You’ve just bought your first home or signed on the dotted line, and what you’re feeling is both exhilarating and daunting at the same time. No more boring beige rentals, you finally have a place to make all your own.
However, since you’ve given the bank a large chunk of your savings just to secure your new abode, the thought of decorating – and spending more money – can be totally overwhelming. But there is no way around it: it’s going to be complex and it’s going to cost you. Between selecting paints and splurging on a covetable sofa, there is lots to do before you even start unpacking the boxes. If you’re starting from scratch, you are lucky; more time to decorate and no need to renovate.
Here are the first few steps you want to consider before starting on your decorating project. We don’t pretend this is the ultimate go-to decorating resource, but we’ve been there, talked to experts, heard from customers, talked to friends, spoken to real people on real salaries, and did the research. All in all, we feel it’s a pretty good start. So here it goes:
A no-brainer, but now matter how much Pinteresting prep you’ve done the previous six months, seeing the empty house you are meant to transform in a home quickly is a bit unsettling. But, have no fear, technology has your back. There are now many visualisation and virtual home decorating tools online where you can upload photos of your actual space and play around with colours, furnishings, furniture placement and more. If you do not have an interior designer and want to do it all yourself (which can be a brilliant process, by the way!), there are tools that can help you create floor plans, furniture layouts, designing the look and feel of a space, choosing colour schemes, furniture, fixtures, and finishes. Try Houzz, SweetHome3D, RoomStyler among others.
First thing’s first though. Decorating is a process, not a sprint. Take your time to plan it out, and you’ll also enjoy it more as a result. Moreover, home decorating is hard when you don’t even know your design style. Or are confused about design styles. Or you want to go for the eclectic look, which is the hardest one to pull off.
Need a little help? Have an online quiz that can help you find your (main!) interior design preference. Use a physical or an online moodboard to assemble the main elements of your decorating projects, like colour palettes, funiture selection and textile textures. Try platforms like Polyvore or Canva online or make a scrapbook moodboard with cut-out photos from magazines, colour cards and tester pots from wall paint suppliers, fabric and wallpaper samples from brands and shops.
Decide what and how you are going to do it all, and project manage the steps and tasks.
Nothing will transform your space more than a fresh coat of paint so this will probably be one of the hardest decisions you need to make when you move in. Many people think that it is something you should do before moving any furniture or boxes in. We disagree. While painting an empty shell is much, much easier than moving furniture about and struggling to cover everything in plastic sheets, you should really consider doing this last. Here’s why:
- Colour is an emotive spatial element. It affects your mood. You do not want to paint your walls something that you may find really attractive, but which affects you negatively. Kinda like a bad boy! :)
- The hue and luminosity of a colour is very much dependent on light. Unless you’ve lived in a space for a while, you can’t know how it looks in natural and artificial light at different times of the day, from one season to the next.
- You may have played around with different samples, but once all your things are in, you might realise that the colour of the furniture clashes with the colour of the walls, and the floors look much darker because the wall paint is too bright.
Out of all these things, the easiest to change is the wall paint colour. So, consider painting the house white or a light neutral in the beginning, and let yourself experiment with different colours while you are living in the house.
4. SIT, SLEEP, EAT
Assuming you have a kitchen and fitted wardrobes in place, the only three things you really need initially are a good, reliable sofa, a proper bed and some chairs and a table so that you don’t need to eat your dinner over the kitchen sink. But here’s the thing, if this is your first home, you might be new to buying large furniture pieces, which also happen to be expensive and need to be long-lasting. These are called anchor pieces, and therefore, they need to be durable, high quality and versatile as you will be building your entire interior scheme around them.
Start with classic pieces that will stand the test of time rather than choosing a style that may feel outdated in a few years. Choose the largest bed tthe bedroom allows with the best mattress you can afford. And make sure that your sofa and your bed lend themselves well to being further accessorised.
The array of dining furniture options is simply immense. You may want to buy your living room and your dining room furniture together to make sure that they will complement each other when brought together in the house, especially if your space is open plan.
Once you have your bare essentials in place, you will probably look forward to adding a little – or a lot – of character to the place. Luckily, this stage of the decorating process is not as terrifying and expensive, and it’s one with which you can really have fun. To add colour, personality and fun to your space, choose your rugs, cushions and wall decor well. These are all versatile, replaceable pieces that you can also rotate according to the season, and one of the best ways to express your creativity.
Once you have your anchor pieces and your home accessories in place, you might feel like you need to, let’s say, perfect the space, add the finishing touches, place the cherry on the top. Like really make a statement. And this is where lighting comes in. This is your opportunity to go for a truly eye-catching fixture that can wow your guests – and yourself – every time you see it. Similarly, side tables and ornaments can add even more visual impact and make your home unique.
Ready to start decorating? For inspiration, head over to our Pinterest ...
And here are a few products from Home Lust Concept Store that might help make your home unique ...