Furnishing your new property is a wonderful opportunity to “claim your space” by creating a mood or a motif that reflects your personal style. This is your chance to put your unique stamp on your new home! But moving isn’t cheap, and neither are the costs associated with purchasing a property.
After fees and closing costs (not to mention your down payment), your budget has most likely been exhausted. Luckily, you can decorate your new abode to suit your tastes and your personality without breaking the bank. We can help you transform your empty house into an attractive, warm, inviting home.
When you are ready to make your big move, resist the temptation to rush out and snap up every piece of furniture you want for your new home. In order to stick to a budget, you will have to prioritize your needs. Make a list of “must-have” items, and start by shopping for essentials. Do not allow yourself to make impulsive purchases, especially if you still need to pick up basic home furnishings. Once you’ve outfitted your new home with all of the essential items, then you can begin to hunt for non-essential decorations, luxury items, and toys.
Three Simple Steps for Claiming Your Space
1. Paint the walls. You don’t need to shell out loads of cash for expensive premium paints, and you don’t need to pay someone else to do your dirty work. Buy a tarp and rollers from your local hardware store, search the Internet for color schemes that match your personality, and get down to business.
By painting your walls vibrant colors, or by muting your walls but painting your moldings and baseboards white, you can reinvigorate your new home. If you feel creative or adventurous, you can always use painter’s tape to create patterns (like stripes), but solid colors typically work best. Of course, painting will take time (and you might ruin an old pair of jeans), but this activity will help you connect with your home, and claim the space as your own.
You can look for some ideas in our 2013 Spring Decorating Guide.
2. Start with the bedroom. This is where you’ll be spending about 1/3 of all your time, so it’s important that you get the bedroom just right. If your budget is tight, then start off buying new bedding, and don’t skimp on the thread count. Few purchases are likely to have a greater impact on your overall comfort and quality of life than your bedding, so go ahead and give yourself latitude to purchase high-quality bedding at a higher cost.
And if you really want to splurge, then you can buy your dream bed. Just be sure not to clutter up your bedroom with extra tables and chairs. And no matter what you do, abide by this one rule: no televisions, no exceptions. Homeowners who keep a T.V. in their bedroom tend to sleep less soundly and for fewer hours each night than those who ban televisions and computers from the bedroom.
3. Fight the urge to match your furnishings. When you walk into a high-end home furnishings store, you will notice right away that retailers prefer to match many complementary items—tables, chairs, lamps, etc.—to a single, prominent “show piece” such as a sofa, bed, or desk. This is salesmanship, plain and simple.
If you buy the bed, then you’ll need the end tables, the lamps, the bureau… you get the idea. There is nothing wrong with matching pieces per se, but if you furnish entire rooms with identical items, then your house will begin to look and feel like the furniture section of a department store! Your top priorities when choosing individual pieces should be proportion, scale, and balance. Find pieces that fit your personal style, and don’t be afraid to mix it up.