Buying your first home is one of the most exciting and overwhelming experiences you will have. Although it can be stressful and expensive, let this be your go-to guide for decorating your new space!


Nothing can transform any home’s exterior or interior like paint. A fresh coat of paint is not only cost-effective, but can personalize any room in a short time. Whether you have a purchased a resale or a new home, the power of paint is nothing short of amazing.

Lighting, plumbing and hardware

Often, the lighting already installed in your home is too small or not your style. Swapping out a chandelier or bathroom vanity lights is an easy, cost-effective way to give you a fresh look while making a statement. Updating faucets and cabinet hardware throughout will give your home a more custom look without breaking the bank.


Investing in a few quality pieces that will stand the test of time is important, especially when it comes to upholstery. Splurge on the sofa and the fabric. Measure your space (or even tape it off), so you know the size and scale of furniture you need. Although you may love the idea of a sectional, don’t try squeezing it into a living room that is really designed for a sofa and two club chairs. Spend less on occasional tables and accessories to allow more wiggle room in your budget for upholstery.


Even though the excitement may overrule your patience, I recommend moving in, living in the space for a few weeks and then determining your best plan of action. Don’t rush to buy all of your furniture at once. Be selective. Mix styles and textures. Most importantly, make it your own!

As an Interior Designer and Owner of j. gray design & interiors, Inc., Tracy Harkness creates spaces that are chic, timeless, and comfortable. Every space should be functional and livable with attention to detail. Connect with her at

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