My First Property

Decorating Your First Home: 10 Budget-Friendly Tips

Decorating your first home is one of the most exciting things about buying one. After years of living in a place you do not own, having the freedom to make a property truly yours is a fantastic feeling. After the amount it costs to actually buy and move into the property, you do not want to be spending too much on decor.

Many people think that decorating your home is something that has to be expensive for it to look good, but this is absolutely not the case. We have put together these handy tips that are sure to help you create a stunning interior design without breaking the bank.

1) Pick a theme

Before you get into the meat of decorating, it is important to decide on what you want the theme of your home to be. Are you looking for a contemporary design, or something a little more rustic and traditional? Sites like Pinterest are great for this, as they allow you to create a mood board of design styles you like. This then helps you compare and blend your favourite ideas into something that suits you.

One benefit of modern decorating is the sheer amount of styles on show at the moment. Themes such as Scandinavian minimalism and Asian Feng Shui are both easy to put together, and are likely to look modern for years to come. Why not blend the more modern looks with something a little more traditional? The industrial chic style is a prime example of old meets new, but the limit really is your imagination.

2) Freshen up the paint

You would be surprised at the difference a fresh coat of paint makes to the look and feel of a home. If you buy a property that has wallpaper coating every room, tear it down and paint the walls with colours you like. Our advice would be to stay neutral for now, as colours like white and grey go well with anything. Especially if you are not 100% sure on your theme yet, you can paint the walls and experiment.

The good thing about painted walls is that they are very easy to change whenever you want. So you don not need to worry about being stuck with a colour you are not keen on, so do not be afraid to try different options out.

3) Buy less, but buy quality

One major pitfall that new homeowners fall into is buying too many things. We understand the temptation, as it is very easy to splurge during the excitement of home decorating. Instead of buying every cushion, lamp and fruit bowl you like the look of, buy fewer items, but buy better items. This concept comes from Scandinavian design, where many Danish designers implement a one in, one out policy.

This is basically where you only have one item of decoration to fulfil a particular need, EG a lamp. If you find another lamp you like, consider if you prefer it to the one you already have. If so, buy it and replace the old one. Using this method will also help you save money. Instead of spending £200 of four versions of one item, you will be spending £70 on one high quality version that will last you longer.

4) Go simple - less is more

One surefire way to decorate your first home in a budget-friendly way is by keeping things simple. With the advent of minimalism in interior design, the term -less is more- has never been more relevant. Like we mentioned above, instead of cluttering your home with nick nacks, decorate your rooms with fewer items, but make sure each is special to you.

This approach will help you create a home that feels fresher and more open and more spacious. On average, homes that adopt a more open, minimalist style fetch higher asking prices when sold. So not only will you be spending less to decorate the home, you will also earn more when you sell it. That is a no-brainer, right?

5) Buy second hand

Buying second hand furniture is often looked down upon by new homeowners. The term second hand paints a picture of a dusty old settee that has been used by too many people over the years, but the reality can be very different. Second hand can simply mean a piece of furniture that is still technically new, but is not fresh out of the box.

By looking at second hand furniture, you might find some very high quality pieces for cheaper prices. This avoids spending too much on brand new items. This also applies to other pieces of decor like artwork and antiques. Pre owned decor often carries more character, and can help make your new property feel more like a home.

6) Choose multi purpose items

If you are looking for ways to save space in your home, there is no better way than by buying multi purpose items. A table that also contains storage or a toy chest that functions as a seat are just some of the ways that furniture is now being designed for more than one function.

One of the major bugbears when it comes to saving space is finding effective places for storage. Luckily, there are hundreds of new and exciting storage options available from many retailers today. Storage beds are a perfect example of this, and can provide a much needed space to store clothes, bedding, or anything else under your bed.

7) Make some smaller changes

Small changes can really make a difference to the overall feel of a home. For instance, if your kitchen is not up to the standard you would like it, there is a cheaper way to change it up. Simply by replacing the door handles, you can give your kitchen a completely new look. Why spend hundreds on new cabinets when you can transform a kitchen so easily? This idea can be applied throughout the home, even so far as with window frames.

A prime example of this is electrical fittings and door handles. If your home uses those old white plastic switches, simply replace them with something a little more modern. A popular option is to use chrome and steel fittings thanks to how modern they look, and how easy they are to clean. Instead of a complete overhaul of how the house looks, these small changes can enhance the best of what is already there.

8) Add a little green

Using houseplants to decorate your home is one of the best ways to add a feeling of freshness and openness. Especially when combined with a neutral design, houseplants sprinkle in a little bit of green to create pockets of colour. The benefit of houseplants goes a lot further than just design, however. Research shows that plants are great for providing a pleasant environment and reducing stress while also helping to improve air quality. What other pieces of decor can do that?

By using plants to oxygenate your home, you will find cleaner air, less airborne dust and some attractive pieces of decoration. While plants do require maintenance, studies also show that looking after plants regularly can also do wonders for stress and mental health.

9) Embrace the uniqueness

Every home has its quirks. No matter what, your first home is very unlikely to live up to the standard of your dream home, and that is okay. Embrace the quirks your house has to offer, as these are the things that will make it feel unique and yours. Not everything has to be brand new. Implementing older pieces of decoration or furniture will help to bolster the character of the home.

Browsing garage sales and vintage shops for bargain pieces is also a great way to keep your wallet happy. You might find odd chairs around your dining table, or mismatched door handles in your kitchen. If these things really bug you, then there is no harm in changing them. But there is also no harm in letting the unique characteristics of your home shine from time to time.

10) Furnish one room at a time

When you move into your first home, it can be very tempting to tear all current decor down and start from scratch straight away. While it feels like this is the best way to get things done quickly, it is far from it. If you start working on multiple rooms at once, you may find that nothing ever gets completed. We recommend working on one room at a time, and not starting another until one is completely done.

This ensures that you don not end up with five half completed rooms, and your home feeling more like a building site. You may also find that once you have completed one room, your ideas for what to do with the next may change. You might decide that the paint you used for your living room would look great in your bedroom too.

Final Notes

We hope that this has given you a good starting point with decorating your first home. Some of these tips may resonate with your situation more than others, so we encourage you to pick and choose the ones you feel are relevant. The most important thing is to relish this time and enjoy how exciting it is to decorate a new home!

More first-time house buying articles:

  1. Dealbreakers When Buying A House
  2. Double-Checks Before Exchanging Contracts
  3. What Is Remortgaging?
  4. How To Find an Affordable Property
  5. Repayment & Interest Only Mortgages

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