walls. When buying furniture for your new home, your first impulse might be to push everything against the walls and leave a large open space in the middle. But this furnishing strategy can create a hollow, empty and uninviting atmosphere in the room – especially if it’s large in size.
While it’s true that your furniture should be arranged to allow people to easily navigate and circulate through the room, moving everything inward creates a warmer, more intimate arrangement for guests and family to sit and converse in. You can then unify everything with a large living room rug.
What are some other mistakes to avoid when furnishing a new home? Let people know in the comments below!