Tips to Transform Your New House into a Home

Moving into a new home is as exciting as it is exhausting.

Yet, sometimes, even after all your furniture is arranged and boxes are unpacked, your house doesn’t quite feel like home. Settle in room by room by tackling these easy projects first, and put together a plan for some larger projects down the road. Before long, it will feel like you've been there forever.

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A Room of Your Own

Pick a room, any room. It could be your living area, which will get the most traffic, or your bedroom. The best way to feel like your house is truly a reflection of you is to make it personal. Start by painting an accent wall in a vibrant color or repaint the entire room. Completely owning a project yourself will make you feel like you’ve done something to really make the house yours. Plus, adding color to the walls is an inexpensive way to transform the mood of a room.  According to Houzz.com over 33% of new buyers plan to take part in an interior painting project when they first move in to their home, because  "on average this is a lower cost project that brings a sense of personalization to a new home".

Next, use framed photos to enhance your décor. Personal photos go miles in making a house cozier. Create a statement wall by arranging a collage of favorite photos. Use frames in different colors, shapes and sizes to make it as fun and creative as want. Or, use clipboards to mount photos on your wall. This way, you can change up photos seasonally for an instant transition.

Light Your Way

Depending on your design aesthetics, you may want to do different things with a room. Lighting can drastically change the mood and atmosphere in a room. The former homeowners might have liked bright fluorescent ceiling lights or art deco sconces that don't match your taste.

The beauty is that you don’t have to keep them. For a vintage-inspired look, consider copper light fixtures which fit in nicely with the trend toward metallic finishes. Or, make your lighting a showpiece with a lamp modeled after quartz. Whatever you choose, don't settle for drab fixtures left by the previous owners.

On-board Inspiration

Stuck on where to start? Create an inspiration board to solidify the decor that suits your tastes. Rip pages from home magazines of your favorite, spaces, furniture or wood flooring. Gather paint chips and collect fabrics that inspire you and pin them to your board. You'll start to see a pattern of the colors and styles that make you happy and lighten your mood.

You can make your boards as large or small as you want but just be sure not to start one and stow it away. Keep adding and expanding until you've recreated the looks you love.

Quick Fixes

Even the most perfectly arranged room needs a final little something. Plants and flowers are the great space equalizers. A vase of fresh-cut flowers on your dining table, coffee table or even bedside table breathes life into any room. Online floral shops like FTD make it easy to match your decor to a wide selection of flower arrangements and plants.

Another quick and easy enhancement is candles. Walk into a room with the flickering of an aromatic candle and let the relaxation begin. Buy candles that scale to the size of your room. For a fireplace mantel for example, look for candles that aren't dwarfed by the space.

Home Improvement

When you move into a new home there may be some larger projects you want to tackle.   This usually falls into two categories - structural and aesthetic.

Structural updates include important components like the roof, HVAC system, security and electrical updates.   Aesthetic updates include new appliance installation, kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel.  Perhaps you fell in love with the home, but NOT the carpet and strip oak flooring that was installed and it is time to explore some replacement hardwood flooring options.   Both are important to your long term satisfaction with the home.  Don't feel like you have to rush into these improvement projects.  Put together a priority list and then begin to formulate budgets for each of the items.  THis can help you develop a management timeline and manage expenses. 

Take Your Time

One final piece of advise, don't rush into anything.  When you first move into a new home, you need to adjust to the new space.  You want to live in it for several weeks to truly understand how you and your family use the spaces.

Once you do you can gain valuable insight.  For example, where do people enter the house most, this will help you understand what is needed in your parlor or mudroom to collect back packs, coats, boots, car keys, etc.  If you learn that everyone wants to charge their electronic devices in the living room, you can set up power strips in a central location so no one goes without.   This settling in period will help you understand what is missing from each room and make adjustments to the layout, furniture placement, and accessories needed in that space. 

If in some cases, you may find that a remodeling project is needed to best meet the needs of your family.  Perhaps you really need a pantry or a laundry room instead of a coat closet, or the mudroom really needs to be better organized to keep it neat.

Moving your stuff into your house is the easy part. Making a house a home is the challenge. Consider it a journey though and don't get overwhelmed. You don’t just own the house—you are living in it and making memories.

How did your make your house a home when you first moved in? What projects did you tackle?


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