Whether you're in the stage of buying a house or you just decided you want to scratch all the decor you have and start over, most everyone will find themselves needing to style and decorate their house from the very beginning at some point! It can feel overwhelming, but don't worry, here are some easy and actionable tips to styling your house from scratch!
First, a note
I feel like now I have a good handle on my style and feel pleased when I look around my house, but it wasn't always like that. We've been in our house for about 4 years and it changed a lot in the beginning. Mainly because my style kept changing! Walls went from white to gold to brown and then finally landed on beige!
When you're about to close on a house you get so excited and you try to plan out what every room will look like using the tiny pictures you may have taken on your phone or the ones you got from the realtor...at least I did!
My first tip from personal experience is to try not to plan it all out before living in the space first. I know, this seems like an "ani-tip", but it's an important first one!
When you're starting from the beginning there's a pressure to get it all done right away and fill up all the empty space. Save yourself time, money, and the work it takes to paint a wall 4 times haha, and live in the space first. See what your needs and wants are. See how the rooms look throughout the day with all the different light hitting up. Give yourself grace and patience to change your mind!
Okay, so now that you know it's better to live in empty rooms if the other option is to fill it with "stuff" just because you feel like you have to, we're ready to move into the actionable stips of styling your house from scratch!
6 Easy Tips to Styling Your House From Scratch
1. Gather Inspiration
Ah, the best part of any makeover! This gathering inspiration time isn't meant to find things you're going to copy and paste into your own home, but it's merely a time of finding what moves you and what you like. As you already know, there are plenty of places to gather inspiration from, but here are a few: Pinterest, bloggers, home magazines, Instagram, the internet, or even online style tests!
However you decide to gather your inspo, just try to answer these questions:
Can I sum up my style in a word or two? For example, French Country, Modern, Traditional, Bohemian, etc
How do I want people to feel when they come into my home? Cozy, Impressed, Wowed, Peaceful, Excited, etc
How do I want to feel when I come into my home? Energized, relaxed, serene, happy, etc
What are a couple of colors I want to center my home around? I.e, you need to pick your theme before moving forward. You already have your "feelings", and now it's time to pick what you're actually going to paint with! Are you going to go neutrals and shades of beige? Maybe you're drawn to greys and blues. Maybe you want to go all white with pops of green and black. Your choice! Just don't pick every color in the world so your house is cohesive.
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Tackle it room by room
Trying to think about the whole house at once can get super overwhelming, super fast. Break up your styling into manageable chunks by taking it room by room. Obviously, you'd want to start with the rooms you use the most first, instead of let's stay, the shed in the backyard. Master bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms are all good places to start!
2. Start with painting your walls
In the end, it's your house and style rules are meant to be broken, so take all of this with a grain of salt!
But as you are tackling room by room, start with your paint on the walls. Painting is the easiest and least expensive way to transform something! Take it from me who painted her walls a gazillion colors before settling on a light beige...paint your walls a neutral color! It doesn't just have to be in the brown family. Blues, greys, whites, and light greens can all be neutrals as well. If you love colors, don't worry, bring your colors in through decor and "accessorizing". It's much easier to donate a pillow once you're tired of the color red than it is to repaint an entire wall!
Ideally, the whole color scheme in the house flows instead of each room having a different theme & scheme. Once again, your home, but you want to feel like each room belongs in the same house. If people were to come over you don't want them to be confused because they hung out in your beach themed living room, then ate lunch in your chicken themed room, and then went to the bathroom in your wilderness themed room.
3. Place your furniture
Assuming your floors were already good and now your walls are painted, your room is looking great and it's a blank slate for doing what I think is one of the fun parts!
First, you want to place your largest and most essential pieces! These are the things that you have to have and then you'll fill in the non-essentials after.
In your bedroom it'd be the bed, in the dining room it's the dining table, in the living room it may be the tv. In the office, you'd kinda most definitely need your desk! It should be noted that an essential piece can be different for everyone! Some people may not have a tv in their living room but want to hang a stellar statement piece of art. Usually, I'd say art decor is last, but go ahead and hang that first if that's what you want to plan the whole room around!
Once your essentials are in, now you can fill it in with the other important pieces such as a coffee table, end table, dresser, armoire, etc.
Feeling stuck and like you don't know where to put something? Just start and you can always move stuff around!
4. Fill it in with accent items
5. Add wall decor
Now you have everything in there and it's time for wall decor. Not every wall needs something, so don't feel like you have to hang stuff just because, but wall art really does tie the whole room together. Gallery walls are fun, as are rows of shelves. You can get creative and hang baskets, plates, or fabric. Wall decor doesn't just have to be paintings!
Now it's time for all the fun little things that make just any ol' house a home! Decorating can be any of the final touches you want to do. Throw pillows, accessories, plants, table lamps, blankets, etc. You can go all neutral if that's your style, or add in punches of color and personality. Triple points for displaying things that have been in your family for years and/or have meaning! Personal items, the conversation starters, are what is really going to make a new house a home.
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If you're not able to do this all at once, don't worry. Or if you're moving into a fixer-upper and have to do a lot of demo work first, still don't worry! We didn't move into a "move-in ready" home, and we decided to do "phases". Phase 1 are budget-friendly ways to make it look nice enough and liveable. Phase 2 is going back and making it look custom and the way we want. And phase 3, the last phase, is doing things that you'd want to do to live in the house forever.
For example, when we first moved in, we painted our ugly puke green countertops a basic brown (phase 1). Then we switched them out into a faux marble that instantly made the kitchen look better (phase 2). And if we decide to live here for 10+ years, we'll take those countertops out and replace them with quartz (phase 3)! Sometimes it can help to think of decorating in phases or stages, so you don't feel so overwhelmed with having to get it done right away. Plus you have something to look forward to!
And also, if you're on a budget, ask yourself what is most important. Let's say you only have a small chunk to work with. Do you do one big thing- like replace all your floors? Or do you do a lot of little things- like painting everything and getting decor? There's no right or wrong answer here...it's just whatever you need or want!
I hope this post broke it down for you so you can see that styling your house can be a fun and (not so) overwhelming process! 😉 Good luck with your new project!