How to Decorate When You’re Starting Out or Starting Over

How to Decorate When You’re Starting Out or Starting Over

Few things in life are as daunting as decorating your first home. With so many options available and so many decisions to make, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. Many of us just retreat into the familiar or the expected, leaving a trail of disappointment (and Linen White paint) in our wake.

That condition isn’t limited to the young. These days it’s not unusual for people to find themselves starting over in middle age, with the ending of a relationship or a move precipitated by a new job.

Whether you’re starting out or starting over, these steps can help you navigate the difficult process of decorating a home for the first time.

Decide what you like. A lot of people don’t know what decorating styles they like. It’s not that they don’t have opinions — they just don’t know how to articulate their preferences.

The easiest way to figure out what appeals to you is by looking at photos of other homes. And at the risk of sounding self-serving, the easiest way to do that is by perusing the photos on Houzz. Save your favorite ones in an ideabook. You can also scour design books or clip pictures from magazines. After you’ve collected at least a dozen images, sit down and compare them. What are the common denominators, in terms of color, furniture style, pattern and density of objects in the room?

Keep in mind the architecture of the space you’re living in and the limitations that might impose. High Victorian will generally not work in a cracker-box condo.

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