Decorating your first home
One of the most exciting occasions
in many people's lives is the day they move into their first house.
Sometimes that exhilaration can give way to distress as new homeowners
face the daunting task before them--filling up all that space
with the right things. "The biggest problem I see with people
decorating their first home is not taking the time to figure out
exactly what they want," says Roderick Shade, founder of
Roderick N. Shade Interior Design in New York City and author
of Harlem Style. "I always advise people to slow down, take
their time and really think about the things they want."
Do Your Research
Before you buy your first item, Shade
suggests that new homeowners look at decorating magazines, examine
the different types of furnishings and compare overall styles,
such as contemporary versus traditional. "Once you figure
out what style you want, you can develop an approach for each
room that's part of a whole-house plan," he says.
Choose Quality Over Quantity
First-time homeowners operating on a budget often
have the urge to initially buy a lot of inexpensive items. Instead
of filling up a house quickly with a lot of furniture and accessories
that you really might not prefer, Shade recommends you buy a few
quality items that you really like. Start with the basics. For
example, if you're shopping for a bedroom, buy the bed you really
want, and add complementary furnishings later.
Use Color and Light
One of the most inexpensive ways to change the feel
of any room is to use color. If you want to make a room more vibrant,
Shade says, a new paint job might be all you need. He also advises
new owners to pay attention to lighting. If you're looking for
a work-area light fixture, buy a strong one that's suitable for
the task. Shade says your lighting will also look better if you
light a specific space (such as a wall where you plan to display
artwork) rather than trying to buy a light fixture that illuminates
the whole room.
Consider Professional Help
If it's all just too overwhelming, consider hiring
a designer. Many design professionals who work across a broad
range of budgets are available. Using a designer could actually
save you time and money since they know where to shop. You can
also take advantage of staff design consultants who are available
in stores that sell furnishings or window treatments.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Essence Communications, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group
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