Buying your first home is a landmark event marking a major transition in your life. It also means you have the responsibility of homeownership, probably a mortgage and all the expenses that go with it.
Once the excitement and the initial euphoria has settled down, the first thought that strikes you is how to best decorate your new home. You may want the best and the most stylish interior design accessories, expensive furniture, costly carpets and rugs, and other exotic design elements. Most of us are so caught up in the whirlwind of decorating the house we love that we end up overshooting our budget, buying the wrong items and styling our house in a hurry.
Contrary to redecorating the home you are living in now, doing up a new home requires much more time, thought and planning. Unfamiliarity with the home layout and vagueness about the specific needs and wants you may have can make styling a new home even more difficult.
It is best you prepare yourself for owning a home much before you actually have one.
Here are a few tips for you.
1. Have a Budget in Mind
As a freshly minted homeowner it is best you set a tight budget and work within it initially.
Start saving up for those dream splurges as early as possible. The amazing painting you saw at the art gallery or the antique dining table that stole your heart in a decor magazine, they all require you to spend top dollar. Prepare for such expenditures and save up in advance.
The point to keep in mind is that you cannot overspend at this stage on interior decor. You definitely will have several other expenses which come as a part of settling into a new place. You may have to invest in a new heating system or buy a new refrigerator. Your old dresser may be too worn out and will need to be replaced.
This is the time for spending on necessities and on the must-haves. They include a functional and well-designed kitchen, and a convenient bed and bath. Once you have all the basic necessities in place you can think of the rest.
2. Don’t Go Overboard on Shopping
Other that those few things that you absolutely positively must have in your spanking new home, it is best that you reserve big purchases for later.
Use your home for a few months and get to know its strengths and weaknesses that may pop up after a bit. As you adjust to your new home and a new way of life, you will know what to buy from day-to-day experiences.
If you invest in big-ticket buys and later realize that they are not actually what suit your house best, it might be too late to return the purchase. You also do not want to buy furniture just to fill up a room. Save up and buy decor items that you really want and love, and those that will look good in your house.
3. Expect the Unexpected
Let’s face it, there are many new (and unexpected) expenses that you will have in your new home. Utility bills, lawn maintenance costs and home repairs are unforeseen expenses and can make a difference to your household budget, so it is best that you save money to meet them. You can reduce these expenses if you buy your home smart and sensibly.
Well-maintained homes will not incur you huge repair bills. Efficient HVAC systems will also help keep your utility bills in check. Before you buy, get a specialist to check your heating systems to see whether they are up to code. Artificial lawns can save you long-term maintenance costs. They are also trending so don’t shy away from installing them!
Having an emergency fund will help you meet unplanned expenses. These expenses occur the most during the first few months in your new home. Once they are dealt with you will be able to relax and settle into a familiar routine.
This is also the time you can start styling your home as you want.
4. Solve Problems as Cheaply as You Can
The first few days after moving in you will realize that the color of the sofa does not match the wall paint, the window curtains do not blend with the carpet and the artwork you have put up on the wall sticks out like sore thumb. Don’t panic!
The best way to discuss these problems is in a cost-effective way versus going for a complete redo of the room. Resist impulsive buys and try to find a way out without splurging in decor stores.
You can tie up everything in a room and give it unifying look by investing in throw pillows in vibrant colors, a bright-hued rug, fresh flowers and lovely, but bold, wall art. A keen eye for aesthetics is all that you need to get it right. Ensure there is common thread or story to anchor everything and your mismatched decor problem is solved!
You will find over the months that there are several things you do not like in your new house. Don’t set out on the warpath to give rooms a complete makeover though. Get used to your home, understand its strengths and drawbacks, and your unique needs, and then set out to give personal touches to the interiors within your budget.
5. Do Not Compare
It is a natural human tendency that we compare our possessions with those of others. Our homes are our biggest source of pride and something which we judge our self-worth by, even if unconsciously. Stop doing that immediately!
Appreciate the lovely home you have and be grateful for owning an opportunity to build something truly special for yourself and your family. A house becomes a home when you make memories there, so that is what you really should aim for.
Enjoy your home for what it offers – emotional support and comfort like no other place on earth ever can – to those that live within those four walls.
Truly, buying a new home and moving in is a very stressful period for everyone involved. You need to put your feet up and relax. Spend days, weeks, even months in your new home without stressing about the appearance and just allow things to flow for some time.
Once you are feeling yourself again, have calmed down and feel ‘normal’, think about the interior design and how you wish to change the decor or the appearance.
This is a time when you, as well as your new home, require loads of TLC, so keep that in mind.
Every day we read an article or hear a piece on the television or radio about how to make your home perfect. Don’t let it go to your head. Listen to your heart, listen to your home, follow your own rules. Reflect the love and personality of those in your home with your decor, and you will be amazed at how it all begins to come together.