When you finally move into your first home, whether rented or bought, you might well find that you’ve poured so much time and money into acquiring the home itself that you haven’t left all that much for the purpose of decoration. Fortunately, we’re on hand as ever with some great tips to make any budget you may have go much further, along with ideas that will get you in the mood for best practice to look after your home going forward. So, whether you’re short on time or money, or just want your efforts to be as effective as possible, we’ve got everything you need to make an impact.
1. Use Plants and Flowers to Fill Space and Apply a Finishing Touch
Plants and flowers are surprisingly effective to make any room feel complete. Crucially, unless your tastes are typically exotic and unique, you don’t need to spend much at all to brighten up any room. If you’ve never considered plants as home décor before, then you might not appreciate just how well they work to finish off a room, but it cannot be understated just how excellent they can be to add a splash of colour at the perfect moment.
Crucially, your plants of choice can be as high or low maintenance as suits your schedule and lifestyle. If you’re a budding gardener and don’t have the outdoor space, then you can use the rooms of your house to bring your ideas to life. If you’ve got better things to do, then alternative options that only require watering once a week or so will do the same job.
2. Get Used to Using Trays
Even if your strategy is and will always be minimalist, the usefulness of trays cannot be understated. Not every homeowner appreciates their value, especially if they’ve never owned their own home before, but if you get into the habit of using them early on, they’ll make your life much more comfortable going forward. The coffee table is the perfect place to start. A tray will not only protect the surface but can be moved around and cleaned independently for an added touch of flexibility. When the contents of the table need to move, you don’t need to find a space for everything and can simply place the tray elsewhere until the space becomes freed up.
3. Use Bookcases for More than Just Books
The clue is in the name when it comes to bookcases, but they represent an excellent opportunity to finish off a room. Naturally, if you haven’t entirely made a move over to Kindle and keep a few books around the home, there is no better place for them than the bookcase. However, a vase or two, some picture frames and perhaps even a couple of conversation pieces can all serve to make a room feel better.
4. Experiment with the Lighting
A core idea behind this feature is to make a room look great, and lighting plays an enormous role in getting it right – there’s a reason why photographers rarely stick with natural light when they prepare a picture! You can try different bulb strengths in a room for the best look and comfort levels, but you should also never underestimate the potential of standing and table lamps to make a room look complete – regardless of the light that they give off.
5. Accessorise Your Fixtures and Furnishings
There are some items of furniture that rooms cannot do without – you’re bound to have a sofa in the living room and a bed in the bedroom for obvious reasons. If you find that they look bland or incomplete, you can always experiment with throws, cushions, pillows and anything else that you feel has the potential to introduce a much-needed dash of colour into proceedings. If you’re reliant on older or used furniture in the early days, they can be a great way to bring them bang up to date.
6. Try Out Artwork
The chances are that you’re a little early in your home-ownership journey to pop out for a Picasso, but artwork can make any wall feel like your own – and it does not have to break the bank. The great thing about art is that there’s something for everyone and at a budget to suit. Once you find a picture you like, you can go for a print if you cannot afford the original and can then make use of the extensive flexibility of frames and placement to achieve your ideal look and feel throughout the room.
7. Go for a Cohesive Appearance
If you’re on the lower end of the budget scale in your first home, then it might be out of the question to acquire matching sets of everything. Nevertheless, the effort can often pay off, and we would encourage any savvy decorator to go for sets wherever possible. If you’re low on storage, there’s no harm in keeping plates, cutlery and other items on display, and if they all follow the same kind of pattern, they’ll inevitably enhance the appearance of the finished room.
8. Go the Extra Mile with Containers and Dispensers
A great, cost-effective way to enhance the appearance of a room is to use dedicated dispensers and containers. Not only will they improve the visual appeal through a cohesive look and feel, but they will also help to cut down on waste and focus your mind for the purpose of recycling and reusing. In the kitchen, this is an opportunity to pick out some nice jars, while you can do something similar in the bathroom with a matching set of soap dispensers and other related items.
9. Try a Trolley
A bar trolley or something similar can serve a similar role to a tray, but with far more flexibility and overall space. If you can find a space in the home for something on wheels, a trolley will fill that space admirably while also presenting a great storage and serving opportunity. They do not work in every home, but if you have gone for the kind of style that a trolley can support, they can represent an outstanding option.
10. Go with the Best Storage Option
First homes are rarely last homes and among the most natural times to move is when you simply run out of space. If storage is at a premium, then always consider your options to improve availability in everything you do. This could be opting for a bed with drawers rather than a hollow base, or a taller bedside table with 3 drawers rather than 2. Opportunities such as these present themselves in every room, so make sure you have your eyes open to the possibilities!