You are all set to move into your new home, your very first; the excitement is palpable, and we are as thrilled as you are! The tough days of meeting and chasing after solicitors are behind you, but there’s still plenty to do – furnishing your first home is one. You are probably confused about the space in the house, the wide variety of furniture available in stores and online, plus your budget. We have put together a helpful guide on how to furnish your first home with all the do’s and don’ts you need to keep in mind.
It’s best you don’t strain your finances, especially while shouldering mortgage expenses. Arrive at a realistic budget that gives you enough time to buy essential and not-so-essential furniture pieces and gadgets to decorate your first home. A set budget allows you to think more about the best pieces and the must-haves suitable for your home and your lifestyle.
There are many ways to stretch your budget – think hand-me-downs, used furniture or refurbishing your old pieces – especially for non-essential items. This gives you a wider budget for things that really matter. You should also keep a lookout for seasonal sales. Buying during promotional time could save you 50% or more on some pieces, allowing you to stretch your budget to fit in other items.
I personally worked on a spreadsheet which had columns- Must-haves, Good-to-have and Nice- to-have(I called it fancy!), which helped me prioritise when it came to spending the money. I still bought a window vacuum cleaner before we moved in, did I use it at all?- that’s a different story altogether.
When you are working within a budget, it’s best to have a basic plan on what you would like to do with your spaces. Create an idea board on an app like Pinterest; you will find thousands of ideas that you can save and refer to when you want some inspiration. Interior-décor-magazine ideas may seem hard to achieve, so instead, turn to real homeowners.
Find them online using hashtag searches on Instagram; don’t hesitate to ask them questions – you never know where you would find invaluable suggestions and ideas. Be it the colour of the carpet, flooring, paint, utility of certain appliances and furniture- it's always good to get a first hand review.
Furnishing a house is the most exciting part of buying one. You will naturally be tempted to hurry and fill up the empty spaces; but don’t. You don’t want to end up with wrong, cheap pieces. Start off by making a list of priority pieces. These could essentially be a bed, a dining table, a wardrobe and a sofa. Keep aside a list of the low priority pieces as well; you can buy and tick them off the list whenever you have extra cash.
Trusting only your eye to size up the rooms could have disappointing results when the furniture arrives and doesn’t fit as you expected it to. This is especially possible when you buy online and don’t get to see the pieces in real until they arrive. Save yourself the hassle on delivery day by measuring your rooms at least twice to get the right numbers. Make sure you have the numbers with you on paper or on your phone at all times. Imagine spotting “the perfect sofa” on your way back from work and not knowing the right size you need!
Your first home, like any other, must have a lived-in, homely feel. The right pieces of furniture can make all the difference. It’s natural to think that investing in solid items can make the perfect impact. For instance, you may want to put your money on a trusty u shaped sofa – it offers more seating and is great for intimate gatherings – two birds with one stone. But if your first home is compact and without a separate lounge, a u-shaped sofa may take up too much space and feel boxy for the space. Instead, invest in sleek, modern sofas, ottomans or minimalistic accent chairs that save space and will last you for a good six to eight years in your first home.
Also, focus on spending more on items like bed frames and mattresses that you will probably take to your next home, and shear off your budget for décor pieces like table lamps and nightstands, which are likely to be replaced.
Your home is an expression of your personality, so, create a unique space. Start by picking colour palettes – two to three shades that you can use across your home, without being too disjointed or even too matching. Variations of the same colour is a simple yet effective idea.
Choose smaller furniture items and décor pieces to complement the larger ones. Even when you select décor pieces, such as an exclusive wall art, a handmade vase or a creative sculpture, it must add to the distinctive spirit of your personal space, and not appear like it’s straight out of a catalogue.
It’s not every day you get the opportunity to furnish your first home. After buying the high priority items, it’s a smart idea to wait a while before you buy anything more to enhance your home’s décor. The best way is to go slow, one room at a time. Check for good quality and reasonably-priced items through price comparison using our platform Kasera, weigh the pros and cons, find fresh inspiration and most importantly, enjoy the process. You are likely to find furniture pieces you love and that will last you for at least five to 10 years.