Congratulations! You've bought a new house. Whether this is your "first" home or you are investing in a second home this space will need to be decorated! A lot of people move into their new home, fill the closets with cloths, the kitchen cabinets with dishes, and the living space with various furniture, books, and random art but don't feel moved-in. There are some great tips from professionals in the decorating field that can help you get started on making space feel like your home.
First, live in the space for a few weeks to get a real feel for important things like light, how a house is being used, where you spend most of your time, what rooms need a more practical approach, room setups, and so on. Remember the house is yours, inside and out, and should reflect your personal style. For example try working in your new home office. After just a few minutes you may know what you will need to make the space user friendly. Extra shelves maybe necessary, additional light might dictate lighter window dressings or if you desire a cozier feel you might decide to paint the room a warm color. Whatever the case giving yourself a few days to experience day to day living to gauge what will work for you is a standard decorating must.
Utilize what you have. A great piece of advice is to never throw anything away.even if you have to store it for a few years. A friend of mine was given a beautiful mahogany dinner table and chairs by her grandparents and sold it because it wasn't her style --- at the time. A few years later she and her husband moved into a new house and found that the dinner table would have been a perfect addition to their stylish formal dinning room. On the same note check your basement or your parents basement for furniture that hasn't been used it years. Not only may it be just what you're looking for it but after 10 or 25 years it might be trendy again!
Sometimes it helps to look at new trends, but don't forget tag sales or flea markets. Also, so much can be done with paint and fabrics. For example if you have a sofa that has a good shape and size but you're no longer crazy about the color or print of the fabric look at your local discount department store or fabric and crafts store for slip covers or fabrics that match your new decorating style. Also being trendy is fun for the season that it is in style but keep in mind that next fall the colors and shapes will probably be old news, especially if it is an extreme trend. It's better to have a neutral base such as a solid colored sofa that you can add pillows and paint to that match the trend. These can then easily be replaced when the trend goes out of style.
Just a note on shopping, as one designer suggested; it is most important to remember that one piece may have more than one use. So, when you are shopping at tag sales, flea markets, or antiquing, use your imagination. Shutters make wonderful indoor window treatments and garden furniture may look beautiful in your living area. Another note, whatever you are passionate about -- collect it! Collections are a wonderful reflection of personal style, and personal style is what your home should be all about.