Find furnishings for new spaces
It’s time to add some furniture for the new home to your wish list.
Remembering that furniture can take up to six months for manufacturing and delivery, start as early as possible, even if you can’t get into the under-construction home.
Start by gathering the width and height of each doorway into the home. Also learn the width of any exterior gates and the heights of all hallways, especially just inside entryways and just outside large rooms, such as the owner’s suite, that will have large furniture.
This knowledge will help you decide which door to enter with larger pieces.
Next, make note of doorway widths within the home and how much space you can gain by temporarily removing any doors from their hinges during the move-in process.
For interior living spaces, builders will provide room dimensions. As accurately as possible, learn the distances from windowsills to floors in each room. Just as important, gather measurements between any windows and doors — including closet doors — in each room.
Fortunately, new-home plans are so flexibly designed that furniture arrangement doesn’t need to feel like a game of Tetris.
Analyze the existing furniture
The next step is to survey your current furnishings with a critical eye and a measuring tape.
Determining the best furniture combinations and arrangement likely will involve breaking up with some older furnishings. And that’s OK.
That oh-so-comfortable sectional sofa that had to be assembled in your current family room because it was too big to fit in the doorway? Make sure it will not be too bulky for its new space.
And what about that entertainment unit that used to hold all your components? If you’re honest, you haven’t needed it for 10 to 20 years on account of smaller electronics and streaming media content.
Determine which pieces are practical enough to consider moving them into the new home. Are they good enough quality, clean enough and stylish enough for how you want the new home to feel? Analyze the cost and time to reupholster existing, high-quality sofas and chairs versus donating them to purchase new ones.
Tape out each configuration
The builder’s design center professionals will have even more detail on each home plan’s dimensions. Take advantage of their virtual design programs to tape out possible configurations of the pieces of furniture you already own.
Note any large gaps or spaces that would be too tight using your existing furniture. Unless your family plays hide-and-seek several times a day, avoid creating mazes of furniture in the home’s smaller spaces.
Likewise, understand the relative height of each room so that smaller pieces of furniture don’t make the space feel cavernous or like it’s furnished with dollhouse decor.
Whether taping out furniture arrangements digitally or with actual tape, take time with this process. In doing so, you may discover less-obvious furniture orientations as well as where there is extra space and where you might be trying to squeeze in some items too tightly.
Lifestyle and flow
Ease of physical movement, airflow and the natural flow of light share equal importance in room setup. Factor in the positions of windows and sliding glass doors when positioning furniture in each space.
If areas of the house have abundant windows at the ideal height from the floor — or wall-height windows — consider low-backed chairs, console tables or even plant stands near them.
For each room and the spaces between rooms, anticipate the way your household lives and moves.
Smaller, movable seating such as comfortable chairs and love seats can allow flexibility: These can be spread out across a couple of rooms or hallways during normal family use and easily moved into larger spaces for added comfortable seating when entertaining.
Will stools from the kitchen island be used for more than breakfast or your afternoon tea break? Consider choosing some with low seat backs that are more comfortable than open stools.
Finally, although furniture will make the new home feel ready for your future with it, there’s no need to rush the shopping if you’d rather wait until you see how you live in the home. This is especially true if the new-home purchase marks a change in life status or family status or stage in life.
The best furniture will be as high quality as the showcase home where it will live.