New Home, Fresh Style

By Lauren Sherrow

Breathe life into your home with a fresh new style designed just for you

A new home offers an exciting opportunity to revamp and update your interior style. But where should you start?

1. Decide what stays

Part of the fun (and stress) of moving is going through your belongings. But deciding what to keep and what to get rid of is subjective, and creating a unified style is easier said than done.

“I like to think about what is important,” says Traci Busenbark Best, owner of Busenbark Flooring. “Maybe there is a particular piece of furniture or family heirloom that was passed down to you that you want to focus on.”

Best suggests taking a walk-through of the house to consider your lifestyle and what truly holds value to you. From there, the theme of the space can be determined not only based on what is important to you but also what is important to your lifestyle.

2. Form vs. function

Best says she’s noticed many clients’ personal styles shifting to a more practical approach geared toward individual lifestyle and comfort as opposed to following traditions. Lifestyle plays an important role in your home’s style. Maybe you could turn that extra space in the living room into a small arcade or that guest room into a serenity room for meditation. The rooms in your house can be used in unconventional ways, balancing function and design in a way that is exclusive to you.

“I had a customer that put a pool table in their dining room area,” Best says.



3. Embrace trends, but rely on staying power

Although pinpointing your new style is fun, it can be terrifying to think you might be investing in pieces that will look outdated again in a few short years. What styles are timeless? And how can you keep your home looking fresh and updated from year to year?

With the help of strategic thinking, you can create a style with incredible staying power. Simple contemporary and cozy transitional styles are always on trend and will last a lot longer than hyper-specific patterns or colors will. If there is a particular trend you want to integrate into your style, include it in low-commitment ways, such as accent pieces. Also, consider the quality of your purchases. Most buyers use larger furniture pieces for 10 to 15 years, so investing in quality pieces can be worth it. Spending more money now means less repurchasing later.

4. Follow the five-year rule

“I like to suggest the five-year rule when it comes to deciding on a style for your new home,”says Wes Wise, a sales expert with DKB Showrooms. If you plan to stay in your home for less than five years, create a style that leans trendier and will help sell your home when you move. If you plan to stay in your new home for more than five years, however, keep the style more personal, and do things for yourself.

5. Ask the experts

Once you’ve found the style you want to incorporate, the hands-on work begins. In this stage, it’s important to go to the right places for expert help. And keep in mind that big-box retailers aren’t the only places to shop. Local specialty stores not only offer great resources and materials for those looking to remodel, but you’ll also find people trained in specific categories, which means customer service is even better.

6. Not everything is DIY

Depending on the complexity of your project, consider beginning with a contractor and utilizing his or her knowledge to make decisions on where to start. Although the decision is ultimately up to you, a contractor will know the best order to remodel a home and the most efficient way to go about doing it.