Let me help you create a space you love with my “How to Decorate” guide. Get the home you love in 6 simple steps!
“Meagan, can you come over to my house and decorate for me?!” is something I hear on a regular basis. Decorating everyone’s house would be my dream! However, there’s just not enough time. So instead, I am creating this guide for you! I have written a few “How to decorate” for the holiday posts (Fall, Halloween, Christmas) and you seem to really enjoy them. So, my tips below are for those that would like to decorate their homes for every day. This guide can help you at any stage! Whether you are starting from scratch in your first home or wanting to update the décor you’ve been staring at for 30 years, this guide is for you! Let’s start decorating!
How to Decorate Step 1: Focus on One Room at a Time
Even for someone who loves decorating as much as I do, decorating an entire house is a daunting task! So, stick with one room at a time. There is simply no way to simultaneously decorate every room in your house at once. You do not want to overwhelm yourself! We have lived in our for several months now, and I only have a handful of things hanging on the wall. It doesn’t have to be done all at once.
Which Room Should I pick?
Where you start is up to you, but I have a few tips. I would suggest starting with an easy room, or a room that your family uses the most. You may want to also consider where your guests will gather if you enjoy hosting like we do. Bathrooms don’t require much effort to decorate, so why not focus on your guest bathroom first? What about your living room? Next to the kitchen, our living room is where we spend most of our time. You will enjoy the space even more if it’s decorated.
What if an Entire Room is too Overwhelming?
If an entire room is still too overwhelming, then break it down further! Let’s say you choose to decorate your living room first, but quickly become overwhelmed with decisions and cost. Focus on one wall at a time. Where does your TV go? Focus on that wall first.
How to Decorate Step 2: What’s the Function of the Space?
Once you decide on a room to focus on, brainstorm the function of the space. Ask yourself what you and your family will be doing in this space. Will you be entertaining? Relaxing? Eating? Sleeping? For instance, the function of a guest bedroom is to have a space for your guests to sleep when they come to visit. So, you need to make sure you have a bed, proper bedding, and a space for them to set their things when they come over.
How to Decorate Step 3: Make a List
Now that you have it narrowed down to one space and determined its function, it’s time to start making a list of all the things your room needs. Start with the top and work your way down, by focusing on the walls, lighting, window treatments, floors, furniture, and then the decorations.
Does your paint need freshening up? If so, I highly suggest going neutral with a gray or something similar if you despise painting as much as I do. Trendier colors or accent walls won’t last you as long. Lighter colors will make the room feel bigger and vise versa. We painted our entire house with Sherwin William’s Mindful Gray and I love it! It goes perfectly with our gray LVP flooring, but I have to watch using gray furniture or décor. If going 100% neutral bores you to death, consider a fun accent wall with a pop of color, wallpaper, or shiplap. Check out our Board and Batten Entry for some inspo.
What is your lighting situation in this space? If your current fixtures look outdated to you, spray paint can do wonders if new fixtures are out of your budget. Replacing yellow-ish globes to white ones can make quite the difference too. If you need to replace them all together, check the clearance section at your favorite hardware store to keep the costs down. Once you start putting your room together, you may consider adding a few lamps for additional light.
Window treatments add warmth to a space and make it look more complete. We hung our extra long white linen curtains 2 inches from our ceiling to give the illusion of higher ceilings. When staging our first house to sell, we added a set of bamboo shades to our kitchen window in order to add some texture near our very white cabinets. If you are not a curtain or shade person, consider adding a simple window casing around your windows.
How’s your flooring? If you absolutely hate the flooring, then I would suggest changing it so you can truly enjoy your upgraded space. If replacing it is too expensive, try a budget-friendly DIY makeover by painting it. I have yet to do this, but I’ve seen it all over IG. Or maybe a nice big rug will do the trick?
Before we moved into our fixer upper (see our crazy auction story here), we laid gray LVP throughout our entire home, and a faux tile LVP in our bathrooms. We have two pups who love to play outside, so I wanted something that would be easy to clean. I prefer rugs over carpet because they are cheaper and easier to replace. If you have the funds to replace your flooring, be sure to shop around. I would avoid the large chain stores. We found great prices at Hoods Hardware Store.
Lets talk rugs! There are a few things to consider if your want to make your space seem larger. For a large area rug, subtract 3 feet from each wall of your room. For dining room rugs, leave 2 feet of the rug from the edge of the table to allow the back legs of the chairs to stay on the rug. Runners for hallways should be about 4 inches narrower than your hallway and at least 18 inches shorter.
Now that you have assessed the walls and flooring, it’s time to focus on your furniture. Now is the time to decide if you want to work with the furniture you already have and do a fun makeover for a fresh update, leave it as is, or buy new. If you are starting from scratch, make a list of pieces needed for the space to feel complete and prioritize your list by need. For instance, you may want to start with a couch rather than a super expensive credenza for your living room. If you are up for a DIY, check your local thrift stores for unique pieces.
Accent pieces (aka knick-knacks) are my favorite part! However, you don’t want to start your search for these smaller items until the above items are complete! This way you won’t overbuy or purchase something you end up not having room for. Adding accent pieces to a space will help tie the room together and look complete. The pieces will bring color and texture to the room. Since accent pieces don’t usually cost as much, feel free to go trendier with them. I would suggest starting with bigger pieces like mirrors or large family photos for the walls and then working your way to the smaller pieces. A few of my go-tos are throw blankets, pillows, candle holders, baskets, faux plants and small lamps.
How to Decorate Step 4: Pinterest
It’s finally time to scroll through Pinterest, now that you have decided what room to decorate, it’s function, and made your list. Start a new board and go to town. Pin like crazy! If you are redecorating your living room search Pinterest with terms like “living room décor”, “living room fireplace”, “living room with brown couch”, “farmhouse living room”, or “decorating a small living room” . Once you have pinned until your heart’s content, take a look at your board. Is there a theme? Similarities? Do you gravitate towards neutral décor, farmhouse, or something really modern? There are no rules when it comes to how YOU should decorate YOUR home. You want YOUR space to bring you joy. However, it is helpful to have a style or vibe when shopping for new items. While you are scrolling, check out my pinterest page.
How to Decorate Step 5: Shop your Home
Before you head to the store, take a stroll around the house to shop your own collection. Do you have something stored in your basement that would work in the space? Or maybe there is a piece of furniture you have in the guest bedroom, that could be more useful in another space. Get creative with this step. Don’t be afraid to reupholster something or slap a coat of paint on it.
How to Decorate Step 6: Go Shopping
Now it’s time to go shopping! Don’t forget to bring your list with you. I like to hit up thrift stores first. This won’t take much time since you have a list of items you need and you’re shopping with a purpose. Then I usually head to a few of my favorite home décor stores such as At Home, Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, and Target. Stick to your list! If you find something you love, but not sure you have a spot for it, take a picture of it and the item number. The item number will let you pull it up online and check for dimensions when you’re back home.
Free Decorating Guide
Want some more decorating inspo? Snag my FREE decorating guide to help you make your home a space you can be proud of! This guide take you through my simple process of decorating.
As always, thank you for following along with me in my creative journey. Be sure to tag me and use #meagannicholedotcom when sharing your own Thanksgiving Centerpieces! Thanks for stopping by MeaganNichole.com
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