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    10 Decorating Hacks for Your New Home


    The boxes are delivered and mostly unpacked.

    Kitchens, bathrooms, and beds are all operational.

    Now it’s time for the fun stuff. Turning your newest house into a home will be a couple of weeks' long task to be sure, but using these PCS tested, tried and true hacks might just give you the motivation to see the home decorating through and inspire future projects. 

    1. Before arriving to your new home, get online and research as much as possible the space you are about to take over. Military Town Advisor and base specific Facebook pages are filled with comments and descriptions of base housing. The same is true for neighborhoods that were built at the same time, if living off base. If you don’t see the information you need, just ask! Someone out there will be glad to fill you in on the color of your pending laminate floors or the orientation of a dining room.  

    2. Take time to calculate and prepare with multiple cheat sheets filled with measurements for items that need to be purchased or addressed. Measure the windows, couch sizes, and space for rugs in addition to any other numbers you might need to remember, like paint gallon quantities.

    3. Use pictures of the rooms in your home to jog your memory about details you may have forgotten. This is especially helpful while hunting for curtains because it’s easy to forget how the existing molding or trim frames the windows.  

    4. Photos of your existing curtains will remind you how they are hung. You many need pressure or pocket rods, clips, or hooks. It also helps to have the pictures on hand to color match other items in the room.

    5. The beauty of a slipcovered couch (in addition to washing machine cleaning) is the option to switch covers with the season or paint shades in a new room. Familiarize yourself with the name of your slipcovered furniture and measurements to scour garage and online sales for your style in various fabrics and patterns for an easy swap, as the whim strikes.

    6. Family photos are a good chunk of what makes a home personal. But all of the measuring, hammering, and hole making intimidate renters and homeowners. There are many online tutorials to easily hang a picture without a mess, but Decoist gives several options plus ideas for assembling photo collections.

    7. As time consuming as it can be, paint is going to give a new home the most bang for your buck. It’s really best to come in and tackle the projects as soon as possible for longevity’s sake. One way to cut the time short is to trust the color experts and shop for paint like you would for clothes. Some people look at a mannequin and, poof!, there’s a complete outfit, ready to buy, no decisions to be made. You like it; you buy it.

    Color specialists do the same thing and assemble color stories that work together. Ceiling, wall, and trim colors are collected and packaged in fun little categories for easy browsing. There is one caveat to one-stop paint shopping. Buyers must at least bring home the paint chips/strips to see how they change in light of the house throughout the day. Small tester sizes of paint are even better.

    8. A fun way to use those extra paint samples or if you come across an amazing color in the “oops” section of a home store is to paint somewhere unexpected. Inside cabinet doors, closet shelving and small pieces of furniture all add notch of charm with an eye-catching color that otherwise would be overwhelming used on four walls.

    9. Sometimes it’s necessary for a wall space to maintain neutral paint. This makes a great background to hang any type of collection you may enjoy. Fabric, baskets, and pottery all make interesting focal points while adding much needed texture to a room.

    10. The cheapest way to get a new look in a room is to re-purpose existing furniture. Each house has its own quirks, angles, and natural spaces to place furniture. Re-imagining items in non-traditional situations might just be the perfect fit. For example, an armoire that worked in the bedroom of your previous home may now look amazing in your foyer, or a tall and wide dresser might work perfectly for a TV stand in a family room. 

    Whether renting, buying, or living on base, these hacks are going to save money and time. Tailor each tip for your next move-in and watch how quickly you’ll feel at home. MilitaryByOwner has a collection of home decorating ideas that offer practical advice which will spark new ideas and creative projects for any house.

    Home Decorating Toolkit for Military Families

    Dawn M. Smith


    Dawn M. Smith

    Dawn is a real estate and military life writer who has a serious HGTV habit. When she is not writing, her teen daughter, Army husband, and golden retriever keep her busy through chauffeur duties, travel planning, and long dog walks. Dawn is pleased to share her experiences with MilitaryByOwner readers who are hoping to simplify military family journeys of all kinds. Follow Dawn on Pinterest for more ideas and resources and visit her site at Dawn M. Smith Custom Content Creation.

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