Whether this your first time moving into your new place right of college, or you are on your hundredth move, there are a few things every person needs to know about decorating a new place.

Blank Slate: You may have toured a model home or apartment in your search and been presented with the potential of your new place but remember; it is going to be your place. Do not let the model taint the image in your head. A new apartment or home is your chance to rework your decorating style. Maybe you have always decorated in a retro-classic style but would love to ditch that and go contemporary, do it now. Moving is an excuse to get rid of everything you do not like in your house. This is the time to throw out that entertainment center you have been dragging around for over a decade.

Moderation: This may be your new place to do whatever you want with, but for the sake of everybody’s sanity please take it easy. I like the “Asian style” of decoration but I would hold back on covering my walls with nothing but silkscreen paintings for a while. The best way to decorate anything from a room to a house is to have a single idea that the room is supposed to convey, and have articles that hearken back to them. For example, if you want a Hawaiian theme you could have a large painting or poster of the beach and then have bamboo planted in the next room over, and maybe a Tiki hiding out in a bathroom.

Simplicity: Simple patters and simple shapes. A busy, complex pattern of colors really does not make a place look nicer, all it does is distract the eyes and it can even make a small room appear small. I prefer to keep my shapes simple as well as the colors. This is because if there is one thing that I hate doing it is cleaning. If I can cut a few moments out my cleaning schedule by dusting a flat surface instead of a complicated one I will be one happy man.

Functionality: This one is easy, keep the space simple, and keep it functional and it will seem like it is decorated perfectly. And once a room has a dedicated function (say, a living room) do not give it an identity crisis by putting something there that does not belong.