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You have the keys to your new home, boxes are stacked up at your old one and you have already been thinking about ways to personalize your new space – maybe for months while you waited for closing. Now that it is here, where to start?

Paint is always an easy first step and sometimes more easily done before all the furniture is in place. Choosing your colour can be tricky, so if tacking the paint strips on the wall and examining them in different light doesn’t help, try buying sample jars and painting a few feet of wall. Barring that, hire a colour consultant who can step in to help. If you aren’t going neutral, it can sometimes help to choose your favourite fabric or upholstered piece of furniture and pull colour from that. Painting an accent wall is sometimes a good way to introduce the colour you like without overpowering the room.

Next up are the small things. Paintings, wall hangings or mirrors in strategic places and placing things with meaning around you. Maybe you love books or finding a place for your childrens’ artwork. Maybe you have plenty of pretty gifts that never had anywhere to go. The key is to group things in three’s if you can and leave plenty of open space between groups to avoid clutter. A pretty fabric-covered board can host those kids’ drawings. A bedroom can be defined by the linens on the bed. Be bold if colour is your thing, find neat textures if neutral is your palette.

Furniture is a big one, too, but make sure to take the necessary time to find the right pieces. A tight budget is okay – just pick one meaningful item to splurge on and make it the highlight of your space. Maybe it’s a fancy light fixture or a special chair. Everything else can be done on a budget, and remember, Rome was NOT built in a day! Take your time and enjoy the personalization process!