How to Decorate Your Home Like a Model Home

Hopewell floor plan kitchen

Have you ever toured a model home and thought, how do they make it look so welcoming and put together? The purpose of a model is to help every house hunter who walks through the door envision their life there, which is why so much thought is put into designing these homes. The professional designers who curate model homes blend basic design principles, timeless style and functionality as they coordinate a home that can be universally appealing.

Curious about incorporating some of those same ideas into your own home décor? We spoke to our in-house design team and compiled a few of their top tips for how to decorate your home like a model home!


Because they don’t have occupants, model homes are usually clutter-free. While a lived-in house will naturally have more things inside, there are simple and practical ways to keep your surfaces clear and your belongings (mostly) out of sight. Before decluttering, it’s important to first sort through what you own and decide if there is anything you no longer want or need—these items can possibly be sold, tossed or donated. From there, you’ll have a less overwhelming amount of belongings to organize.

Bins, baskets, hangers and racks are great storage solutions, but your home may also have some built-in features that’ll make decluttering easier! For instance, some of the homes that we build offer walk-in pantries, spacious closets, mudrooms, linen closets, tech centers and more, all of which are useful for staying organized. Take a look at our Pinterest board for more handy decluttering tips.

Work from a theme

Inviting great room and dining room with new traditional décor

A key component when it comes to how to decorate your home like a model home is establishing a theme. If you’re wondering why most models look so well-coordinated, it’s likely because the designers were working from a unified concept. Décor themes can be fairly open-ended, but often they incorporate a particular design style or color palette.

According to our in-house designers, new traditional is a trending décor style you may want to consider for your home. When decorating Richmond American models, our team tends to focus more on timeless elements rather than popular trends, but this particular theme offers a seamless blend of traditional and modern aesthetics that can suit many different tastes. Think classic furniture pieces paired with more contemporary accents.

Get creative with art and accessories

Decorative mirror and cabinets in the hallway outside a study

In a model home, you might notice artwork, pillows, sculptures, faux plants, centerpieces, etc. These accessories were carefully selected to help create balance and interest in a room. When it comes to incorporating accessories and art into your home, our design team suggests a few key principles to keep in mind: don’t overdo it, be thoughtful about layering and utilize different shapes and heights.

Accessories can come in all different materials, such as wood, marble, metal, ceramic or fabric, and it’s recommended to mix and match these materials for some variety throughout your house. For example, you can add florals (real or faux) to a ceramic vase or use books, a marble accessory and a wood tray to create an interesting center piece on your coffee table. Your accessories can also be functional! Attractive storage bins serve both decorative and organizational purposes.

Illuminate your space

Elegant light fixtures in a kitchen and dining nook

Proper lighting can make all the difference in a model, just as it can make a big impact in your own home! It’s important to include ample and quality lighting throughout your house, both for aesthetic and practical purposes. This can include coordinating your fixtures, updating light bulbs and using additional lighting like lamps and under-cabinet lighting to help brighten up a room. Decorative light fixtures can even act as a focal point in a space. 

Our design team also suggests paying attention to the scale of your fixtures in the context of a room. Table lamps, for instance, should be appropriately sized for the piece of furniture they’re sitting on (generally no taller than 30 inches).

Coordinate colors

Primary bedroom with blue accent décor

When it comes to color, neutral palettes are the way to go when decorating your home like a model. In our model homes, as well as in our professionally curated quick move-in homes, the design team uses neutral colors to create a blank canvas on which homebuyers can envision their own personal style. For models, our designers then incorporate art and accessories to add bright pops of color throughout. An added benefit to sticking with a neutral background and using colorful accents is that you can swap colors out more frequently, like for seasons or holidays.

Accent wall colors are also gaining popularity and are sometimes used to complement the design choices in a room.

Play with texture

Relaxing great room with decorative throw pillows and a coffee table with a centerpiece

In interior design, texture is another important element when it comes to decorating a room. Designers mix and layer different materials, shapes and colors when coordinating a model home’s décor, and this is a strategy you can easily incorporate in your own home!

One way you can bring texture into your home is by adding a blanket or a textured throw pillow to a sofa or bed (which could also be a great way to add a pop of color to the space!), or an elegant rug to your flooring.

Less is more

You may already be familiar with minimalism in interior design. It’s a popular concept that’s stood the test of time, which is why it’s frequently incorporated into model homes. Minimalism often features much of what we’ve already mentioned, including decluttered spaces that boast neutral color palettes and purposeful accessories. In a home that uses minimalist principles, everything has a purpose, whether that be a bold statement piece meant to draw the eye or a unique rug added for interesting texture in a room.

Currently shopping for your next home? We offer professionally designed homes that are either complete or near completion! Our team carefully selects fixtures and finishes, using the same design principles we use for our models, to provide buyers with a brand-new home ready to be filled with furnishings and art. With a curated home, you’ll have a beautiful blank canvas to personalize with your unique style.  

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