Picture: Adam Winger/Unsplash
Picture: Adam Winger/Unsplash

How to furnish, fill and decorate your new, larger home

By The Washington Post Time of article published Sep 22, 2021

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Jura Koncius

You just bought your first home. Now what?

Upsizing from a small apartment to a two- or three-bedroom house is an exciting move. But after closing, you might go into a bit of a panic when you have to make decisions about furnishing and decorating the place.

You probably already own the basics, but their scale may be off - or you may be sick of that hand-me-down chintz sofa that you've hauled around since college. Take your time, though.

Designers say there's no reason to dump everything right away and rush to buy items simply to fill up space.

Read the latest Home Improver's digital magazine below

Even if you did have the budget, there are often complications and delays when ordering furniture, especially during the pandemic, with delivery times often running six months or more.

Think sustainably and reuse what you can. Whatever you do buy, make sure it's the best quality you can afford.

We asked three interior designers to share their best design tricks for first-time homeowners, with an eye toward the budget. Here are their answers to some common questions.

What should I get rid of before moving?

Take a good, hard look at your furniture, bedding and accessories, and donate or toss anything torn, worn or not often used, as well as anything you bought as a temporary fix.

Where do I begin?

First, pull out a tape measure.

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Measure all the rooms in your new home, as well as large pieces you already own, such as your sofa and beds. Keep all this information, including your floor plans, in your phone, so you can reference it quickly while shopping.

Which room should I tackle first?

Your upsized home probably has two or three bedrooms. If there are one or two people living in the house, one room is usually the primary bedroom, the second is the guest room or office, and the third can be used for storage, an office, craft space or a workout room. If you are hoping to start a family, a pullout couch may be a good purchase for the smallest bedroom. (You can add a crib later.)

Should I worry about paint colours?

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With more rooms to think about, you might be uncertain about paint colour choices. Now you have to think about how colours work together. Some designers say painting all the rooms a light neutral or white will make your home feel light and airy. Later, you can go bolder with paint or choose a statement wallpaper for some of your spaces.

What do I do with my dining table?

Moving from an apartment to a small home often includes more dining space. But the small table you have been using might come in handy for another room, so don't give yours away.

A smaller table is a great work-from-home surface that can be tucked into a corner of a room.

If your new home has a formal dining space and you aren't planning to host sit-down holiday dinners for 12, put your small table in there, and turn the dining room into an office.

If all else fails and you can't find a place for it in your new home, post your table on Facebook Marketplace or a neighbourhood group.

Is this the time to upgrade my mattress quality and/or size?

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Yes. Moving to larger quarters is the perfect opportunity to upsize your full- or queen-size mattress.

After all, you might one day have dogs, cats or kids trying to squeeze themselves into bed with you.

What design aspects should I take my time with?

In a word: everything.

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