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The inevitable questions when buying a crisp, clean and larger new home is, “How are we going to furnish this place?” or “How are all the old furnishings and decor going to look in this beautiful new house?”

Historically low interest rates are making homeownership a possibility for a greater number of people who have been renting apartments and smaller homes. And builders are seeing increased interest from longtime renters in their contemporary floor plans that are built for today.

Take your timeIt’s wise to ignore the instinct to create an entirely new environment upon move in. Waiting will save you money and the frustration of making quick decisions about the look of your new home.

Avoid the urge to purge just for the sake of going all-new. You still need to sleep on beds, sit on chairs, work on flat surfaces and eat somewhere besides the floor.

Another temptation is wanting to emulate the builder’s model homes. But remember that, while models are designed to help any buyer imagine themselves in a home, each household’s needs are unique. Don’t let that awestruck feeling you get in a model home convince you that those styles will meet your family’s requirements.

Remember, you’re buying the house, not the decor. You have forever in the house to figure out what works for you right now and for years to come.

Enjoy open space

More space doesn’t necessitate more stuff. You likely have functioned well enough over time with furnishings that are either old, worn out or not the quality or styles you prefer.

Use the time while your new home is being built to research and determine what pieces are must-haves before moving in. Then stick to purchasing only those necessities when you can.

For instance, if the kitchen counter or peninsula and stools in your current home serve as the primary dining surface, then a worthwhile expense of time and money may be in researching quality tables and chairs.

Look for pieces made of solid, natural materials, like hardwood, metals and/or a mix of textures. Keep it simple so that one day you can move the table and chairs to other rooms in the house if needed.

Even consider consignment shopping and taking on a project before move in. Repainting or refinishing a dining table and chairs can create a sense of newness without the expense of new or custom furniture.

Meanwhile, does the new home’s beautiful great room really require a brand-new sofa, loveseat, coffee table and end tables at move in? The answer is to take some time to figure out how you are using the space and then select what you need.

In today’s world, it’s only going to be you and your immediate household members around the new home for several more months. The old, comfortable napping sofa can be a great place to snuggle up while browsing online for pieces to outfit your new space.

More stuff means more cleaning

Raise your hand if you love dusting? That’s right. The more stuff you have, the more cleaning you’ll have to do. That is why a slow, careful process ensures your best environment.

Unfilled walls and corners are hot commodities in today’s homes, given video conferences, online classrooms and the need for ad-hoc workspaces.

Think permanence

Both money and time are valuable. There may be delays with brand-new furniture, but that can give you the opportunity to test out room uses and layouts.

Put your time and money into the more permanent parts of your home. Ask builders about the options available to you.

Built-in cabinetry with desk and drawers — in any part of the home — can eliminate the need for some furniture while adding lifestyle value from the start.

Remember, more space doesn’t automatically mean more stuff. And physically open space has a magical way of opening up creativity and clear thinking.

The basic furnishings you already have should allow your household to function for the first several months in the new house.

Let there be light

Speaking of clarity, ask your builder about options for additional windows or custom lighting.

The more light you allow into your space, the more you may realize how little you need to fill it.

 

 

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By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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