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Closing on a new home feels like crossing a financial and emotional finish line. But after signing on the dotted line, comes your next big challenge: how will you make the house your home?

Or course, you have fabulous taste. But if you’ve ever bought an area rug that ended up being too small for your space or spent days agonizing over shades of white paint, you’ll know that it takes more than good taste to design a home. Contemporary, urban homes also come with their unique design challenges such as maximizing space, arranging furniture in open floor plans and striking the right energetic balance between the vibrant city life outside and the relaxing haven you want to create inside.

Short of hiring an interior designer, we collected some of top advice for designing and decorating an urban home. Read the full article, including our top 8 tips,  here for expert advice on how to live stylishly and comfortably in urban O.C. and beyond.