There’s no universal age at which we all move out into our first home. For each person the circumstances are different. There is, however, a constant. We all face the challenge of decorating our first home. To help you overcome this challenge, we’re gathered a few helpful tips and ideas. Depending on your situation, you might need to adapt them.
Common mistakes/ What not to do
As always, there are both dos and don’ts to take into consideration. Since it’s really important not to mess up, we’ll start with the negative things. First of all, as alluring as it may be to just go buy all the stuff you’ve ever wanted to have in your own home, don’t. Buying everything at once is a big mistake. You need to think this whole process through and since this will be your first home, you don’t have the experience to tell you all the little things that could go wrong along the way.
Also, you might feel the urge to match everything because, well, you can. Once again, don’t. You don’t want your first home to look like a joke, like something a little kid would envision. Surely you’re more creative than that. So go ahead and embrace diversity.
Don’t reject ideas without giving them any consideration. We’re all stubborn but keep in mind that you basically have zero experience with this. As unappealing as an idea might seem, at least give it some consideration and try to understand why someone would find it great. If you simply dismiss everything without reconsidering, you’ll only only regret it later.
Relying on inspiration boards for your first home is not exactly a great idea. Yes, this goes against the advice offered by a lot of designers and professionals but consider this: your first home will go through a lot of transformations and you lack the experience of making solid choices from the start so you’ll most likely choose to recreate a look you find in a catalogue. Following an inspiration board will cost you time and money and a much better choice would be to just find your own style and to improvise as you go along.
Don’t invest in expensive stuff just yet. It takes a while to realize exactly what you want for your home and this means you’ll be making a lot of changes along the way. It’s likely you’ll change your mind about a lot of things you initially purchased and you’ll want to replace them. So save yourself the trouble of wasting money for no good reason.
Don’t be dramatic. Sure, not everything will go exactly like you want it to. But that’s to be expected. With time you’ll learn from your mistakes. Keep in mind that this is only your first home and that it probably won’t be your last. You’ll have plenty of time to adjust and change the things you don’t like now and to come up with new and better ideas.
A few dos that apply to the situation
Now that we finished discussing all the don’ts, it’s time for some positive ideas. There are lots of things which can be included in this category but we’ll try to focus on the basics. For example, it’s important to set a budget when you move into your first home. When you do that, keep in mind that there will be a lot of unpredictable expenses. Try to be as realistic as you can about the budget and don’t overboard because it will only make things more difficult in the future.
Sketch out a floor plan. This is different from the whole inspiration board idea. It may seem like an annoying thing to do but it can prove to be a very helpful step. Do this before starting the renovations and before purchasing the furniture and everything else. If the space is already furnished, you can still use the sketch to help you figure out how to move the furniture around to get the best layout for you.
Consider temporary furniture. It would be wonderful if you had some relatives or friends which could borrow some furniture until you figure out exactly what you want for your new home. An alternative can be to visit some garage sales. In any case, temporary furniture would have to be really cheap.
Since buying everything all at once is not a good idea and you’d probably prefer not to spend a lot of money right now, you should first get the basics. This usually includes a sofa, a coffee table, some chairs and something to sleep on. A bed is not absolutely necessary since you can be just as comfortable on the mattress alone so you can take your time and decide what type of bed you want later.
Invest in the right furniture pieces. Yes, we know we said investing in expensive furniture at first is a mistake but you don’t have to exaggerate. Know your priorities and figure out what pieces are important and worth spending a bit more on. The sofa can be one of these pieces. And since all sofas are expensive anyway, you might as well get something decent.
Always measure everything. Maybe you’re not used with this but it’s really important to measure everything, especially if you want to go out and buy a lot of things. It would be a shame to find out your new fridge doesn’t fit in the kitchen or that your bed is too short.
Other tips you might find helpful
Considering this is your first home, you’ll find it challenging to pick the right colors for the space. However, you need to pick a color palette and stick with it. If it helps, make a list of favorite colors and then try to imagine them each in your new home and to picture various combinations for each room.
Paint is your friend and you need to learn how to make good use of it. Don’t be afraid to paint the walls or to give old furniture a makeover. You can use paint in a lot of great ways. It’s a powerful resource that can completely transform a space.
Avoid making each room feel like a distinct space. Tie the home together with color. This will make the entire space feel more inviting and comfortable. Cohesion is important for any home, whether it’s your first or your last one. You can link spaces together using similar accent colors or combinations of colors.
Make the space feel like home. That’s easy to say and hard to do. In order to make a space really feel like home you need to include in its design a lot of things that you like and enjoy as well as personal details such as a framed photo, some plants, etc.
A nice way to add some personal character to your new home is by bringing something old along from your parents’ house or your previous home. It can be a decoration, a piece of furniture or pretty much anything else you can think of.
Add texture with area rug. It’s amazing how much a rug can change the décor in a space. This is a great way to add some texture to the room and to make it feel cozy, inviting and warm. The ambiance will instantly change after you add a rug, regardless of its type, size, material and everything else.
Use textiles to change the ambiance. This is another great way to add texture to a space. You can use textiles to change the ambiance in a room and to give it a more casual and comfortable feel. This includes furniture upholstery, throw blankets, pillows and other things.
Consider some easy DIY projects. Even if you don’t have any experience with this kind of projects you can still make some pretty great stuff. For example, learn how to repurpose wood pallets and wine crates or how to make some basic and useful furniture from scratch. You can also consider DIY accessories and decorations.
Decorate with inexpensive art. It will take some time until you figure out exactly how you want to decorate the walls in your new home. Until then, fill the blanks with some inexpensive art such as some posters or some string art which you can create yourself. Wreaths and other things can also be a great option.
Solve problems with inexpensive solutions. For example, if you don’t like the way your old kitchen cabinets look, take some paint and give them a quick and cheap makeover. Or perhaps you’d prefer to change the hardware. Don’t make big and expensive changes until you’re absolutely certain that you’ll be staying there for a long time to enjoy them and that you’re making the best choice.
If you feel like you’re in over your head and that you just don’t have the ability to figure it all out by yourself, hire a pro. Some professional help can be really helpful at first. It can get you started and set you on the right track.