It seems many of us have itchy feet at the moment - Rightmove have announced record levels of buyer demand this month with the number of buyer enquiries 34% higher than the same period a year ago! 

So if this has been you battling through endless house viewings and paperwork, let us get you excited about the next stage - transforming that empty shell of yours into the home you've always dreamt of! 

Where to start when decorating a new home

If you aren’t hiring a seasoned professional (here's 14 reasons why you should!) to help you complete the space, then we’d strongly recommend you take a few months to live in the space and get to know exactly how to get the most from it. 

It’s so common to have a strong urge to immediately transform your new home into somewhere that feels more ‘you’. This can be how expensive mistakes are made though! 

In this guide we've outlined our steps to decorating a new home and threw in some quick and affordable ways to personalise it from day one!


1. Be selective about what you take

steps to decorating a new homeImage credit: My Bespoke Room

This stage might not be super ‘sexy’ but it’s incredibly important and we promise it will pay off! Moving home is such a great opportunity to clear out all the bits and pieces you no longer need in your life, and certainly won’t need cluttering up your new home. 

When sorting, create three piles: keepers, donations and rubbish. This is also the time to sell on any furniture that you’ve outgrown or can’t see working in your new place. (Put any money you make toward new furniture for your new home.)

Don’t leave it to the last minute though. Start the decluttering process early so that there’s not a last minute ‘shove everything you can see into a box’ panic!

Just 10 minutes a day can really reduce stress from the whole process and will mean you can start your next chapter clutter free.

When you pack up your belongings to move, group them in boxes depending on whether you’ll need daily access or not. For example, one kitchen box would have cutlery and a few essential pans but another might have that crock pot you haven't used since in 2002. Make a note on each box so you remember which are ‘touch access’ and which can be stored. This will really help you when you reach step 2...

Are you a first time buyer? We have a dedicated guide just for you here.


2. Don’t unpack all at once

steps to decorating a new homeImage credit: My Bespoke Room

We get it, it can be tempting to surround yourself with all your personal things immediately so you feel at home. But try to resist!

The reason is you’re far less likely to find the time and energy to redecorate if it means packing your bits and bobs back up.

It’s extremely common to grow complacent with a wall colour or carpet over time and more and more likely that the effort of redecorating will lose the battle. The longer you leave it - the less likely you will change it!


3. Avoid designing around existing furniture

steps to decorating a new homeImage credit: My Bespoke Room

It's common  to feel the need to design your new living room around your existing sofa, and we get it - those things ain't cheap! 

But chances are, the sofa you bought worked beautifully in your old home, but doesn’t quite fit (literally and visually!) in your new abode. The last thing you want is to spend time and money trying to make it work then do it all over again in a year or two.

So rather than trying to shoehorn an old sofa into your new vision, consider selling it on and putting that money towards something that is the right scale and style for your new home. 

Naturally, there are always exceptions! If the sofa in question is a piece that still brings you joy and you simply can’t live without it, then use it as a starting point and inspiration for the design of the rest of the room. 


4. Give yourself a blank slate

steps to decorating a new homeImage credit: My Bespoke Room

Wait, so don’t love that purple floral wallpaper and orange carpet combo?! 

Unless you’re moving into a shiny newbuild then you could be faced with some, let's just say ’questionable’ design decisions from the previous owners. Even if they had fantastic taste, it might not be ‘you’.

It can take a professional with a well trained eye to be able to see the potential in a room and give it a new lease of life that fits the personality of the new owner. The rest of us might need a helping hand to see the wood for the trees!

Paint is an extremely inexpensive way to transform a space and can be done over a weekend. If you’re struggling to see the potential in a room then consider using a neutral colour and create a blank canvas.

You can then give yourself a bit more time to live in the space and truly understand what would work in there. You’ll be able to see what the light is like throughout the day and importantly - how you actually use the space


5. Inject your personality on a budget

steps to decorating a new homeImage credit: My Bespoke Room

But just because we suggest not unpacking everything you own on day one doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel at home in your new space.

In addition to paint there are other ways to personalise a new home that don’t cost the earth.

If you’re going with a neutral palette on the walls to begin with, it doesn’t need to be boring. Soft furnishings like cushions and throws are an inexpensive and extremely effective way to inject personality and colour into your new home.

Picture ledges are also wonderful things - they give you a great deal of flexibility to change up your artwork and photos when the feeling takes you without having to reach for the hammer!

Low level plug in lighting is also crucial to creating that ambient, cosy vibe in your home. Combine it with plenty of texture and you’ll be feeling right at home in no time. 


6. Plan your layout

steps to decorating a new homeImage credit: My Bespoke Room

You've now spent a while in your new place and you're starting to get a feel for which rooms you use the most and how you use them.

It's all very well dreaming of a large kitchen island in your new kitchen but perhaps now you're realising that the space just isn't big enough and being able to move around freely without bumping into things is more important!

To work out the most functional layout for you and your family draw out a rough sketch of the space. You’ll want to add in all the elements that can’t or won’t be changed such as windows or kitchen cabinets if you’re working with an existing one.

Then you can start testing out different layouts from a more objective 'birds eye view'. You might be surprised to see that you had more space than you thought. Or it will force you to be realistic about what you can actually fit in the room. 

Next step is to use masking tape or boxes (you must have plenty of these left over from the move!) and mark out where you're thinking of placing large items like your sofa or bed. Live with it for a few days and make sure you leave plenty of room to move around the space.

Also, consider where the light travels around your home. Is there a lovely sunny spot in your bedroom mid afternoon that would make a wonderful reading napping nook? 


7. Time to find your design direction!

steps to decorating a new homeImage credit: My Bespoke Room

Now that you and your new home are fully acquainted, it's time to start working on your design direction.

This isn't a one-size-fits-all answer - there are a few different ways to settle on what style you'd like your new home to be. Sometimes it can be through taking an existing piece of furniture that you love as the focal point for the room such as a bright blue sofa or a mid century sideboard. 

Art is also wonderful inspiration. Pull the colours and shapes from the artwork and apply them to your room.

Don't forget about your wardrobe! Which colours are you drawn to? Is it mostly black and white or there pattern aplenty?! 


Using Pinterest to find your design direction

Pinterest can be overwhelming - so many beautiful designs and not enough time (or space)!

Start off by not restricting yourself at all, create a new board and then go crazy adding everything that makes your heart sing, you don't need to have your realistic hat on yet.

Next, take a few days away and forget about it. When you come back, delete any of those 'what was I thinking?!' pins.

You'll now be left with a super useful board that you can begin to pull themes from. For example, what colours are you drawn to? How much pattern is on the board? Is it minimalist and clean or more eclectic styles you're drawn to? 


When decorating a whole house it can be helpful to have a designer come measure up, take photos and discuss your brief in person. Find out more about our Home Visit service by booking a free no-obligation call with our lovely team: 



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