OK! Now you can test some parts of the new housing system. We're concentrating here on furniture and decoration (later releases will add the ability to craft new furniture, expand houses, cultivate land and use imagination to grow your yard and home street).
To try it out, get in the game type "/home" in local chat (it is deliberately hard to do right now so that people don't get confused and think this is *the* permanent switchover — this house is just for your testing and customizations will eventually be reset). When you're at home, there will be a new button which takes you back to the regular game world.
Once you go inside, you'll see the new furniture tab by your inventory and a "decorate" button at the top-right of the game. Go crazy. Upgrading furniture is all free right now (in the future, some upgrades will be subscriber-only and some will cost credits).
You can't get any more furniture for now and you also can't give, trade or sell furniture until the next release (or maybe the one after that). However, you can bring your stuff over to the new house and not worry about it getting lost when we reset (we'll keep it all safe) — it is just the furniture customizations that you'll lose.
To move furniture around and place items on furniture, you need to be in "decoration mode", which will hide your avatar and allow you to use the arrow keys to pan around your house.
You'll be switched to decoration mode automatically when you drag something out of your furniture bag, but you can also hit the "decorate" button in the top right of the game window.
To change wallpaper, ceilings and floors, hit the "swatches" button which appears in the top bar when you're in decoration mode. You can stamp the patterns on or drag them into place. For wallpapers you can either to a single segment or the whole wall at once.
Finally, though the land outside your house is fixed for now (you can't expand it or add/remove resources yet) you do have a customizable signpost outside: you can use that to add up to five signs pointing to the home streets of people from your friends list.
Any questions? Thoughts? ;)
See also: Blog post • Video Demo
Note: If you don't see any furniture (or just your trophies) inside your furniture bag when you enter your house, type "/home" again.
Note 2: You can type "/home" from wherever you are in the world, including other people's houses.
Note 3: We will give plenty of notice before the real switchover to the new housing system and, if you own a regular in-world house at that time, all of the items inside it will be moved over automatically. You don't have to move everything yourself.
Note 4: Many questions and answers have been summarized in this (unofficial!) FAQ