Modular Homes Section

Decorating Your Modular Home

One of the most exciting aspects of building a new home is the idea that you are starting with a clean slate. Whatever goes into this new house is up to you - everything from the color schemes in each room to the pictures that are hung on the walls.

On the other hand, a clean slate can be daunting; it can seem overwhelming to have an entire home to decorate. Several rooms that all need to be taken from plain vanilla to spicy hot, all at once, can seem like a chore rather than an adventure.

Whether you are looking forward to decorating your new home, or dreading the prospect, the good thing about decorating the home you are having built is that you have a little time to consider your options. In fact, the best time to start thinking about the decor for your new home is while it is under construction.

Start by creating a design notebook. Get a three ring binder, some page protectors, and you are halfway to having a design notebook. When the notebook is assembled, start looking for designs that you enjoy in magazines and catalogs. Clip any that catch your eye and insert them into your notebook.

Keep in mind that you do not have to like everything about a design to take note of it. For instance, you may find a picture of a furniture arrangement that you like, even though you don't like the color scheme or the accessories. Or, you may find a picture of a bedroom in shades of blue and chocolate that you love, except that you like blue and chocolate for the living room. If it is attractive to you, clip and save it.

While you clip and save images of designs you like for your notebook, take care to consider the design aspects of your home that are permanent. If your living room or bedroom features a fireplace, pay special attention to designs that incorporate fireplaces. If your dining room or family room has French doors, be on the lookout for designs that feature window treatments for French doors. If you've picked out black and white tiles for your bathroom, then look for designs that work around this kind of tile work. If you know you are painting your bedroom French blue, then turquoise or red design elements are out. Taking care to find designs that use the same elements that you are using in your new home will make choosing decor to fit them much simpler.

As move-in day at your new home gets closer, take stock of the furniture and other design elements you already own. This will pay off in two ways; one, you decide what to take, and two, if you can, you decide what to get rid of, giving you that much less to pack. Once you know what you are keeping, take pictures of the larger items and insert them into your design notebook. Take care to take the pictures in as much natural light as is possible, which will give you a truer color result.

And what about the items you don't wish to take with you? Now's the time for a garage sale, which can net you a little extra cash to add to the decorating at your new home, or donate them to a charity for a tax deduction that will also pay you, in the long run.

Once you are in the new house, the fun begins. Approaching the decoration of your new home with the idea that it doesn't all have to come together overnight will make it easier. In fact, giving yourself at least a week to scope the new rooms out will be to your advantage for several reasons: one, it allows you to determine how much natural light the rooms get, which will make choosing window treatments and furniture placement easier, and two, waiting at least a week, or more, if possible, will make determining final furniture placement easier as the natural traffic patterns in your home become obvious.

Another thing to remember is that you do not have to decorate all the rooms at once. Just getting the furniture in the rooms is enough; in fact, as stated above, it will allow you to live with the furniture arrangement for awhile to determine the best placement of the furniture in the room.

It is best to start your decorating with the common areas in your home, the ones that everyone uses most. Having blank walls in the family room is less discouraging than having blank walls in the bedroom.

Regardless of what room you start with, it's time to go back to your design notebook, and have another look at the designs you clipped for the room are decorating. With an eye to the design elements you already have, such as furniture and accessories, and the design notebook as a reference, use what you have on hand to get a start. Pay attention to the way wall accessories are arranged in the design you enjoy, and to the colors used in accessories and accent pieces. Using the design you like as a template, start arranging your own accessories.

If you don't have everything you need or want for your room's design, don't make the mistake of rushing out to buy every single thing you think you need. Give yourself some time to live in the design, and if it is truly the design you want, add accessories or other elements as you find ones that appeal to you.

And don't forget to shop your home before hitting the mall. Sometimes, the item that is the icing on the cake for your design is already in your home, in another room or packed up in the basement or attic, just waiting to be discovered. That ugly picture you can't believe you kept may have the perfect frame for another pictures, or a frame for a mirror. That vase that always seemed too big for the dining table may be perfect on the hearth.

When you do go shopping for design details for your home, take photos of your room, and/or paint chips and fabric swatches along with you. Not only will these items make matching your buys to room easier, they will also allow you to have a better idea of how your find will fit into your room. And the best way to prevent costly design mistakes? If possible, take your digital camera along and get a picture of the item to take home and view in the room before making the purchase. You'll be surprised how often your perception of an item changes between the store and home.

Don't assume that you have to spend a lot of money to achieve the designs that you see in your design notebook. Some great places to look for home design details are garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets, where eclectic items that will give character to your home can often be found for a song. Discount stores and even dollar stores are the perfect place to look for small details like candles, candle holders, small picture frames, and more.

Once you've got all your design details in place, don't be afraid of making changes. Your home should grow with you, not remain static as you and your family change. In fact, small changes such as exchanging the pictures in frames, rearranging the furniture, and adding or taking away accessories can give your design whole new dimensions.

If you are living in a home with an open floor plan, be careful to coordinate design details in rooms that flow into one another. While it is not necessary to make the rooms carbon copies of each other, take care to use colors that work well together and design styles that mesh well together. In other words, if the living room and dining room flow together, don't use modern furnishings and decorative accessories in the living room and shabby-chic in the dining room, or bright primary colors in the living room and earth tones in the dining room. One of the easiest ways to make sure that two or more rooms flow well together is to use the dominant color in the largest or central room as an accent color in the smaller or surrounding rooms. Use furnishings and accessories in coordinating styles - these details make the difference.

And when it comes to details, don't forget the smaller rooms when decorating your home. Bathrooms, breakfast areas, even laundry rooms will also be more interesting when they are considered for more than just the tasks performed therein.

When it comes to these smaller rooms, less is often more. In the bathroom, a few fluffy towels, a couple of rugs, and a tasteful set of vanity accessories may be all you need to dress up the space without overpowering it.

The same goes for breakfast nooks or small dining rooms. Most of the decorative accents should be on the walls, as clutter on the dining table will just end up in storage or pushed from one side of the table to the other. Keeping the design elements off the surfaces on the walls keeps these small areas from looking cluttered while still giving them style. Another tip - keep the elements hung on walls at slightly below the top of the door or window, which gives the appearance of higher ceilings and larger rooms.

Decorating a new home can be a wonderful experience. Having a plan for your designs can make the process smoother while also giving you a beautiful home.

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