How to decorate your home from scratch

Decorating a new home is fun – but for most of us, starting from scratch is also overwhelming. To help you relax and enjoy the decorating process, we’ve created this simple guide to help you turn a blank slate into your dream home.


Take a step back from planning the details and allow yourself to imagine what your dream home will look like. Create a vision board on Pinterest and collect images that catch your eye. Now isn’t the time to think about the budget or whether it will all fit – just spend some time working out what styles and features you like.


As you collect images, you’ll notice themes will start to emerge. You’ll soon get a good idea of the decorating style you’re most drawn to. With this knowledge in mind, you can begin to make decisions about what will suit your new home.

To help you figure out your preferences, here are some common decorating styles:

  • Modern

This style usually means clean lines, an uncluttered look and a simple colour palette. Think minimal accessories and sleek-looking furniture, often made from metal, glass and leather.

  • Rustic

Inspired by nature, a rustic look embraces imperfection, from chipped furniture to worn edges. It often includes unfinished wood, stone and loosely-woven textiles.

  • Traditional

Think plush furnishings and dark, finished wood. This style draws on traditional European tastes and makes use of elaborate details, rich textures and opulent fabrics.

  • Industrial

With a raw, unfinished look, this style is inspired by urban lofts and warehouses. Common elements include old timber, functional furniture and exposed brickwork.

  • Bohemian

This carefree, eclectic style embraces freedom. Forget the rules and mix items you love, whether it’s vintage finds, flea-market furniture, patterned floor pillows or a mid-century chair. 


For a cohesive look, select a colour palette to work with throughout your home. It’s a good idea to start with neutral tones such as white, cream or beige, because these stand the test of time. Then add one or two accent colours in small dose –, such as with a feature wall, or accessories like flower arrangements and cushions. For your chosen accent colour to make an impact, you should include it at least three times in a room.


You might already own furniture and accessories that suit your dream home. There could also be pieces that aren’t typical for your chosen style but that you’d like to display anyway, such as treasured art or a family heirloom.

So consider the items you already have before purchasing anything new. If there are pieces you own that don’t work in your new home and you’re not attached to them, consider selling or donating them so they don’t detract from the look you’re wanting to create.


Make sure your furniture and decor suits your lifestyle. Start by writing a list of the activities you spend a lot of time doing and ask yourself what furniture you might need. If you entertain regularly, you might need more seating. If you love playing board games, make sure there’s a place you can do so comfortably. If you work from home, you might need to use a bedroom as an office or create a study nook.

This is also a time to get clear on your budget if you’re not already. You can still achieve the look you want with a limited budget – such as by searching thrift stores and combining cheaper items with statement pieces or beloved objects you already own to create a unique look. Invest in key items that will last for many years, such as a neutral sofa, and spend less on items that are easy to replace down the track, such as accessories.


Next, make a floorplan for each room. It might sound tedious, but it will save you a lot of time and stress in the long run. You can use good old-fashioned pen and paper, or search for floor planners online to find plenty of options.

Make sure your plan is drawn to scale, because you want to get a good idea of what furniture will work for your space and avoid purchasing anything that doesn’t work for your home’s layout. Measuring is essential, because furniture will seem smaller in a spacious store than it will once it’s in your home.


As you find space for furniture on your floor plan, start with the biggest items in each room first, such as beds, tables and sofas. Once these pieces have a place, it will be easier to fit smaller items around them, such as potted plants and side tables.

It’s also a good time to consider where you’ll put your most eye-catching pieces, such as a brightly-coloured armchair or a large piece of art. Use them to create a focal point and add interest to each room.


For a comfortable and luxurious-looking home, use accessories to create layers in each room.  Add rugs, artwork, vases, coffee table books, cushions and storage such as baskets, trays or containers. Choosing a mix of textures – such as woven cushions or a faux fur throw – adds interest and prevents your decor from looking flat.

Purchasing accessories after you’ve decided on your main furniture helps avoid buying things you don’t need. And although you’ll want to do some initial decorating to make your new home comfortable, accessories are often more decorative than functional – so you can afford to take your time rather than buying everything at once. Purchasing new items gradually often creates a more organic and lived-in look, rather than appearing over-styled.


With your floorplan at hand, arrange your furniture accordingly. Having a plan means you’ll avoid dragging heavy items back and forth into different positions to see where they fit. However, you might find you need to make some adjustments to your plan once you see it come to life.

Once the main items are in place, add your accessories. It can help to go back to the vision board you created at the start, to get ideas of how to arrange the items you have. As you decorate, you might get ideas of new items you’d like to purchase, so keep a notepad handy to jot down your thoughts.

At Toro Homes, we strive to make building your new home as easy as possible. Our expert team will guide you through each step of the planning process, from colour selection to choosing the right finishes. Get in touch today to take the first step towards your perfect home.


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