Decorating a New Home: Your Step-by-Step Guide

Congratulations on your new home! Now that all the paperwork has been completed and you've moved in, you may feel overwhelmed by a new set of challenges. How do you begin the task of decorating a new home, to transform an empty living space into a cozy environment that reflects your lifestyle?


In our new home decorating guide, we will cover how to discover your style, create a budget for your décor project, and choose the right color palette. Plus, we’ll go over how to furnish a new home and choose the perfect lighting to illuminate your space.


6 Steps to Decorating a Home


Step 1: Setting Decorating Goals

It is important to first think about your decorating goals before making your shopping list. For example, when do you want to complete your project? How long will certain decorations take to set up? How much can you financially dedicate to your decorations?


These are all essential questions when deciding how you are going to accentuate your space. You may find that DIY solutions suit your goals better than premade options, or you may decide that you can only decorate one room at a time. For this reason, we recommend outlining the scope of your project and your budget by room.


Step 2: Finding a Style

To determine your style preferences, take inventory of the types of decorations you like versus those you don't. If you're not immediately sure what décor you prefer, this will help guide you. For example, is your ideal couch simple and streamlined or overstuffed and cushy? Do you like modern furnishings, or do you gravitate toward antiques? You may find that your style leans more towards classical or aligns with some newer home décor trends.


Step 3: Creating a Budget When Decorating Your New Home

Now that you have found the décor style that speaks to you most, it’s time to create a budget and a plan. You can start by assessing your finances, including your disposable income. Create a maximum that you are willing to spend on decorating and use that as your guide for your research. After that, you should:

  • Divide your max budget by room (i.e. kitchen, living room, etc.)
  • Set aside a contingency fund for unexpected expenses
  • Research the cost of decorative items or furniture
  • Gather quotes and estimates for specialty installations
  • Refine your budget based on all quotes and decoration costs

During this process, there are a few ways you can save money on furnishings, like shopping at secondhand stores, flea markets, and garage sales. You can find some real treasures for a fraction of their original cost, but you need to be patient and persevere! If a certain item is very important to you, like a brass bed or a vintage floral couch from an antique store, it may be OK to splurge if you can cut corners elsewhere.


However, remember that decorating your home doesn't have to be expensive. If your budget is small, you can come up with DIY solutions. For suggestions and ideas, look at Pinterest and other websites for low-budget home décor. Doing it yourself also gives your home a more personal touch.


Step 4: Choosing the Right Color Palette

Select a color scheme for your home that matches your style and the home's architecture. But don't feel limited by the style of your home. It's perfectly fine to fill a contemporary home with antique furniture if that's your thing!


Consider the outside environment, natural lighting, and other built-in features. Lighter colors can make a room with little natural light seem airy and bright, while darker colors absorb light and can feel cozy and intimate. Find inspiration from design books, magazines, and online resources for DIY home décor color ideas.


Step 5: Furnishing Your Space

When thinking about furnishing a new home, choose pieces that complement the sizes and shapes of the room. Think of where to place each piece for optimal space utilization. If your new home is a Century Communities property, our partner are experts in your home's floor plan and how to decorate a brand-new home. They offer many years of design experience and amazing deals on premium coordinated furnishings for entire rooms.  


DIY Home Decor Ideas

If your budget is very tight and you can only afford the basics, don't despair! You can find many DIY home décor ideas for furniture and decorative items, based on your style preferences and color palette.


Here are just a few examples:

  • Stained or sealed wood slices for floral table centerpieces
  • Handmade table runners from found fabrics
  • Antique wooden coffee crate lids and hooks for mugs
  • Rope baskets using dollar store materials
  • Old dressers with new staining and handles

If you're not sure how to create your own DIY masterpieces to spice up your décor, you can find countless step-by-step instructions from fellow DIYers on YouTube. Just search "DIY home décor ideas" to get started.


Step 6: Choosing the Right Lighting

There are four basic types of lighting—ambient lighting, task lighting, accent lighting, and decorative lighting.

  • Ambient lighting—This is used to evenly light an entire room. It can be the outside natural light, track lighting, or overhead lights. You can use this form of light in all rooms of your home. A ceiling fixture will more effectively diffuse the light.
  • Task lighting—As the name suggests, this lighting is used for specific tasks like reading or cooking. This includes table and desk lamps, under-cabinet kitchen lighting, bathroom vanity lights, and reading lamps.
  • Accent lighting—This highlights a room's features, from entrances and fireplaces to artwork and plants. It can also enhance a room's character or be used outside.
  • Decorative lighting—Used for style rather than function, this can be achieved with pendant lights, wall sconces, or chandeliers. It may be in the living room, over a dining room table, on each side of a large bed, or in an entranceway.

Need some inspiration? See our lighting ideas for new home decoration.

Decorating a New Home Should Be Rewarding

Now that you know how to find your style, create a budget, choose a color palette, furnish your space, and more, your head is probably swimming with creative ideas! Take a deep breath and think about the most important decorating goals and focus on them first. There's plenty of time to create your perfect home environment, and you can achieve great results in just a few steps.  

The statements contained herein discuss general factors and do not constitute professional, investment and/or financial advice.


This is not an offering of property to residents in any jurisdiction that may have restrictions on interstate offerings of real estate, unless the property has been so registered, qualified or exemptions are available. It is the intent of Century to sell its residential homes pursuant to an exemption from the registration requirements the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (15 U.S.C. 1701, et seq.).