Having your first home is an incredibly liberating experience, and of course, a landmark event in your life. You have worked very hard for this moment, and now when it is here, you want to make it the most beautiful place in the world. It is absolutely understandable that you are overwhelmed but being so can make you fret. Instead, try to be methodical; this way you will be able to decorate your first home in a much more efficient manner. Following are a few tips for you to turn your empty shell of a house into a welcoming home.
Get rid of unnecessary clutter
This is a critical step and, needless to say, it can be a painful one. We are all attached to our belongings; hence, it is difficult to eliminate anything from our house. But this is something that you need to do. There will be things that you’ve collected over your years of renting that are stuffed in the attic and garage, like old furniture, appliances, things that you have received as gifts and haven’t liked, etc. This is the time to get rid of them. Select a weekend, go to your attic or garage and make a list of the things that you do not need in your new home. Arrange all the things the next weekend, and have the garage sale the weekend next to it. You can also sell them online to make extra money for your new home. You will be thrilled to see what you haven’t missed!
Find out what you like
It may sound weird but most people do not know what they like. However, that does not mean that they do not have an opinion, but it is just that they do not know how to articulate their choices.
The best way to figure this out is by viewing photos of home-interiors online or in magazines. After you have shortlisted a few favourite home designs, sit down and compare them. What do you think are the common denominators in terms of furniture style, colour, density of objects, pattern, etc?
However, you need to keep in mind the architecture of your space and the restrictions that it may impose.
Form a budget
It is very important to find out how much you can spend. If you cannot afford to decorate the entire place at once, then so be it. Start with the room where you are going to spend most of your time, like, the bedroom. This way when your entire house is in a mess, you will have at least one room, where you can relax in peace.
Do not buy everything at once
You should live in your new house for at least two months before making any important purchases. This is necessary because there’s a difference between how you want to live in the house and how you actually live there. Maybe the sum that you have decided to spend on renovating your bathroom should instead be spent in rejuvenating up the kitchen and the dining space. Unless you stay in the house for quite some time, you won’t find out its real necessities.
Think about any major projects that may come up
If you know that you will be looking at having major work such as extensions or a loft conversion carried out on your new home within the first 3 years, try to factor this into your decorating plans. If you know that a room will completely change then obviously don’t spend money on it. Save the money to decorate the extended area to a high standard and you’ll be much happier!
Do not match everything
Thanks to the wrong notion of matching everything that retail stores promote, people often feel that everything has to match in their home sweet home. The retailers do this because they love to sell you everything in sets, don’t fall for the trap! A few pieces that match is alright, but any more can look tacky. It can give your home a generic look like that of a furniture showroom.
Your home should reflect your style and not that of the furniture store. Hence, it should be styled your way. However, before you do that, make sure that you are familiar with the measurements of your home, because maintaining a balance in the look is important. There is no point in shoving five oversized lounge furniture pieces into a 15×5 living room which a 8 feet high ceiling. This way, your living room will invariably look like a clown car. Similarly placing a delicate and low round table in a 20×30 dining room with a high ceiling of 10 feet is sure to look unsatisfying and awkward.
Pick your colour palette
While some say that flooring should dictate the colour palette, others say that it should be a piece of art that does. Well, it would be better to let your favourite item dictate the colour of your home. This may be a rug, a painting, a piece of furniture; or just your favourite colour.
Once you have decided on your colour palette, let the rest of the décor spring from it. Try to use neutral colours for your sofa, dining table, bed, etc. and put colours in the pillows, art, lamps, etc. This way, it is easier to change the colour palette, without having to spend much.
Please do paint. This is the best way to give your home a personalised touch. You can keep the three walls white and paint only the wall behind the accent chairs in your living room. If you are not confident about a bold hue, you can choose to have mild combinations, like, grey and brown, light blue and white, etc.
Hire a pro
This last point is for those whose creativity is not their forte and for those who do not have any restraints on their budget. Hiring a pro will give you a nicely designed home without you having to put in any effort. All that you need to do is tell the designer the kind of design that you are looking for or if you prefer any particular colour, the rest shall be done by him or her. The designer will be helping you clarify your style, choose the right furnishings and help you in developing a long-term plan.
At this point, you can choose to either hire an interior designer or an architect for any bigger projects, such as extensions etc.
Follow the above tips, you will surely find a direction as far as decorating your first home is concerned. And one last tip, relax!
The author, Rose Evans is an interior decoration consultant. She has been in this field since the past 20 years. She is a fan of upholstered beds and accent office chairs. Since, the past five years, she has become a well-known name in the blog-world for her write-ups on interior décor.