Furnishing Tips for First Time Homeowners

November 15, 2021

Purchasing a new home is exciting for anyone, but as a first-time homeowner, there is more to consider than the house itself. Our in-house designers at Birchwood Homes have complied a list of their tips and tricks on how to personalize your space to make it your own!


It’s always important to start with a budget. Home furnishings can add up pretty quickly, so having a budget laid out will help keep you on track.

We like to start by allocating certain amounts to each room. A rule of thumb is, the bigger the room and the higher the traffic, the more you should allocate to it. In most cases, this room tends to be the living room. The living room not only tends to be the largest room in a home, it also houses the most furniture.

Create a Floorplan

You may choose to shop online or make a trip to see the furniture in-store. Either way, knowing your room dimensions and how the furniture will fit, prior to shopping, will be a huge benefit.

We always start our projects with a blank floor plan. Grab some graph paper and draw out your room dimensions, including in your layout, the windows, doors or entryways. If you are technically savvy, you also have the option of using an online app to do this for you.

Once you have the layout done, you’re free to draw in any furniture pieces you’re planning to use. This layout will be helpful to see how much room you’ll have to move around once you’re furniture is placed in your room and if you need to scale down (or up) any of your pieces.

Establish Your Style

Your home should feel like you so the space around you should reflect your person style. If you’re unsure of what your style is, start by doing some research online. Websites such as Pinterest or Houzz offer a comprehensive range of photos in every style you can imagine. Save (or Pin) any photos that interest you. Once you have a good amount of photos, you may notice that a lot of them will start to look alike. You’ll be able to pinpoint the constants in each photo and use that as a guide when you start styling your home.

One important thing to note is that you don’t have to stick to one style. We normally like to have a main style and then mix elements of other design styles at a lower ratio throughout.

Prioritize Key Pieces

When we are furnishing a home for our clients, it’s important for us to get a feel of how they plan to use their space. Think about how you plan to live and move around in your home. Consider who else is living in your home with you or if you’re planning to entertain regularly. These details will help prioritize what pieces you’ll need to purchase first and what can wait. It is also useful to understand what pieces to focus investing in.

For example, you may be a family with young children who love to have movie nights. This indicates that your focus should be on your main living room seating. If you have the room, and the budget, try opting for a sectional sofa with deeper seats and a high-performance fabric.

Less is More

Be intentional with the items you bring into your home. Not only will this allow for financial freedom, but it will also allow the breathing room needed to unwind at the end of the day.

This isn’t to say that your home should be void of anything you need or love, rather it should only house those things. Too many home décor or furniture pieces can quickly turn into clutter and work against the vision you have for your home. So only choose items that feel good to you and politely say “No, thank you” to anyone offering up old furniture or decor pieces. (Unless of course you actually need or love them!)

And another plus side to having less clutter – cleaning your home will take no time which leaves more time to actually enjoy it!

Take Your Time

There is no rush to get everything done now, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You just moved in! Enjoy the experience and journey of moving into your new home. Like we mentioned above, focus your time and budget on your big furniture items first. Because really, all you need to live and sleep in a home is a bed, a sofa and a table and chairs (or even just stools for your island!)

After a while of living in your home, you’ll know what you need and then you can start filling in the blanks.

We hope these Birchwood Homes design tips were helpful! Of course, the most important tip to remember is that every first-time homebuyer is unique. Some may prefer hiring a designer while others may opt to do it on their own. Either option you choose, remember to have fun and enjoy it. It’s all part of the homeowning journey.