Updated: Apr 20
Whether you purchase a new or an older home, you have the biggest challenge ahead.
How to decorate it!
For some people, it's easy because they seem to have a knack for decor.
But for the rest of us, not so much.
Buying an older home gives you an upper hand because you have a bit of character already in the home.
But if you purchased a new build, you have a clean slate, in other words, "no style, no character." You have to add it all!
This can be a challenge if you're not the decorative handy type. Here are 6 ideas to help you add character and style to your cookie-cutter home.
Let's start with the exterior. When I first moved into my home, I would pass it up each time.
It looked like every other home on the block.
But it wasn't until I started to make some subtle changes to the exterior that I began to find my way home. LOL!
I decided to think outside the box with my gutters. Everyone in my neighborhood opted for brown or tan gutters. We decided to install gutters in BLACK!
I found a cool small business to install the gutters. They were done with the entire home in one day.
Although our home was designed to function without gutters, adding gutters gave this home a more refined outline, and choosing black gutters made it stand out among the rest.
Adding gutters can range from about $1500-$6000, depending on the cost of supplies, the coverage, and the company you decide to work with.
We decided to go with Jovel Saravia, based in Southern Louisiana. His company bares his name, and his team's work is impeccable.
They had our gutters up in one day!
Now let's take the party inside.
I wanted our home to feel warm and inviting, just like the patio (check out the story "Patio Upgrade on a Budget"), and again, when you're dealing with a new build, you have a clean slate to work with.
My goal was to add color and unique pieces that welcomed visitors.
I went with this adorable entryway table I found at Home Goods. One thing about Home Goods is you'll find something unique.
I wanted a bench for people to sit on and take their shoes off as they entered, so I decided to recycle some chairs from an old table set.
I made the seat cushions and found these cute little pillows at an awesome price.
Walk in Wows with Pops of Color
So when our home was being built, we were limited on the colors we had to choose from. Immediately, I knew I wanted to create a "walk-in wow color."
I wasn't big on accent walls because I still liked bright, clean walls. So since we had an open floor plan, we decided to paint the island.
This black evergreen by Behr was an excellent pick for our goal. It really complimented the cool, calm "by the sea" vibe I wanted for my home.
We continued with pops of color in other pieces in the living room.
Amazon came through with the looks. I love these super comfortable accent chairs and this navy blue ottoman bench with storage that's both a seating area and a place to store board games.
Now it was time to add some warmth.
Add the Wood Tones
With "agreeable gray" as our wall color, which I love, it was time to add in the wood tones to warm the place up a bit.
Now I don't know if we were breaking the rules or following trends, but we added lots of different tones of wood.
The idea was for them to complement each other without being all matchy.
We decided to pick pieces that just felt right in the atmosphere we were trying to create, a warm and inviting home.
These tiny little changes bought a lot of warmth to the house, making the agreeable gray even more agreeable.
Furniture to seal the deal
My next decor obstacle was finding seating that would complement the space and tie the look together.
I wanted something different but not too far from my theme of "cool, calm, and coastal."
I decided to go with this cute sofa and loveseat I found at Rooms-to-Go. They allowed me to mix and match the colors of the pieces, so I bought the sofa in blue and the loveseat in wheat.
I was pleased with the results. I may change the pillows with some pillowcases when I get bored, but for now, I like the look.
Next, I wanted to warm up the place again with some earthy tones. I ordered these awesome, comfortable chairs from Amazon.
These chairs steal the show every time.
I continued with the earthy tones for the kitchen island when I purchased these barstools from Amazon.
These have to be some of the most comfortable barstools ever. The warm tone really complicates the living room accent chairs without being all matchy.
Last but not least, the small details make it feel like home.
One of the first small details that just worked for my space was this beautiful rug we found at Costco.
I love the details in this rug and the colors are hidden within the thread. Now because the rug was so interesting, I had to bring back an old trend.
Glass coffee table! When I was growing up in the '80s and '90s, this was the thing; believe it or not, it still is. Just a bit more stylish.
I found this coffee table on Amazon.
Most of the time, it's a single coffee table, but on game night with family, we can extend it for more space. This is definitely not your grandma's glass table.
Lastly, all the other little details I randomly threw together because they made me feel all warm inside. I actually found these pieces in Ross, Home Goods, and Marshall's along the way.
All in all, I am pleased with the final look. I express who I am and how I want to feel in my home. All for a price I can be proud of that did not break the bank.
Major Take Away
Decorating a home can feel overwhelming; remember to always work at your pace and your budget.
Avoid trying to buy everything at one time because style and budget mistakes can happen when you're exhausted.
Frugal doesn't mean boring, so "Live Fabulously Frugal" as you make your home your own.