Home decorating! I decorated our first house and learned A LOT. Home decorating is no joke. I spent a lot of time studying designs before deciding on style. In the end, we did a lot more than just pick out furniture – we painted the house, added new floors and remodeled our kitchen – all on a budget!
Not only did we love how it turned out, but when our friends and family saw photos they asked if we hired an interior decorator.
Here’s how we made it classic and cozy, and what you need to know.
1. Spend time looking at lots of photos
I studied up on Pinterest, magazines, websites and Google. The exterior of our home is Spanish style, so I used that theme to start to build out my ideas while also modernizing. I even considered it when picking paint colors for the exterior.
Don’t just look at photos, study details. If you like a picture of a living room ask yourself why? Is it the lighting, the carpet, the books? Figure out what makes it speak to you and then use those details in your home.
Knowing you want is important before going to places like Home Depot, which can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for (we learned this the hard way).
Aside from looking at pictures, driving around different neightborhoods to get inspiration helped a lot when it came to things like outdoor lighting and colors. Try to see as many possibilities as you can before deciding. Don’t look at what you can’t do, look at what you can and try to see all of the potential opportunities.
2. Set a budget and stick to it
Being able to afford everything is, obviously, key. I tried to compare as many prices as I could, and I almost always found a cheaper option. I also wrote down everything as we did renovations and made purchases so I had a running list of how much we spent. Stay on top of your finances – especially if you’re doing some remodeling too! It makes it easier and less stressful as you go.
3. Go with your gut
One thing I noticed was at times I was “mixing styles.” I’m no expert, and even after the compliments of decorating my home I still would not say I’m anywhere near expert level. But I know what I like and I know what worked in the space (having become obsessed with it!). So even though at times I realized I could be considered mixing different styles, I didn’t really care and it worked out for me.
That said, I did get samples of things like flooring and paint and tested things out before I made large purchases.
4. Listen to others
Often too many cooks in the kitchen (no pun) isn’t a great thing. Too much advice can be confusing. However, I really paid attention to everyone’s input and it was a huge help in the end. I decided to build out a breakfast nook in the kitchen as well as add a wine fridge and microwave drawer. I made one of our countertops a cutting block of wood. And I went with blinds instead of curtains in some rooms.
I even listened to people with where to go find furniture. I took a poll on Instagram and checked out every recommendation.
Overall, the input was great! I was able to include a lot of the feedback and make choices I otherwise could have overlooked.
5. practice patience and Visualize a plan
I am not a very patient person, but with this house I was patient! We gave ourselves time to get the work done and move in (somewhat) slowly. This also gave me time to visualize a plan. At one point, I took out a piece of paper and drew out the rooms and the furniture I envisioned going into the rooms. This was a big help and really allowed us to see what fit (we took measurements) and what we liked and didn’t like ahead of moving in.
Overall, it was a ton of work but a great experience!