How to change up the décor in your new home

How to change up the décor in your new home

As a decorator who has helped many clients transition in to a new home, I have noticed a recurring theme: Many homeowners’ natural tendency is the desire to recreate and decorate their rooms in their new home just like they were in their previous home.

For example, Mr. and Mrs. Smith will naturally have the moving company place the exact same furnishings from their previous family room in to their new family room. And interestingly, they will attempt to have the furniture arranged in the exact same way that it was in their previous home.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard a client begin a sentence, “In our old house, we had the TV there, and these two chairs like this...” I realize and understand that there is safety and security in arranging things the way they were. It’s tried and true, and you were used to it. Maybe you think it will even make you feel at home right away. However, this is your new house and it’s time for a new beginning. In fact, it’s an opportunity to let your furnishings and accessories shine in a new light!

So, how does a homeowner break that natural tendency to recreate their old home? First, consider the size, layout and flow of the new rooms. Next, look for the natural focal points in your new home. A natural focal point can be a fireplace or a window with a lovely view. Start by placing your sofa facing a natural focal point. Add your other upholstered pieces, a pair of chairs adjacent to the sofa, or flanking each side, keeping in mind that a cozy and natural conversation area is key.

Don’t have a natural focal point? Create one with a large bookcase or a collection of favorite art pieces. Now, begin to fill in with a coffee table and accent tables to anchor the conversation area. Complete your new look by hanging artwork and then accessorizing.

One of the most important things to remember: It’s perfectly acceptable, if not encouraged, to use furnishings differently than you did in your old home. What works the best in your new home? What is practical and functional, and what makes the most sense?

Virtually everything has flexibility. It’s fabulous if the baker’s rack you had in your former kitchen decorated with plates and mugs now sits in your foyer with a small lamp, a healthy green plant and baskets for hats and gloves. It’s perfectly agreeable if your buffet/server from your former dining room now sits as a console table behind your sofa in your new great room. Maybe in this new scenario it faces the kitchen in an open floor plan, and will serve guests food and drinks effortlessly. And perhaps your new dining room is smaller, so why crowd it simply because the server sat in your old dining room for years?

There is no doubt that moving can be a stressful time in your life because it generally involves a lot of decision-making. Don’t let this tempt you in to missing a wonderful opportunity to truly create a new home for yourself. After all, isn’t this a benefit to moving? Leave your mind open to new possibilities. And if you need help, consider hiring a professional to help you “see” how beautifully your old things can look in your new home!

About this Angie’s List Expert: Beth Batke is the owner of Final Touches Redesign, a Columbus, Ohio-based interior design and decorating company. The firm earned the Angie’s List Super Service Awards in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, and was highlighted as an Angie’s List Magazine Best Contractor in 2011.

As of March 26, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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Often, a vignette can be completed by gathering like items that you already have around the house and arranging them asymmetrically, says Batke. (Photo courtesy of Final Touches Redesign)
Often, a vignette can be completed by gathering like items that you already have around the house and arranging them asymmetrically, says Batke. (Photo courtesy of Final Touches Redesign)

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