We've definitely been guilty of this one.
Whether it’s your very first house or that long-awaited forever home, closing on a house and picking up the keys to your new place is an exciting moment unlike anything else. All that time you’ve spent looking at videos and photos and imagining how you’d decorate each room has come to an end. You can finally get to work making this house your home.
And while that eagerness to have your home look finished as soon as possible after moving in can be tempting, it can actually lead to making decorating mistakes you could regret down the road.
Unless you’re moving from one 2-bed, 2-bath home to another, it’s unlikely you’re going to have enough furniture and decor to completely fill out your new space on moving day. And though we may all dream of finding a turnkey home to purchase, there are likely some structural or cosmetic improvements you’d also like to take on—whether it’s restaining the hardwood floors, getting rid of the retro pink tiles in the guest bath, or covering up the outdated wallpaper in the kitchen.
After adding up all the changes and purchases on your wish list for your new home, though, you’ll quickly realize big-impact changes can come with big price tags. And even if you have the necessary finances to immediately renovate your home (if you do, more power to you!), we’d argue there are several good reasons to tap the brakes on the episode of Extreme Makeover: Your New Home Edition you might find yourself suddenly starring in.
Unless this is a rental property you need to turn around for impending beach season, there’s really no reason to rush making design and shopping decisions for your new home. Friends and family certainly won’t be expecting an impeccable space when they come to your housewarming a month after you’ve moved in. And in the long run, your home—and your wallet—will seriously benefit from you taking your time.
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Don’t buy the first dresser you have lukewarm feelings toward because your guest bedroom is lacking one. Wait until you find one you love, and one you can afford once you’re not recovering from closing costs and moving expenses. Our favorite homes—and often the most desirable spaces we see—include a mix-and-matched collection of found pieces. And building that collection takes time.
There are certainly exceptions to this (and every) design rule. If your new home came with an awesome laundry room, but no machines, yes, by all means, make that one of your priority purchases. And if you’re dying to restain the floors before any furniture (or humans) move in—that’s also a smart project to prioritize.
But for those pieces and projects that are on your Want list but not necessarily Need, we think it’s wise to hold off on making lots of decisions right when you move in. You never know—three months into living in your new place, the glass-front kitchen cabinets you thought you hated might actually grow on you. Or, you’ll realize your dining room doesn’t actually have room for the large hutch you were envisioning.
Many designers will tell you interior decorating is a never-ending process. There’s no reason to rush into expensive projects and shopping sprees you may not be 100 percent happy with down the road. Enjoy the journey.