You just got the keys to your new home. The euphoria of being a homeowner is almost overwhelming. You’ve alerted the movers to get a move on. Meanwhile, you walk into your empty home and start visualizing your new life there. You may have decorating ideas, but all of us at McGuinn Hybrid Homes know that those can change pretty quickly once reality jumps in. Check out these decorating tips to make your first home your own and still stay on a budget.Unpack with care.Maybe you purged your possessions before you packed up and moved here. Maybe you were so excited about the new space that you brought it all along. Either way, work slowly as you unpack. Think through the way you want your home to look. It’s not just about moving all your things from one location to the next. Your home is very personal and you’ve just bought yourself a fresh start. Make it count!Hold that thought!You’ll be tempted to jump right into decorating your new home, your way. But wait just a bit. Before you commit to painting the interior or changing anything significant, live in your home awhile. Get the feeling and the flow. Learn how you “fit” here. What worked in your apartment or previous home might not blend in with your new life.Make a plan.Decide on the details you want in your home. What theme matches your taste—modern farmhouse, country cottage, coastal, contemporary, eclectic, vintage, minimalist, maximalist, or something else? Really take the time to think it through. Build a color palette that will flow throughout your home and reflects your chosen decor. Determine the flow of each room so you can avoid moving your furniture around too much. As you work from room to room, make notes about what you need to do—like getting pillows and accessories in a certain color scheme, changing the wall decor, picking out paint swatches, or replacing a piece of furniture. Create an idea book, if you haven’t already. Look for photos that inspire you—from an entire room you admire to a single accent, like a lamp, vase, or area rug. Keep adding to your idea book, with paint samples and fabric swatches. Keep your idea book with you, in the event you come across something tempting to add.Establish a decorating budget.It’s easy to go overboard when decorating a new home. Little things add up, like the cooking utensils you want all in a specific color and the various items needed for bathroom decor. It’s also easy to make design mistakes—like an area rug or coffee table that’s too small or large. You might experience love at first sight with a sofa, only to find out it really doesn’t work in your living room. Look at your new household budget as a homeowner. Calculate the amount you can spend on your decorating needs. Determine your priorities. Focus on one room at a time so you experience the gratification of completing one.Shop creatively.Now that you have a plan, a budget, and your priorities in place, start shopping. Stretch your budget by browsing in thrift shops and at flea markets. Look at Craigslist, letgo, and Facebook yard sale groups to find second-hand treasures locally. As you’re visiting thrift shops, let them know what you’re looking for and ask them to contact you when something new comes in.Etsy has one-of-a-kind creations from artisans and craftspeople around the world, often very cost-effective, too! You’ll also be supporting independent businesspeople.Choose one or two DIY projects that are within your skill set, like repainting a piece of furniture. Avoid any projects where you have to purchase too many tools and supplies. You can turn everyday objects into decor. A Monopoly board can become a playful shelf with just a couple of brackets. Your favorite t-shirt or slightly damaged sweater will make a snuggly pillow. A basket can be mounted on a wall, with the opening facing outward, to store hand towels in your bathroom. Display your favorite books as wall art. Surround yourself with whatever brings you happiness. This is your home. Dwell in your joy!McGuinn Hybrid Homes builds communities of new construction townhomes and single-family homes in the Columbia, SC area. Our affordable prices are ideal for the first-time homebuyer. Take a look at our move-in ready homes. Then, let’s talk about finding your first home with us.