Before you start buying furniture, placing decorations, or hanging photos on the wall, there are a number of important things to consider. In this guide, we’ll cover some furnishing basics and show you how to create the home of your dreams.
Start by thinking about your house as a whole
A comfortable, beautiful home starts with a cohesive design. While every room can have its own unique personality, they should all fit together under one similar style.
If you’re not sure what kind of home style you like, look for inspiration from sites like Pinterest or Houzz. Try to identify your preference when it comes to colors, materials, and feeling.
Some popular decoration and furnishing styles to consider include:
Create a room plan
Once you have an idea of your style preferences, sketch out a room plan to identify what pieces of furniture will go in each room.
For now, just focus on the large focal point pieces of your home. This may include:
- Couches and chairs
Think about how each space will be arranged and how you can maximize the natural flow between every room in your home.
This entire exercise will help you identify what types of big furnishings will be on your wish list, which items you already have and can utilize, and how they will all fit together to create a cohesive space.
There are several apps and programs that allow you to develop virtual floor plans to help you visualize the space more realistically. If you’d like to try this route, this list of 10 best free online room planners is a good place to get started.
However, even with these tools, many people make the mistake of thinking more furniture can fit into their space than is actually realistic – and vice versa. Once you’ve developed your floor plan, seek feedback from a professional designer to ensure you can execute your vision realistically.
Take careful measurements
Pull out your measuring tape – it’s time to understand the limitations and capabilities of your space. This step is very important to ensure your furniture and decorations will fit with the vision you’ve created for each room. Take time to get it right and you’ll save a lot of time and headache down the road.
Grab a piece of paper and determine the following measurements and information for every room:
- Width, height, and diagonal width of every room
- Note the location of light fixtures, outlets, or other build-in features
Need some extra help? We love this measurement guide from The Spruce.
Rank by priority and start with the essentials
There’s no need to rush the furnishing process.Taking your time will ensure you end up with the right pieces and a final look you really love.
Of course, there are certain key items you’ll need to live comfortably day-to-day. For instance, you’ll definitely need a bed, a couch, and a kitchen table right off the bat. And if your home didn’t come with temporary window coverings, you’ll need a solution to limit visibility into your home and ensure your safety.
Make a list of everything you need, and prioritize the essentials. A good way to narrow down the list is to consider how long you could go without the item. If you think you and your family could go at least a month without a specific piece of furniture, then it’s not a priority.
Don’t skimp on big-ticket items
This is perhaps the most important part of the furnishing process… are you ready?
The key to ending up with a home you love is to invest in your high-priority items.
You’ve already identified the essential pieces in your home. These are things you’ll use on a daily basis and will serve as focal points of the space, so don’t be afraid to spend a little more money on these big-ticket items!
Starting with a strong foundation that you can build on is the best way to create a high-quality, beautiful home that will stand the test of time.
Know where to look
It’s time to start shopping! Here in Portland, you have options – whether you want to shop online, at a big-box or high-class showroom, or at a vintage boutique, this city makes it easy.
Before you seal the deal on a piece of furniture, there are a few key details you should research about both the store and the item. This includes:
- Return policy
- Warranty or guarantee terms & limitations
- Whether delivery and setup or installation is included
- Construction of the piece (where it was made)
- Type of material
- Where it was made
- Whether the item has been previously owned
Work with professionals
You’ve done a lot of work up to this point, so don’t be afraid to get professional help where you need it.
For example, some furniture and decorating stores offer design consultations. The professionals working at these stores specialize in turning spaces into beautiful, livable spaces so take advantage of their expertise! At the very least, they are a great source to bounce ideas off of.
Another example is, of course, window coverings! The right shades, blinds, or curtains will tie your entire space together and be a key focal point of your home. They’re also important for managing the temperature, light, and visibility into your space.
Your window coverings will be in your home for years to come, so make sure you get them right the first time around. Working with a professional to choose the right material, color, and type of covering and properly install the fixtures will always give you the best result.
Not sure how to get started with new window coverings?
We can help!
Add small details and decorations as you go
Once you’ve invested in your most important furnishings, the best course is to find and fill in your space with smaller details and decorations over time.
This stage of furnishing your home is about truly making it yours. So be selective about what you purchase, and make sure it fits with your design style.
Taking it slow will allow you to get more familiar with your home and understand what details and additional furnishings will actually be needed to round out your space and truly make it feel like home.
We’ll help you choose the perfect window coverings for your new home
Our team of expert designers love helping clients realize their dream home through beautiful custom window coverings.
At Portland Window Coverings, we’ll take all the guesswork out of selecting the perfect custom coverings for your home – from shades and blinds to curtains and drapes, we carry Portland’s largest selection of Hunter Douglas window treatments and guarantee perfect results every time.
We’d love to hear from you. Stop by one of our showrooms in Lake Oswego or Beaverton. Or give us a call at (503) 676-6374 to schedule an in-home consultation.