So you’re taking advantage of the real estate market’s demise and you’ve just purchased a new home. One of the first things you’re probably thinking about is what style you want to create for the interior.
My first suggestion is if you liked the style of the home, stick with that same style on the inside. It always feels a little strange to me when someone buys a colonial house and furnishes it with contemporary, minimalistic pieces. It just comes off as a big disconnect. Likewise, if you buy a contemporary home, keep the pieces clean and avoid all the clutter and embellishments.
When you’re designing a home, you’re creating a package. The exterior should give the visitor a glimpse of what to expect and the interior should finish the job. I’ve seen some of the oddest combinations over the years and often, the only way to remedy the situation is to start over on the interior or find a new house that will more appropriately reflect your interior style.
Granted, most people have some possessions that they want to incorporate into their home from their previous home. This can be done if you understand that some items will need to be repurposed, separated from their original location and possibly undergo refinishing or reupholstering. If you find yourself in this category, I’d strongly suggest you seek the assistance of an interior designer to give you an objective opinion.
Every style offers a few variations so don’t feel you have to make it a “theme” house. A casual bungalow, for example could easily be transformed into either a coastal cottage home or embrace a mission style. A common misconception is to over-decorate a simple home, thereby dismissing the original architecture and displaying an obsessive vulgarity or overruling ambition, as Frank Lloyd Wright would call “grandomania.”
In the same thought, an elegant luxury home also needs to continue the thought. Buying an impressive home only makes sense if you have the means and intent to complete the picture. A good rule of thumb that I use is to budget about 25% of the home to complete the interior. Nothing feels more awkward than enjoying a million dollar view from a $400 sofa. Not to sound like a snob, but come on.
The same hold true for your color scheme. The outside and inside colors need to complement each other and appear to be part of the plan…including the fabrics on the patio. And while those painted Adirondack chairs look great on the porch of your beach house, they will look like a flea market find on the patio of your golf course estate home. It’s like wearing a sweatshirt to a wedding.
The bottom line is to be true to your style. Find a home that represents the style you want to create and live in and then complete the interior as part of the same design thought. When you are done, you will have created an oasis, a place that represents who you really are and one that makes you comfortable.