Shopping for Your New Home: Making Your Space Uniquely "You"

You are ready to decorate your new space. Maybe it's your first home, or maybe you're starting over somewhere new, but you've got a blank canvas living space and you're ready to put your decorative stamp in it. The problem is, as much fun as that sounds, it can also be overwhelming. Where do you begin? How do you start to piece together a new home that is beautifully, perfectly, "you?"

Find Your Style

Are you more boho-chic or modern? Are you a minimalist or do you prefer an eclectic, vintage look? Sometimes it's hard to know where your own tastes fall. When you see a picture of a furniture piece or art work that you love, stick it to your online bulletin board or clip it from a magazine and put it in a binder. After you have collected twenty or so pictures, lay them all out side by side and take a good hard look at them. What do you see? Which colors are prevalent? What kind of legs do most of the piece have? What sort of lines do the pieces have? Soon you will see a pattern emerge and you will begin to understand the sort of furniture and decor you are really drawn to.

Know Your Budget

As tempting as it might be to spend $3,000 on a piece of dream furniture, if you can't afford it, it simply isn't a wise purchase.  Decide how much you can afford to spend in total, and then consider how you want to spend it. Think about where you spend most of your time, and which rooms needs to feel the most like "you" for you to be happy in your home. Those spaces are where you should focus your attention and your money. Then prioritize the spaces you've chosen. It's better to complete one space completely to your liking, so you have one cozy room to escape to, while the rest of your home is still "under construction."

Measure

Home furniture showrooms (such as XL Furniture) are bigger than your home and because of that, the furniture looks smaller than it may actually be. Measure your space before you shop. Lay out boxes where your furniture would go to see if the size you think will work is actually the right size. Tape off spaces to mark furniture placement or for wall art. Make note of the sizes you need before you head out to buy.

*Bonus tip: Measure doorways, windows, elevators and stairs, to be sure you can get whatever your purchase into your home. 

Shop Slowly

Don't feel that there is a rush to get your shopping done. It's better to take your time, perusing everything from big box stores to flea markets to garage sales to make sure you get exactly what you are looking for. The idea of finishing a room right away might seem nice, but it won't be nice if the outcome isn't really what you want. Take your time, enjoy the process, wait for the pieces that "speak" to you. Hurrying can mean settling and settling won't make your space what you want it to be.

Enjoy yourself

Remember that making your home what you want it to be is supposed to be fun. Try to relax. Enjoying the process of selecting furniture will yield better results than shopping under pressure you create for yourself. Making a space that is uniquely you is something only you can do, so allow yourself to have some fun with it. Visit new stores, travel off the beaten path, stop for lunch or bring a friend. If you aren't in the mood, take a day off. Feeling good will only yield better results. 

Decorating your new space is a fun and exciting challenge. Now you ready and up to the task of creating a space that is wonderfully and uniquely you. 

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