Interior Design for New Construction Homes: Tips & Tricks for Professional Results
Decorating a new construction home is a special time for a homebuyer because no previous owner has had a chance to leave their mark on the home. New construction homes for sale present a blank slate that the owner can decorate in any way that they wish. That's not to say that decorating a new home does not have unique challenges. Ready to make your mark on your new build home? Keep reading to learn four essential design tips for new construction homes.
Have a Plan Before You Start
Before you begin making any purchases, it's important to have a plan in place. Determine how much money you have to spend, the size and layout of your house, and which décor style you prefer. This will help you narrow down your choices when it comes to selecting furniture and decor. Consider creating a design board or mood board with pictures of pieces that fit into your dream home aesthetic.
Try not to buy anything while still in the planning stage. While it might seem like a good idea to buy a sofa if you think it will be perfect for your new home, you don't know if you'll be able to find the right décor to match it or if your plan will change completely. Purchasing things too soon can mean being stuck with mis-matched furniture or wasting money, so save all the items you want to buy and purchase them when you know you have everything you want.
Wait to Paint: The Home Needs to Settle For Best Results
Owners should expect to wait from one to two years from the time construction is completed before they paint the interior of a new construction home. All of the walls will most likely be white or beige at move-in time, which could become frustrating to the owners. However, waiting to paint will pay dividends and prevent problems down the road. All new construction homes take some time to shift and settle.
The timber used in home construction, for example, might not be completely dry or cured. It takes time for the moisture to evaporate from the wood, and as that happens, the timber will contract and shift a tiny amount. The same goes for the concrete foundation, the drywall, and other home construction materials. It takes things like plaster and concrete longer to dry out in colder weather. Remember that everything is brand new, and it takes time for an entire house to shift and settle into its final position. When finding a new home builder, be sure to ask about how long they think the settling process will take.
If a homeowner paints the house before it has settled, it's very likely to cause some problems. Painting too soon can cause cracks in the paint due to shifting and blemishes called "nail pops" in the drywall. Owners can repaint later on if they apply new paint too soon.
Take Inventory of Furnishings
The first step in furnishing a new home is to inventory what the owner already has. It's helpful to write a list for each room in the house so the owner knows what they already have and what is needed. If purchasing new items, prioritize them in terms of importance. Beds, sofas, and chairs are probably highest on the list, followed by a dining room table and chairs, and so on. Remember that everything does not have to be purchased at once and can be done in stages to avoid cluttering the home.
Another thing to remember is that furniture should be ordered with plenty of advance time before the move-in date. Depending on the manufacturer, it might take four to ten weeks, or even longer, for newly purchased furniture to arrive. That could be a long wait for something as important as a mattress!
One more piece of advice: take lots of measurements when planning to furnish a new home. Put that tape measure to good use and write things down. Furniture companies always list the dimensions of items, and owners can avoid frustration by purchasing items that will fit correctly in every room.
Add Flair to the Walls & Windows
Builders typically paint every room in a new home the same color, and they don't apply any window treatments. As a result, every room looks bland and plain, and people outside the home can see through it. One thing that new owners should plan for is installing their own window treatments. They should put that tape measure to use once again and purchase the blinds, curtains, drapes, or shades that they want to dress up the interior rooms (and prevent people from seeing inside the home).
While the house is settling, as described above, the new owner should take the time to plan out the wall colors desired for each room. Shoot for a coordinated scheme when it comes to painting colors. Once the rooms are painted (or wallpapered), owners can think about artwork, mirrors, and other items to add flair to the walls. Rooms that don't have anything on the walls can look bare or feel empty, even if they are furnished. Wall tiles are another decorative feature to consider. Just keep in mind that the same rule applies to wall tiles as paint: wait until the house fully settles before applying tiles.
Take Advantage of Your Ability to Customize
Customization is one of the biggest pros of buying a new construction home. Once an owner takes possession of a new construction home, no rule says they can't change some of the builder's options. Swapping the builder's options for certain fixtures and features out for the owner's preference is a way to add individual personality to a home.
For example, the door handles or even the doors themselves can be replaced with more customized options that the owner likes. Light fixtures and ceiling fans can be swapped out for options that better fit the owner's preference. Wood floors, tile floors, and carpets can be replaced with something the owner prefers. Kitchen appliances can be replaced with brands or colors that the owner likes better. And even small things like cabinet handles and pulls can be replaced.
All of these changes don't need to happen at once. Owners should let the house fully settle before making some of these changes. Plus, upgrading certain features like new flooring can be a sizable investment. Expect the process of decorating a new construction home and making renovations until it is "perfect" to take several years.
A New Construction Home Is the Owner's Blank Canvas
Moving into a new construction home is only the first step of the journey. The new owners then have the adventure of decorating the home and turning it into their personal space over time. Follow these tips to help make the process easier and avoid certain pitfalls when decorating a new home.