Organize & Clean

5 Ways to Avoid Decorating Mistakes in a New Home

published Mar 19, 2015
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(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Ah the excitement of a new place to live. All those rooms to arrange with furniture! All those walls to fill with art! All those opportunities to make mistakes and encounter mishaps! Avoid that last one by heeding the advice in this post before you start drilling, dragging and decorating.

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Don’t rush

This might seem a bit obvious, but it bears mentioning due to the fact that so many of us fall prey to the urge to hurry up and get this home finished already. But rushing means not carefully considering the task at hand. It means possibly missing warning signs that you should stop what you’re doing before you do damage. Not to mention…it takes to find what you love, and patience and waiting will lead to a richer, more “you” home in the end.

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Know your new materials

Depending on how long you lived in your last place, you probably got to know what that home was made of. What kind of walls you had (or what may have been hiding behind that layer of drywall. You got to know those materials — and you also over time learned how to best handle dealing or altering those materials. Don’t even take a hammer and nail to your new place’s walls without thoroughly investigating what the walls are made of, and the best way to hang something. But the same applies to paint, using your kitchen countertops and more.

Think of 2 -3 other ways you could do it

This exercise of forcing your brain to consider alternate possiblities of how you want to say, hang your curtains, isn’t just great for exercising your brain; it’s a great way of making sure your first idea isn’t the only idea you consider. Oftentimes, we limit our creativity — and the good ideas — by just jumping at the first thought we have on how to do something. But if you force yourself to come up with alternatives, you might come up with an even better idea than your first one. Also handy: you can use these alternatives as backup plans if the first idea you choose to try ends up not working.

Test those paint colors

Even if you have a white paint you use in everyone one of your homes because it always looks great — still test paint colors. Every home — every configuration, light level, wall type and more — is different from the last, and testing your paint colors before you start painting entire walls can save you a lot of headaches in the end.

Use the right tools

You might be tired after the move. Your budget might be tapped from all the other expenses that you incurred doing the move. But please don’t take shortcuts when it comes to using the right tools to do whatever decorating task you’d like to tackle around your new home, whether that’s painting, installing something or even just hanging art or curtains.

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