Styling your first home can be challenging when you’ve lived all your life in someone else’s house… with someone else’s decor. Whether you are renting, buying, or renovating, if it’s your first home then grab this style guide.
If you’re buying your first home it can be a little overwhelming. The first step on the property ladder is a difficult one to take, and it’s not uncommon for future homeowners to delay the process by another few years to make sure that all the cards are stacked on their side. After all, one has to consider that buying a house is a financial commitment that will have a large impact on your life. At the same time, you can’t be renting a house forever.
There will come the time when you will need a place to call your own and that you are free to style as you wish. It’s the best type of freedom. No more asking the landlord if you are allowed to plant a tree in the garden or paint a wall. When it’s your house, you can do as you please. But it is not uncommon for new homeowners to feel a little daunted by this new freedom. How do you turn your house into a home when you’ve never done anything similar before? This is the question that styling your first home is trying to answer.
The Big Style Dilemma
The problem with home décor and styling your first home is that it’s an entirely new concept when you haven’t done it before. Perhaps you redecorated your teenage bedroom, but your experience of redecorating a whole house is likely to be minimal. And the way you decorated your bedroom as a teenager is probably not the style you want now (hopefully). There’s a fair bet that you won’t be following the same inspiration when you are styling your first home.
Indeed, given that most teenagers’ bedrooms tend to look either dark and gothic or pink and girlie, it’s likely that your tastes and priorities in life have shifted since then. You can’t take any inspiration from your student accommodation either, as these tend to be rented and therefore decorated as cheaply as possible. Indeed, students have a tendency to rely on pre-loved furniture from their parents’ home or on IKEA college room furniture. In short, your experience of home décor is a little light on when you first become a homeowner. But don’t panic:
Styling Your First Rented Home
For many homeowners, the path to the property ladder begins with renting houses until you find your perfect home. Don’t make the mistake of not decorating a place that you don’t own. While your décor will need to be a little more restrained than for a place you own, it is a good training to develop your décor tastes and find out what inspires you.
Besides, it’s only very low-key accents with little effort, which makes it easier to experiment. Start with a few colourful statements with the help of a bright rug or exotic cushions. They will bring a new feeling to the room. If you have ugly walls, hang long lengths of interesting fabric by simply threading through a dowel or stapling to the back of a length of wood.
You can also create an interior garden with small and clean potted plants in your living room. If you are a DIY crafter, create your own decorative items, such as a photo collage frame. You can get the best effect with the décor of a rented home by being playful with your furniture. If you love painting, try chalk paint to revive your furniture set in bright and bold colours.
Think in terms of temporary design elements that can be easily removed. You can even buy temporary wallpaper which looks great. Change out door handles, cupboard handles, and tapware. Then change back when you move and take the cool handles and tapware with you. Styling your first home means playing with colour and accessories. In the example below, the same room looks different only by changing the art work and colour of the chairs. Simple.
Styling Your First New Build Home
If you decide to buy a new build house, you will find that these tend to come pre-decorated, such as the Vision One houses that come in neutral colours for example. The décor in a new build tends to be a little plain if not cold. But this is perfectly normal. These houses are designed to be ready to move in, yet they are not set to your personal tastes!
So your first action will be to inject some warmth into the house. You can use colourful accessories for this, such as curtains and blinds, or if you are feeling a little adventurous, you can choose to paint walls in colours you prefer. You will also find that the two main rooms that generally need some personality are the kitchen and the bathroom. This is where little details can go a long way and still change the ambiance in the room: Using wallpaper, tiles, sheet metal, mirrors, and fabrics will help you to create a fresher atmosphere.
Styling Your First Old Home
When you move into an old home, you have the possibility to play a design game with the old structure if the materials are visible; opposites do attract. Creating clashing effects by mixing old elements of the house, such as the traditional mantelpiece or the wooden beams, with modern design and technology. This will enable you to create an accent on the romantic and rustic elements of the house while keeping a modern lifestyle. Often, old homes will have plaster over brick. If you suspect this is the case, take off the plaster as you may have fabulously eclectic bricks underneath.
If your new old home has large rooms, balance the size of the furniture to the size of the room. Furniture that is too small will look swamped in a big space.