Moving into a new home? Design tips to keep in mind   

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Moving into a new house can be an incredibly exciting and equally distressing process. Apart from the financial effort it implies, there are a million tasks to keep track of and complete before you can settle in. And while the hardest part is over once you’re done with the technicalities, decorating your new house comes with its own set of challenges. Because as fun as designing a place from scratch may be, it does require a lot of effort and commitment on your part. So, what seems like an enjoyable activity at first glance can easily turn into a cumbersome job if you’re not prepared for what lies ahead. 

However, this doesn’t mean you should be intimidated by the workload or lose your enthusiasm before you even begin. A bit of planning and organizing can go a long way in making the process much smoother and bringing you closer to the moment when you can call your new place a home. 

Come up with a budget 

Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases you’re ever going to make. And it’s not only the total price of the house or the monthly mortgage that you need to take into consideration but also all the associated expenses that come along. After all, it takes more than just a few walls to make a home.

There are repairs, maintenance jobs, electricity, heating, and plumbing to factor in. So, the final price tag might be a lot higher than you initially imagined, which makes financial planning a very important step in the process. 

You have to come up with a budget and figure out how much you can spend on all the furniture and décor pieces that you’ll need to transform your new home into a cozy and welcoming living space.

One way to cut back on these expenses is to mix the old with the new and bring items you already own into your new home. This will obviously require you to hire a moving company to make sure your stuff will arrive safe and sound at the destination and calculate how much you’ll be paying for these services. Fortunately, you can request moving quotes online, so you’ll know exactly what to expect money-wise. 

Start with a deep clean

Once you have your finances all sorted out, it’s time to move on to the next phase and give every room in the house a good clean. Even new builds require a thorough cleaning before you move on to decorating the space.

There may be a lot of dirt and debris around the house from construction or house viewings, and you don’t want all that grime to transfer to your furnishings and personal items. Therefore, it’s important to start the design process with a clean slate in every sense of the word. 

The good news is you won’t have to move things around to clean every corner and nook of your home since the space is completely empty, save for maybe a few boxes with cleaning supplies and equipment you’ll need to bring with you. As a rule of thumb, it’s always recommended to start at the top and work your way down in order to get every surface in the house spotless

Choose your color palette

A big part of making a new place feel more like you is to choose a color palette that reflects your personal taste. Even if this sounds like a fun task, it can be quite overwhelming, given the sheer number of options at your disposal and the impact this will have on your home’s design. Should you opt for bold colors or play it safe and go for more neutral hues? It’s definitely going to be a tough decision to make. 

While it’s entirely up to you to choose the colors you want to adorn your interiors with, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind while exploring your options. Consulting a color wheel is always a good idea, as it will help you create a scheme that suits your style.

Testing different colors in different lighting is also recommended before committing to a certain palette. Finally, you should think of color in context, meaning you need to make sure the wall paint and the color of your furniture and other décor elements will complement each other and create visually appealing contrasts. 

Decide on each room’s layout

When you’re facing a blank canvas, it can be difficult to imagine how it’s going to look once you bring in all your furniture and décor paraphernalia. This gives you the possibility to create a space from scratch but also challenges you to come up with a suitable layout for every room in the house, which can seem rather daunting in the beginning. 

As with every step in the process, proper planning is key. There are many different ways to arrange furniture and decorations, so you need to choose a design that makes sense to you. It’s a matter of combining beauty and function and creating a space that’s both comfortable and visually appealing. 

This implies looking at the space you have available from all angles and positioning the interior design elements in a way that ensures good flow. You don’t want to cramp too many elements together and restrict movement around the house, but you don’t want the space to look stark and lifeless, either. If you don’t know where to start, you can decide on a focal point for every room, like a coffee table, a painting, a bookcase, or a fireplace, and then design the rest of the space around these features. 

Decorating a new home may seem like a daunting project to take on, and it can be quite challenging indeed. But if you approach things strategically and start with a well-thought plan, you’ll be able to ensure a hassle-free process and even have fun while you’re putting everything together. 

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.

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