When we moved from a fixer-upper that was never fixed up into a completed spec home—short for speculative home, built with no particular buyer in mind—I was elated to have a light fixture on every bulb and trim boards lining every wall (something I couldn’t say about our previous place). The square footage was about double that of our previous home and decorating it to our tastes took time.
Having grown weary of the empty rooms, barren, builder-beige walls, and entry-level fixtures, we decided to start small and work our way up.
While decorating a home from square one can be overwhelming, we learned that it doesn’t have to be with planning, patience, and carefully-chosen paint colors.
Fix Your Fixtures
When looking for penny-pinching ways to update and customize your home, look no further than the small details. My early-onset delight of a fully finished home had become diminished by the basic selection of fixtures.
We replaced simple light fixtures with focal-point-worthy lighting.
In the bathrooms, we swapped out silver-toned towel bars, shower curtain rods, and cabinet pulls with oil rubbed bronze fixtures.
These minor upgrades were easy, inexpensive, and cohesively pulled our décor together.
Our family room has an enormous wall that runs the width of the house with nothing to break it up. Looking for the most economical way to fill the space, we purchased simple pre-matted frames and filled them with our favorite photos, printed on plain 8 ½” x 11” paper. Hung in a single row, spaced out evenly across the wall, the photos create a cohesive focal point and conversation starter—and the photos are easy to change out at any time.
Go Big & Basic, Small & Spectacular
When furnishing our rooms, our major furniture selections were basic and classic, meant to go with anything: browns, blacks, beiges, and grays. Our accessories were a different story. No color was off-limits because everything was grounded by the neutral color palette of each room, so we went wild with oranges, reds, yellows, greens, and blues.
Partner Up to Pick Your Paint
Selecting paint colors can be daunting. We tried our hand at painting, but nothing made sense. We hired a consultant who told us our paint colors sucked and helped us select new ones. It was 2010 and Tuscan colors ruled the color world, so every room in our house is coated in a warm and toasty shade of beige. As my luck would have it, the moment the last drop of beige paint dried on our walls, the world collectively decided that gray would be the new darling wall color. And it’s predicted that grey isn’t going anywhere anytime soon (that is, I can only imagine, until I repaint my walls gray).
With gray at the top of the popularity charts, there are more grays than ever to choose from that range from cool to warm, with undertones of green, blue, purple—you name it. Surely the right shade of gray is out there to fit your color scheme. And don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Decorating your home is a journey that takes time and patience but doesn’t need a big budget. Have fun, stay true to your tastes, and your home will reflect your personal style.