How to Decorate Your New House Like a Pro

professional decorating tips

Guest Contributor: Lee K. Crowder | Design Gallery and Model Home Branding Manager, Darling Homes and Taylor Morrison


Your new Taylor Morrison home should reflect the people who live there. Showcase your personalities. Echo the core elements of how you live your life.

After spending considerable time touring models and finding the right floor plan – it only makes sense to decorate your house in a way that aligns with your lifestyle. To create beautiful spaces that function well within the context of your average day.

As you read through this guide, keep this golden rule in mind. Seek inspiration from outside sources but always consider what is happening in your home on a daily basis.

  • Love that white sofa? Great! Your toddler will love to spill chocolate ice cream on the upholstery.
  • Always dreamed of smooth wood floors? Hmm…did your vision include scratch marks from the two Labradors you share your home with?

Decorate for the life you live and not just the life you’d like to portray.

Furniture Shopping by the Numbers

In carpentry there’s an old adage that goes, “Measure twice. Cut once.” The same can be said about furniture shopping! Space planning is vital.

Never purchase new furniture without 100% certainty it will fit comfortably where you plan to put it. Note dimensions when shopping online and always carry a tape measure when browsing showrooms in person. Then, use one of the following methods to see how the room fits together and feels in real life.

  • Ask your furniture dealer if they have an in-store space planning tool.
  • Download an App or use desktop software like Taylor Morrison’s Floor Plan Options Tool to explore furniture layout possibilities.
  • Use the classic blue-tape method (my favorite). With dimensions in hand, physically mark out where your furniture will live on the floor of each room. This allows you to walk around the space and know for sure if you’ve chosen wisely.

Speaking of measuring before and not after – most homeowners discount size when shopping for lighting. Double-check that a fixture will fit before you click the buy button.

Divide and Conquer

Whether you’re buying a new build townhome in Atlanta or a luxury waterfront house in Newport Beach, the thought of decorating an entire home from scratch can be overwhelming. Follow this simple process and you’ll be on your way towards beating home décor anxiety!

  1. Separate the project into small chunks. Create an Instagram folder or PowerPoint presentation for each room that you plan to decorate.
  2. Rank the rooms in priority. Start with the space your family uses the most and then work down the list.
  3. As you’re planning high priority rooms you’re likely to run across ideas you like for other spaces. Throw those photos into the designated file for later use while focusing on the task at hand.
  4. Give yourself time. You’ll make better decisions when relaxed and not in a rush. It’s not uncommon for it to take a full year to finish decorating your new home.

How to Optimize Your Design Studio Visit

Adding your signature touches is one of the most exciting aspects of opting to purchase a to-be-built home. But arriving to your Design Studio visit unprepared adds unwanted stress to a process that should be fun!

Here are a few tips to help you piece together the new home of your dreams:

  • Do your homework: Don’t wait until your visit to the design gallery to discuss hard decisions with your partner. Talk about how you’d like your new home to look ahead of time to ensure that your ideal styles are aligned.
  • Set a budget: You don’t need a detailed chart specifying how much you can spend on each item, but do calculate a firm figure for the maximum you can afford.
  • Rank upgrades: Delegate your most important upgrades. Maybe you’re 100% set on wood floors or a fancier appliance package. Mark the items you want most as “safe,” so they aren’t nickel and dimed away in favor of less important options.
  • Don’t be shy: Remember that Taylor Morrison designers are there to help. If you don’t like what they’re showing you, say so! You won’t hurt their feelings. Communication is key.
  • Stay focused: Buyers are encouraged to be the sole decision makers present when visiting the Design Studio. Put your phone on mute and close your Facebook App. You’ll be designing the largest investment in your life, come prepared to focus on the task at hand.

Many divisions offer special access to the Design Studio outside of your appointment time. Ask your Taylor Morrison new home matchmaker about Design Studio preview nights or online portals where you can view products and pricing for upgrades & options.

Hiring an Interior Designer

Buyers are more than welcome to bring their own interior designer along to the Design Studio. Do your due diligence when searching a professional to hire.

Only contract a designer with a degree in Interior Design and confirm that they are licensed in the state you live in or at least accredited through a professional organization. Choosing someone who just is “really good at design” can get you into trouble when it comes to the details. You need money to be spent wisely and items ordered at the proper specifications.

It is vital that your designer knows your exact budget and is instructed to stick to it. Often designers accompany buyers to the Design Studio and select items that are way over their budget. This is a situation you want to avoid.

Choose a designer based off examples of their past work. While a talented designer can go in many different directions, it’s a smart idea to hire someone who has created spaces similar to the design aesthetic you are hoping to achieve.

Where to Seek Inspiration

Finding inspiration online is as simple as logging into Instagram. Follow Taylor Morrison and follow famous designers, design magazines, bloggers and wallpaper/fabric/tile/paint companies, too.

Take the time to tour a variety of model homes at Taylor Morrison communities in your area. Ask sales staff where you’ll find the newest models to see the latest and greatest from the design gallery in action.

For furniture, try to find places where furnishings are displayed in situ and not on a showroom floor. Think boutique hotels and trendy new restaurants. Break out your smartphone and start snapping photos of ideas you love.

Tips for Staying on Budget

It’s difficult to know when to splurge and when to hunt for a bargain. Here’s a simple guide to help you make smart choices without breaking the bank:

  • Invest in upholstery. The cheap stuff looks OK when it’s new but cushions sag quickly. Only sturdy construction will still look great six months from now. Quality upholstery will last for years and years.
  • You spend 1/3 of your life on your mattress. Buy a good one. Same goes for the master bed. Allocate money for the most important piece of furniture in the house and opt for inexpensive nightstands if you have to.
  • Dining chairs and barstools for the kitchen island are some of the most heavily used seats in the house. Buy quality pieces so they don’t loosen and wobble over time.
    Accessories are the best place to save money. Look for bargains on your drapes, bedding, mirrors, occasional table pieces and pillows.

Don’t be Afraid to Break the Mold

Do not be fooled into thinking everything needs to match. There’s nothing wrong with piecing your furniture together one item at a time.

For great deals, check out Amazon! Especially for outdoor furniture.

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