Moving into your first home is undoubtedly a costly experience, and we’re not just talking about the high house prices!
Beyond the initial costs of getting a deposit, you also need to factor in bills and solicitor fees… in fact, you may well find that there is little leftover in the bank to actually furnish and decorate your brand new home with, especially if you’re buying your property alone.
Money.co.uk have shared some tips aimed to help first-time solo-buyers keep spending to a minimum when it comes to decorating and turning a house or flat into a true home.
1. Pick a colour scheme for your entire home
Before you get started on impulse purchasing new pieces, and working out how to paint walls and window frames, take some time to really think about the colour scheme you’d like within your new home. Don’t just think about how the colours look, think about how they make you feel and whether or not they lend them self to the space you’ve purchased.
Colour can be the most impactful element of interior design, so choosing a colour palette for each room is a great place to start. It’s important to develop a coherent colour scheme that flows naturally throughout your home. As well as personal preferences, you’ll want to consider factors like the size of each room and the amount of natural light present.
If in doubt, light neutral tones offer solid foundations that are easy to add pops of colour to with bolder accessories such as bright art, or heavily patterned rugs and furniture.
2. Brand new furnishings aren’t always necessary
Shop around on the likes of Facebook marketplace, Gumtree, eBay and other online resellers to see what kind of bargain furniture finds are being listed in your area. You may be surprised at just how many people are holding on to ‘as good as new’ pieces that they’ve been meaning to give away or sell off cheaply.
Before moving into your new home, be sure to check with your family and friends to see if they have any furniture pieces to donate your way. If your parents have been thinking about getting a new sofa, for example, there is every chance their old one is still in perfectly good condition and could tide you over until you’ve saved up a bit.
Support local charity shops – and grab yourself a potential bargain at the same time – by seeing if they have any items that would look good in your new home. Many furniture shops also implement regular discounts and offers, so if you have a particular item in mind, it’s worth making sure you shop around and don’t make any hasty decisions if you could find something similar much cheaper elsewhere.
3. Make a list well in advance of moving in
Start to plan and budget for the furnishing of your new home long before you get the keys.
Write a list of everything you might need (including room measurements – there’s nothing worse than falling in love with a piece of furniture only to realise it doesn’t fit in your new home!) and keep a running checklist of items that you’ve managed to secure from family and friends, or that you’ve managed to find a bargain for. This will help you spread the cost of decorating and stay on top of the urgent things still needed.
Make sure you have an idea of the maximum amount you can spend per item or room, and give yourself the option of allocating more budget to the ‘bigger’ items.
4. Personalise your home with prints
Adding those final, individual touches is important for making a brand new space feel like a cosy home. Some prints, canvases or frames can be extortionately expensive and will not align with your budget. The most cost-effective alternative is to make your own prints using websites like canva.com. This way you have free rein on what you display in your home, and you can adjust it to your colour scheme to make each room as unique as possible.
5. Experiment once you’ve moved in
Move your furniture around frequently to find a layout that works best for you and your personal routine. Plus there is also the added benefit of feeling like you’re living in a new home every time you rearrange a particular room or area.
Live with the bare minimum to begin with, then add to your possessions as you adapt to your new home. You’ll find out where an extra side table would be handy, where you need some more lighting, or where you need some added decoration for any bare areas.