Money money money
We don’t have to tell you that renting or buying your first home is not a cheap business. You have estate agent fees taxes, and the actual cost of the house or flat to contend with before you even start thinking about decorating and furnishing your space.
If you are starting to wonder how you are even going to manage it, read on.
Don’t worry; there are lots of shortcuts you can take. You can borrow bits and pieces from friends and family, renovate any items you already have in your possession and you can carefully pick out items at markets or low cost furniture shops. All you need is a vision for your home and you can make it happen.
The Bare Essentials
There are some things that you will have to beg and borrow for. These are items that make or break a home.
A bed, a couch, table and chairs enough for you and your family, cupboards for storage and a few homely cushions, rugs and lamps are absolutely essential so make these top of your shopping list. Anything else is considered a luxury and will have to wait until the next pay check.
A new home is like a blank canvas – the possibilities are endless. This should be quite an exciting time for you. Now you are the Creative Director and you have the power to decide the ultimate direction that your home will go in.
It goes without saying that you should think very carefully about this. Don’t make rash style decisions – you are going to have to live with them for a while!
The first question to ask yourself is how you would like your home to look. Are you a traditionalist, who favours plenty of dark wood and classic furniture or are you more of a stark minimalist, craving sleek lines and space?
You may not yet be able to define your exact style – you may only know that you like bright colours or that you like a home to feel cosy – but that’s ok.
It’s your starting point, so simply build up from that. Buy home magazines, think about elements you like from your family and friend’s houses and form your style foundation and your shopping list.
Another important element to consider in serious detail, before your embark on your furnishing challenge, is colour and the scheme that you might use.
In an ideal world, your home will flow with colour naturally graduating as you journey through the house. Everything from furniture to the colour of the walls should be complementary and should balance.
Neutral walls can be paired with bright pieces of furniture or art and vice versa. Having said that, there are few rules. Loud and lively colours shouldn’t be ruled out – if you want multicoloured walls, go for it – just make sure everyone you live with is happy with the choice!
Hit the Shops
Shopping for your first home is a serious business. It’s a good idea to have a plan and to enforce a strict budget. Accept that it may take you a lot of time to get everything you want for every room so only buy what you can afford at this stage.
Try and resist temptation – don’t be swayed by those transient, trendy items. What looks good now might not look quite so amazing in a few years time.
Try to buy only good quality items, that you feel have longevity and make sure you get them from reputable retailers.
On a Mission
With those words of advice firmly implanted in your head, get shopping. Start looking for the centrepieces of each room.
For the bedroom that would be the bed and the headboard. Match it with some luxurious linen, pick up some complementary toned fabric for some DIY pillows and you will have put together a look.
In the future you can add a matching bedside table, wardrobe and dresser – for now, you can survive with just a few, well-thought out basics.
Don’t forget about the practical issues. What collections would you like to display and what would you like to store away from view? Remember that you and your family have to actually live in your home so clutter should be contained and valuable should be safely secured.
The way you store and display your possessions can actually become a feature so make sure you don’t overlook this when scouring the shops.
For example, place similarly coloured beauty products together, in a lined basket, add a couple of folded handtowels alongside them and you have just created an boutique-hotel worthy feature for your new bathroom.
Are there any other rules you should follow? Apart from buying what you like and keeping to a normal budget – there are very few rules that you need to worry about following.
Trends come and go but comfort lasts forever so buy what fits with you and your family’s lifestyle and enjoy the experience of living in your very first home.