Interior decorating is tough even for seasoned homeowner’s who’ve decorated many homes over the years so it can be especially difficult for the first-time homeowner. Are you totally mystified by the whole concept of interior decorating? Though it might seem like sorcery when a professional decorator comes in and transforms a space, it’s really just the application of tried-and-true design principles. Since first-time home buyers probably aren’t in a position to afford a professional decorator, here’s a list of basic design principles that can be of assistance.
Spend the most on the essentials
Most likely money is going to be tight so soon after purchasing your first home but you can’t eat and sleep on the floor. People who are decorating their first home need to invest in some half-way decent furnishings starting with big ticket items such as appliances, sofas, a bed, and a dining table set. It’s better to spend the majority of your furnishings budget on these kinds of items rather than on accessories that you can always swap out later.
Spend money on things you can take with you
Most people don’t stay an especially long time in their first home. It’s usually a starter home that they’re anxious to move on from. With that in mind, you don’t want to spend your money on the kinds of things you can’t take with you. Don’t worry too much about flooring, wallpaper, and custom window treatments. These are things you either can’t take with you, or things that probably won’t have a place in your new home. Better to spend your money on things that will transfer over when you upgrade.
Upgrade the lighting
Decorating your first space is all about finding those upgrades that make the biggest impact while still spending the least amount of money. Swapping out light fixtures and bulbs with nicer ones is a big-impact upgrade that doesn’t require a huge investment and it’s a project homeowners can do all by themselves in just a few hours. Hold on to the cheap, boring light fixtures and bulbs so you can swap your nice stuff out with them before you move.
Resist the urge to splurge on accessories
Don’t blow your decorating budget on premium quality accessories. For throws, accent pillows, and other accessories buy the cheapest you can find that still looks nice. It probably won’t last as long as higher quality items but you don’t need it to. You’ll find that when you’re just starting out as a homeowner, your home décor tastes change more quickly so you don’t want to be in a position where you have to get rid of something you don’t like but spent a lot of money on.
Most first homes are on the older side. Often they’re fixer uppers. There’s something to be said about a nice, modern design but you probably can’t afford to completely remodel and modernize an old home. Instead, upgrade the things that have to be upgraded and learn to embrace those vintage elements that you can live with. There’s a certain charm in having vintage mixed with modern. For instance, if your home still has dated-looking baseboard heaters, you can modernize the look without tearing them out. Simply cover them with snap on baseboard heater covers.
Focus on the kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of any home. It’s the most important to get right so spend a good chunk of your decorating budget there. Know what to splurge on and what not to splurge on. For instance, a high-quality set of knives is a good investment. So is a nice set of pots and pans since these are things you’ll use almost every day and you can take them with you. Opt for nice, but not extravagant flatware, glassware, and dinnerware.
Most important of all, learn to restrain yourself. Buying your first home is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do but don’t let the excitement carry you away. You need to stay grounded and not be in a rush to fill your new home with purchases you’ll eventually regret. Take your time in decorating it and weigh all purchases very carefully.
Source: The New York Times