We buy new homes for different reasons. Maybe the kids have moved out and you’re downsizing. Maybe you’ve moved to a different state. Maybe you just need a change of scenery!!
In those cases, furnishing and staging your home is usually pretty straightforward.
What’s the best way to furnish a new home, though, if you upsized and suddenly have more space to fill?!
Upsizing to a new home is an exciting move…it can also send you into a panic when you realize that your closing date kicks off a new round of decisions and pricey purchases! You already own the basics, but you don’t own enough. What’s worse, some of the furniture and appliances you do own might be scaled for smaller spaces.
There’s no reason to rush off and buy items simply to fill up your space! With just a little planning—using the how-to below—you can furnish your new home with selections you will love for years to come.
Where do you start?
Pull out a tape measure!
If you’re shopping online for furniture or trying to consult with an interior designer, know what you’re looking for with space-specific measurements. Be sure to measure:
- Every room
- Large furniture you already own
- The height and width of doors
- The height and width of windows
- The height of key surfaces, like countertops
Then, keep that information stored on your phone so you will be guaranteed to have it whenever you’re shopping online, in person, or speaking with a designer.
Get the “Feel” Right
You’re going to be in a totally different home now. Based on its architectural features, does it already have a different “vibe?” Do you want it to?
Moving—whether to a new home, one that’s big or small, nearby or far away—is a chance to settle into a new “feel.” What didn’t “feel” right about your previous home? What did? How do you want to feel every time you step foot into this new home?
If you struggle to put that feeling into words, look for terms or concepts that repeat themselves as you answer these questions…
- Do you want your home to be a place of seclusion, entertainment, both?
- Do you want to impress guests when they come over?
- What do you want to see the minute you step in the door?
- What words would you want your family to associate with your home?
- What words would you want guests to associate with your home?
- How would you describe your favorite interior design style?
Assess Your Inventory
You would love to furnish your new home as much as you could with what you already have…right?
Is that your wallet talking or your taste talking?!
Whether you want to keep the look you have and supplement it with new furnishings, or start with a totally clean slate, most of us would secretly LOVE to furnish a new home with that Pinterest-worthy set of furniture…realistically, though, we’ll be mixing and matching the old with the new!
Take stock of your existing inventory and group everything into these lists:
- What you have that you DEFINITELY will keep
- What you have that you’ll keep, but in a different space
- What you have that you might keep if you refurbished it
- What you’re definitely donating or discarding
- What you DON’T have that you will definitely need
After you have your lists set up, keep an open mind to play with the “maybe” list. And get the donate/discard items out of sight fast!
Those items that you definitely need to acquire should be prioritized in the rough order you want to invest in them. Read more about how to pair furniture (old and new), too…
Go for Craftsmanship (Real Quality)
Do NOT just rush to a big-box store and check new furnishings off your list!!
Thing about sustainability—for the environment AND for your own budget! It makes far more sense to buy the furniture pieces now that cost more but last four times as long…doesn’t it? Do you really want to buy the furnishings that will tear, sag, pile, stain, and need to be replaced in four or five years?
Still, are you worried about budget? Buy the best quality you can afford. Think about furnishings as an investment, and you’ll get more than “ROI” out of them: you’ll get a return on enjoyment.
TIP: you can re-upholster nicer furniture pieces if they’re made to last, so even if you TOTALLY change looks later, the nicer furniture you acquire will stick around!!
Don’t worry about paint colors…yet!
At this point in the process, you’ll be doing your best to prioritize rooms and furnishings against a budget that seems impossible to nail down.
So much to do! So much to think about…
With all these decisions, thinking about how it all will work together with your paint selections might tip some people over the edge. Just remember that you can always favor a neutral color to keep rooms light and airy and avoid clashing with any furnishings you fall in love with.
In the future, perhaps you’ll reupholster some of your furniture to go with a more daring shade you want to put up.
There’s always the option of a statement wall, too, which is easier to match with your furnishings. There are SO many incredible statement wallpapers perfectly suited for this.
Of course, there are also the three paint colors that NEVER go out of style…
Take Your Time with Key Design Aspects
The biggest mistake you can make is to hurry to purchase furnishings and décor JUST to get it off your list.
If you don’t love it, it won’t fit in your home. You’ll undo everything you’ve tried to get the right look and feel for the space.
Never lose sight of the big picture as you acquire new furnishings…and the more of an investment any item is, the more time you should spend with it. Plop onto that couch, climb into that bed—stand at that stove and picture yourself cooking!
Once you start to see whole rooms come together, you’ll gain momentum to complete the rest. You might notice trends that you never would have planned on—perhaps you continually select items with gold accents, for example, or you discover your latent love for nail head-studded furniture. Some of these trends are things you never would have known were a “requirement” before, but they’re where your heart has taken you.
Of course, the fastest and easiest way to furnish ANY home is to work with an interior designer. A full-service designer will draw up floor plans and 3D renderings, submit selection orders for you, track them, and then organize delivery and installation.
Where will you start?! Are you dreaming of a move or are you already coming up to your closing date?…
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