How to decorate your new home like a professional

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Jen Lyons

redesign living room
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Your new home is a blank canvas, giving you the chance to transform it into an amazing space inspired by design magazines, Pinterest or Instagram. While everyone’s design style is different — or even if you feel like you don’t have one at all — there are always some tried-and-true tips to follow. Here’s our list of 10 great ways to decorate your new home like a pro. 

1. Paint a colorful front door

Your front door is your home’s first impression. A bold, colorful door makes a statement before your guests even cross the threshold. It’s an easy, affordable upgrade that sets the tone for your design aesthetic throughout the rest of the home. As for which color to choose, go with your gut — and be sure to complement your home’s overall exterior paint and trim colors. 

2. Give every room a focal point

Decide where you want the focal point to be in each room (and no, it doesn’t have to be a TV!). Perhaps it’s a stately fireplace, a feature wall, or the gorgeous view through a floor-to-ceiling window. Whatever it is, arrange your furniture and accessories to highlight the focal point. Consider layouts that encourage conversation, too.
modern living room with statement fireplace

3. Layer your lighting

For function and drama, you should have three kinds of lighting in any room: ambient, like the room-wide light that comes from recessed lights or ceiling fixtures; task lighting, like pendants hanging over a kitchen island or a tabletop lamp in a library; and accent lighting, like wall sconces that light a particular area or object. Using multiple types of lighting gives every room a polished look.
tahoe living room with layers of lighting

4. Add houseplants

Houseplants instantly make every room feel more welcoming. And even if you don’t have a green thumb, plenty of houseplants are very forgiving. Don’t be afraid to put multiple plants in one space. Tuck small succulents on a bookshelf near large, verdant foliage in floor pots. Bonus: They keep the air clean.
seating area with plants overlooking water

5. Use mirrors strategically

Some designers believe every room should have a mirror, but even if you don’t go that far, decorating with mirrors can be especially useful in small or dark rooms. In cramped spaces, mirrors give the impression of more space. And in shadowy areas, they reflect light perfectly. Here’s one expert tip: Hang mirrors perpendicular to windows, not across the room. That way, you can avoid all that beautiful light going right back out the window.
office space with large mirror

6. Mix and match furniture 

It’s convenient to buy a sofa and matching loveseat and matching armchair and matching ottoman, but resist that urge! Mixing and matching furniture pieces adds more visual interest and depth to a room — and keeps it from looking like a furniture showroom. This can be as simple as decorating your dining room with a gorgeous dark wood table, accented by contrasting wood or upholstered dining chairs. In a living room, you might pair a sofa in a neutral color with a leather ottoman and side chairs upholstered in a fun fabric. 
living room with multiple different textures

7. Combine different textures 

In the same way that you don’t want your furniture to be too matchy-matchy, you want variety in your home’s textiles and accent pieces. Here are a few examples: a tiled fireplace paired with a reclaimed wood mantle, a neutral-color jute rug topped with a colorful (and smaller) wool rug, or a leather couch accented with a plush throw. Mixing metal objects is also on trend. 
living room with wood table, white couch, orange ottomans

8. Upsize your artwork

One of the most common mistakes people make is choosing artwork that is too small for the wall where it will hang. (Another common misstep is hanging artwork too high — it should always be at eye level.) On a big wall, go with an oversized, framed piece that makes a statement. Or group multiple frames to create a gallery wall. The standard rule of thumb is that artwork should take up two-thirds to three-quarters of the available space on a wall.
large artwork in living room

9. Get rid of what you don’t love

Everyone has pieces they simply don’t like, whether it’s a pricey chandelier bought on impulse or an inherited piece of furniture that’s just not your style. A new home is your chance to say goodbye! You should truly love every piece of decor and furniture in your home. Sell or donate the things you don’t like because someone else may love them! 

10. Use your editing eye 

Less is often more when it comes to decorating. It’s easy to get caught up in adding pieces which might end up being detractions instead of enhancements. Periodically go room by room and remove items that have either found a home in the wrong place or are simply overwhelming or crowding the space. 

Let a pro handle it instead

Channeling your inner designer isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for a second home but feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of decorating it, consider a Pacaso. Every Pacaso second home comes fully furnished and professionally decorated. Take a look at the beautiful homes for sale and leave the details to us.  

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