Design, How To

How To | Decorate Your First Place

One common design dilemma that I get asked about a lot is how to make a place reflect your personality, yet still look cohesive and cool. Decorating your first place might seem tough, but there are a few ways to go about this.

1. Embrace the mix and match
Don’t feel limited to one or two styles, as you mentioned above. Instead, go with what you like and try to tie it together in subtle ways, like a corresponding color palette. An eclectic space will look very cool, so don’t be afraid to pair hand-me-downs and antiques with modern pieces for an interesting look. Here are some examples of eclectic style done well:

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To get this look think rustic pieces paired with Lucite, glass or minimalist mod items. Also, vintage frames and artwork picked up at the flea market always look cool when contrasted with sleek, modern items.

2. Do your homework
As easy at is to walk into a store and go crazy, it’s much smarter to research prices on what you need and then strategically purchase. Make sure you check out local papers and find garage sales- that’s where you’ll find the real steals. Insider tip: antique and interior store vendors go to garage sales and estate sales to pick up great items and then mark them up for the public. So hit the garage sales and you’ll walk away with the best prices and most unique items.

3. Start with the essentials
Decorative items are fun to buy but you can’t sit on that cool new painting when you’re watching TV. So buy the absolute essentials first and let the personality pieces come later. Think couch, kitchen table, chairs, bed, etc.

Hope these tips are helpful. And remember- personal style is personal- so go with what you like, prioritize your spending and you’ll be good to go.


Photo Source: Peacock Feathers, Oh Joy!, The City Sage, Sunday in Bed

Ty Pennington

Ty Pennington is best known as the Emmy-award winning host of "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" and as the co-host of ABC Daytime's "The Revolution." He has been recognized as a home design expert, carpenter and leader in the field of volunteerism. is a space to share his inspiration, design tips, daily musings and more. Ty can currently be seen on TLC's Trading Spaces.

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