How to Decorate Your New Construction Home: Tips For Getting Started

Design Tips for New Construction Homes

A new adventure begins when a homebuyer finally gets the keys and moves into their new construction home, a blank canvas ready to be decorated for the first time. However, this process can be a little overwhelming because there's so much to do. Keep reading to discover four design tips for decorating a new construction home.

Have a Plan Before You Start

If you want to have a cohesive feeling in your new home's decor, the best way to help facilitate that is by going in with a game plan. You should know the style you are going for, the colors you want to use, and what pieces of furniture you need. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run because you won't end up with random items that don't fit together, forcing you to get rid of things.

When formulating your plan, try creating a Pinterest board, or even a physical folder or bulletin board where you can keep photos and paint swatches you like. This way, you can see everything in one place and get a feel for what works well together.

If you're really struggling with putting together a plan, there's no shame in hiring an interior designer. They will be able to help you figure out your style and what pieces would work best in your home. Even if you only use their services for a consultation, it will be worth it in the end.

Don't Wait Until the Last Minute to Buy Furniture

Waiting until the last minute to buy furniture can result in having no furniture at all on the move-in date. It can take a surprising amount of time for new furniture to arrive if one hasn't gone through the process before.

Custom-made furniture can take up to four months to arrive, depending on the manufacturer. If supply chain issues slow the process down, it can take even longer. Even bulk furniture manufacturers often need a minimum of four weeks to ship new furniture items to the intended address.

Start the furniture buying process early and find out from each manufacturer how long it will take for the items to arrive. Try to ship things so that the furniture's arrival and the move-in date will happen around the same time.

Don't forget to look at the home's floor plan to determine if the dimensions of the new furniture will fit in the space. Is a piece of furniture too large to fit through a door or a hallway? Is another piece too small for the room it's intended to be in? These are essential things to consider when ordering furniture online.

For Finished-Feeling Spaces, Start with Walls & Windows

Putting Items Like Mirrors on Walls Makes Them Feel Finished

A new construction home will look truly beautiful the first time the homebuyer steps inside it. It will also look large and empty because there's nothing in it. The rooms often have an unfinished look to them as a result.

New owners will notice right away that there are no window treatments such as curtains or blinds. Depending on the positioning of windows throughout the home, people outside might be able to see through the house. Builders usually won't include any window treatments, so that should be one of the earliest purchases when moving into the new home. Getting those fixtures in place will make a room feel more finished, even if there is no furniture.

Bare walls will make a space look unfinished, even after furniture has been moved into it. Pieces of artwork, mirrors, and other simple fixtures can quickly fill these spaces and easily move later if the owner decides to repaint the room. Shelves and wall sconces likely won't be included as builder options, so those are other things that can quickly be purchased and positioned to make a room look and feel more "finished."

Painting Too Early Can Lead to Cracks

When a new construction home is built, the builder will typically apply the same color of paint to every room in the house. As a result, this may tempt homeowners to begin repainting some rooms or applying wallpaper immediately.

Even though the construction phase is over, one thing homeowners must know about buying a new construction home is that the house needs time to "settle" into its final position. Drywall is going to contract and shift. Timbers may shrink by a millimeter or two. Even the concrete foundation of a new construction home may need to shift by a tiny amount before the house settles.

If rooms are painted or wallpapered before the settling process is complete, it can lead to unsightly cracks and nail pops. It will generally take a minimum of four full seasons for the house to settle into the position it wants to be in. Therefore, the new owner should wait at least one full year before they start painting or wallpapering any rooms. Two whole years might even be recommended in some locations to be safe.

It never hurts to ask the builder this question: How much time should pass before it is safe to start painting or wallpapering the home?

Don't Feel Constrained by the Builder's Selections

Choosing fixtures for a new construction home will not be like walking into a home improvement store with thousands of options on the shelves—the builder will likely have a small number of fixtures for buyers to select. Owners should not feel like these are their only options. They can change things in the future if they want to.

As one example, builders usually let the buyer choose one option for flooring types. Each bathroom will have the same color and size of tile. Multiple rooms with hardwood floors will have one color. Or the carpeting will be uniform in every single room. While homeowners can't change these things immediately, they can alter or swap out these original selections over time.

Other fixtures that an owner might want to change down the road include doorknobs and cabinet pulls, light fixtures, and interior and exterior doors. The sky's the limit when decorating a new construction home, so if the owner is patient and works at it, eventually, everything will be just to their liking.

Decorating a New Construction Home Can Be a Blast

Some decorating ideas have to begin before the new home's construction has been finished. Owners should remember that the process of decorating is a marathon and not a sprint and enjoy every minute of transforming it into the home of their dreams.

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