House & Home

Interior Design for New Homes

By Rosemary Leake

When decorating or making decorating decisions for new homes, it is important to remember that your major decisions could affect decorating choices for a long period of time. For example, choosing bold or unusual color treatments before you have actually had the opportunity to consider how such changes will coordinate with your furniture placement is not advisable. The best advice for planning interior design for a new home is to make mediocre, un-dramatic design choices to begin that you can alter your design at a later date if you choose to do so.

This may seem like unusual advice from an interior designer - but there are good reasons for it. It's easy to get carried away when all you can view are large open spaces without visualizing furniture or other content.

Also, keep in mind that by using very bold or dramatic designer interior colors on the walls you might be restricting your future alternative color choices to those that will cover the bright color, thus eliminating any possibility of using neutral colors without a major restructuring of the wall surfaces.

Wallpaper is another choice you might reconsider when planning the interior design of your new home. Again, removing wallpaper and resurfacing the walls can be a major undertaking. This can be avoided by using other alternatives for creative wall finishing.

Instead of wallpaper, finishing techniques such as faux finishing, sponging, or stenciling will add great texture to your walls. These choices (and many more like them) offer you a variety of substitutes that are equally appealing and much easier to change than more permanent solutions such as wallpaper. If you feel strongly about using wallpaper in any of the rooms, try using a border to achieve the look you're going for instead of covering the entire wall surface.

When painting walls, you will be pleasantly surprised by the overall effects by applying some simple interior design tips and tricks. For example, brighten up small or dark rooms with light wall colors. Add character and direction to larger areas by defining them with contrasting colors and textures. Bold or stark color panels can also provide a defining feature to an area for showcasing wall pieces when you are ready to accessorize.

Once the walls have been treated in your new home, the next item on the agenda is planning the dynamic placement of your hanging accessories such as mirrors, pictures, and art. Do not over-clutter walls. Place items in key locations by establishing focal points or presentation areas that will flatter the rest of your design.

Interior design for new homes can be a tricky process. There is a good possibility that a specific living area in your new home will be slightly larger or smaller than the space in your previous home. This is why it is important you plan the space and theme of each space in your new home. Be sure to measure widths of furniture and doorways before moving day to avoid hassles trying to get the furniture into your new living space. Also, pay close attention to any moving activity that occurs into and around your new home. Careless moving errors can disfigure floors and walls and create flaws in your new house before you have even begun living there.

Placement of furniture in new homes is one of the key aspects of unique interior design. The old philosophy of creating larger spaces (this is seen especially in living areas and recreation rooms) by lining the furniture along the walls still works for some people. But for others, especially in recreational-type rooms, dividing the room into two separate spaces by positioning furniture towards separate focal points will add space and versatility to the area as well as enlarge it.

The most important consideration when designing or planning interior design for new homes is to build an environment that caters to the individuals living there. Creating a space that is accommodating to your family lifestyle is the general principle of new home design.

Rosemary Leake is an Independent Consultant with Southern Living at Home. Inspired by Southern Living magazine, our exclusive home décor line brings warmth and style to every room of your home! Visit Rosemary's Interior Design website for more articles and resources: