Decorating your first home can be quite a challenge. You’ll probably be trying out your decorating skills for the first time. You’re unlikely to have a big budget. You won’t have experience on your side When it comes to design or shopping, and, if you’re in London, the chances are that you’ll be working with a small space. With all these issues in mind, how can you maximise your chances of getting good results?
Start with the basics
You’ll have a lot to deal with when you first move into your own home, so keep the decorating simple to begin with. As you’re unlikely to have an overflow room, you should sort out carpets, lino or other flooring options before moving if you’re able to. It’s still okay to paint walls or ceilings after this as long as you put sheets down to catch drips. This is also the time to think about your windows – shutters and blinds from DIY shutters are easy to fit and can be both more stylish and more practical than curtains.
Choose space-saving solutions
Simple tricks can help you do a lot more with the space you’ve got, making your first home feel more comfortable and less crowded. Look for beds with storage space underneath and tables that fold away when not in use. Chairs or stools that stack, ottomans that combine storage and seating, and fold-down writing desks are all useful. You can also create additional storage space by fitting shelves into awkward niches, and you can attach your television to the wall.
Balance price and longevity
When you’re looking for furniture for your new home you shouldn’t simply buy the cheapest things you can find because if you do so you’ll usually find that they don’t last very long. On the other hand, it’s likely that most of the things you buy at this stage will not be things you’ll want to keep forever, so there’s no point in going overboard. Unless you’re unusually wealthy, you’ll need to strike a balance – often best done by choosing a single piece of higher quality furniture for each room.
Don’t take on too much
When you’re trying to save money, it can be tempting to try and do everything yourself, but even if you master the necessary techniques (and there are lots of great videos online to help with that), this approach is very time consuming. Try to be realistic about what you can accomplish. Prioritise the tasks with which you have some prior experience, and don’t be shy about asking friends or relatives for help.
Make it personal
Finally, don’t get so carried away with getting it right that you forget that this is your home and should be, first and foremost, about what makes you happy. No matter how much you love style catalogues or home improvement programmes, what you create in this space will be something you have to live with, and that may realistically need to be quite different. Bringing out elements of your own style is the really rewarding part of decorating a new place because it’s part of the process of claiming it as indisputably your space.