8 Home Design Tips to Help You Start Designing Your New Home

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My husband and I are getting ready to buy our first home together, so of course, I’ve been researching the best way to start designing your new home.  I’m so excited to find a place we can make our own. We can paint it the way we want. If we want to tear down a wall, we can do it.  It’s a freedom that I’ve never known.  However, I know all too well that moving into a new home is always stressful.  First, you need to find the home, then you put in an offer, and then BAM, it all happens.  Movers, packing, packing, the actual move itself, storage, and then unpacking.  With everything going on, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle and miss out on an opportunity to design the home of your dreams.  That’s why I wanted to look up easy, but important tips for both my husband and I to keep in mind while we’re moving.  I know if we move into a home with a design in mind, we’ll be much more successful in discovering our dream home.

Designing Your New Home

  1. Start with your color scheme

designing your new homeThis is where designing your new home all starts: your color scheme.  Experts recommend starting by choosing a theme for your entire home. From there you break down the theme room by room.  You can have rooms that are more dramatic than others, but ultimately this helps you plan and strategize on how the designs will flow together.  Most likely, you’ll want a lighter, more neutral color for larger corridors and connecting rooms. However, feel free to go bold with your painting concepts. There are a lot of articles out there that go back and forth between bold and neutral color schemes. In the end, it’s all about what you want. No matter what, careful planning in the beginning will help you get there. Take time to play around with colors and different color schemes with this handy color wheel tool by Adobe. You can uncover different complementary color ideas and even analogous color families that you may want to bring into your house.

I think this is the best place to start, especially when you’re moving somewhere new. If time permits, I’d like to have our new house painted even before we move in. I think the ease of doing this without furniture, boxes, or even cats in the way will be totally worth it.


  1. Use statement pieces appropriately and create a focal point

designing your new homeYour statement piece is the item that eyes are drawn to immediately upon entering a room. Typically that item is front and center and directly across the entrance. Make sure your focal piece is designed with the color scheme in mind as well as the scale of the room.   While we’ve been renting, most of our focal pieces will be our paintings we’ve collected from various countries we’ve visited together.  However, now that we’ll be moving into a bigger space and a real home, we can finally make use of the focal pieces we’ve been collecting and saving over the years.  We’ve been keeping antiques and furniture we’ve received from family members in our storage space for a few years. We haven’t had space for any of the items, but I’m so excited to be able to bring them home in a few short months!


  1. Mirrors are your friend.

Mirrors are one of the easiest ways to incorporate positive design elements into your home.  They add scale, can warm up an entire room, and make the entire room seem brighter.  They make smaller spaces look more open and are easy to incorporate into any style.  One word of advice when working with mirrors: be careful where you hang them because you want them to reflect the best parts of your home.


  1. It’s all about the Scale

Scale is so important when designing your new home.  There are several things to consider when organizing your items in your new home. You must first relate everything to the scale of the room.  You will need to give your items “breathing room”, meaning you don’t want everything to be cramped. Additionally, it’s also important to consider the human factor of scale. You want to place paintings at an appropriate height, on an appropriately scaled wall.  Did I lose you there? I know, it’s a lot to take in.  For knick-knacks and other décor items on the wall or shelving, you can vary the scale to make things more interesting.  This article on “Scale & Proportion in Interior Design” outlines this in even more detail. This is one of the more important and less practiced elements of designing your home, so make sure to do your homework!


  1. Do what you can to make your room look taller

You want your rooms to feel as open and breezy as possible. This can be achieved by making the room itself feel taller by utilizing handy tricks.  Incorporating shorter furniture (like in the picture to the right) or strategic curtain placement can accomplish this nicely.  You can also paint your ceiling a lighter color to give the feeling of height in a room.  There are a variety of tips on how to make the room look taller when you start designing your new home, but ultimately what works will vary depending on the room’s size and constructions. Take the time to carefully evaluate your room to find the best solutions.


  1. Add in Texture

Texture makes your design more interesting and offers a subtle contrast that most rooms crave.  Texture works well in all designs but is particularly important when you’re working with a more neutral pallet.  Texture can be easily added in with a rug, as shown in the picture. Or you could add texture through a piece of art, drapery, or even with something like wicker furniture.


  1. Include “landing spaces”

This is one element I think is far too overlooked when you’re designing your new home.  You will obviously be living in the space you are designing. Be smart and build in areas for your day to day life.  Add clean spaces to put keys, mail, your coats, and shoes.  For example, my husband likes to take his socks off and leave them everywhere. Hello sock-basket.


  1. Tie it together & create a harmony

There needs to be some common element that ties everything together.  It can be a color, shape, or even a theme. While contrast is important, you don’t want to be going in so many different directions that you end up with a big mess.  You also don’t have to buy everything at once. Live with some of your items and build it together slowly. This will also help you manage your budget. My husband and I have eclectic pieces that we’ve inherited or picked up in our travels.  Nothing really goes together, but from my research, all you really need is one sure-fire, amazing piece or color to tie it together.  This is going to be the trickiest part when you start designing your new home, but there are so many incredible resources available. My personal favorite is going on Pinterest and seeing what other people have put together.  Another favorite of mine is Dwelling Gawker.  The more time you spend researching and finding how to tie it all together, the more successful you’ll be!

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