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Avoid These Decorating Mistakes After You Buy a New Home

Buying a home is a big, expensive deal. And there might not be enough money left for a complete and thoughtful renovation. So if you’re about to pull the trigger on a home remodel, be warned that diving headfirst into aggressive demos and trendy designs can be risky. Here are some common mistakes homeowners make when renovating their spaces.

1. Decorating in a style that clashes with the architecture

A cottage is never going to look like a loft. If you have a ranch, it’ll never be a Craftsman.

Rather than trying to force modern farmhouse decor where it clearly doesn’t belong, embrace the home you actually bought and then decorate from there.

2. Creating a ‘Frankenstein’ home

Have you ever been into a home where renovations have been done in just one part of the house? You don’t want to end up with a couple of family room that is 2023 and the rest of the house is stuck in the 1970s. Don’t make it obvious where you budget ended.

Mixing styles – Inside or outside – is a rookie faux pas. Sit with your budget and design plans.

3. Nixing vintage for bland

Many new homeowners are removing classic fixtures in favor of a more modern aesthetic. What some consider charming, others feel is simply out of date.

But before you pry out that funky faucet and install the same shiny brass model everyone else has, compare the quality of the two options. An older, better-made tap might last longer and wear better than the new version you’ve been eyeing.

New homeowners and future buyers do want updates, but they also want strategically incorporated vintage pieces that speak to the home’s history. And once you erase those features, you can’t get them back.

4. Wait before painting.

Although paint can give you a big bang for your buck, and you may be itching to break out the brush, we recommend living in your new home for a year to see how the light plays in all the rooms. Depending on where the sun is, the paint colors you choose can look different in all four seasons. A room that has tons of natural light in the winter may well be dark in the summer when the trees are in full leaf or you’ve put up an awning on that deck.

4. Going too trendy.

If we see one more home renovation where gray vinyl floors replaced original hardwood, we are going to scream!We all get sucked into home design trends. But your space won’t age well if you buy into too many of them, the pros say.

What are some other fads that make designers a little twitchy these days? Please see: open shelving, barn doors, and shiplap.

5. Tossing all of your old furniture – even stuff you could use

Mona Bavar, the design mind at Dlish, urges first-time homebuyers not to kick everything to the curb when they finally close on their first home. Instead, “start with what you have and then build on from there.” See our blog on Slow Decorating

“Take a simple white bookcase that you might already own and make it into a masterpiece filled with colorful books, decorative art pieces collected from travel, plants, framed postcards, and more.”

6. Making impulse purchases rather than having a plan

The results ranged from a sofa you instantly regret, a chest of drawers that couldn’t fit up the stairwell, and a tiny chair stuck in a corner all by itself.

Take your plan, notes, and photos to a qualified salesperson so your store trips are more productive. And never buy major pieces (bed, couch, dining table, and chairs) without thinking long and hard about whether the scale and style will fit your house.

7. Focusing on pretty rather than practical

Want to replace that dining room ceiling light with that gorgeous fixture from West Elm? Can’t do without that French wallpaper? Just have to have that new duvet cover or throw rug?

Remember, too many pricey cosmetic details can add up – and you need enough money left over for expensive infrastructure repairs – a big problem in the current housing market, since many homes are sold without an inspection contingency.

At the Whit Harvey Group, we pride ourselves on finding the right home for our buyers, and can offer advice as to how to best approach any renovations. We are not just your listing or buying agent; we want to be your realtors for life!

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