Decorating your new home: things to think about before you pick up that paintbrush
So you’ve got the essentials – the TV, kettle, bed – and are ready to turn your new house into a proper home. But before you get stuck in, here are some helpful tips from Riverside Home Ownership to help make creating your dream place less of a nightmare.
Design flare doesn’t come naturally to all of us, but inspiration can hit you anywhere. Remember it’s your home so choose what you like. Let it reflect your personality and don’t feel you have to follow the trends.
Take a trip to your local DIY or furniture store. Have a look at their products or room displays and pick up samples, colour charts and brochures to start your very own style scrapbook.
Save pictures of anything you spot online that takes your fancy and note down your ideas. Pinterest is a great place to see thousands of other people’s rooms and do just that – create your own digital board to gather everything in one place, plus get suggestions from interior design experts around the world.
Before you know it, your design will begin to take shape all on its own.
Plan. Plan. Plan.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail so they say. Whether you’re going for a particular theme, colour scheme or even an eclectic look, take time to nail down exactly what you are going to do and buy.
Remember the practical things too – not just the pretty stuff! Very importantly, check furniture measurements to make sure it all fits nicely into your room. Although less exciting, you also need to think about things like paintbrushes, masking tape and cleaning materials.
Decide on a final design to help you focus on what you need. Write a shopping list so you know exactly what you’re going to spend, and avoid any impulse buys you may regret later.
Watch the pennies
Making your home heavenly needn’t cost the earth. That perfect rug may cost hundreds in the magazine you saw it in, but shop around – you can find some great quality lookalikes in discount stores or in second hand markets for a lot less.
If you’re feeling crafty, you could even upcycle some of your existing furniture to fit your new scheme – try your hand at re-painting wooden chairs or an old table. The money you save can be spent on something special as a treat!
Ask the experts
With a little confidence, you can do a lot of the smaller jobs yourself. There are plenty of YouTube videos and forums online that can recommend certain products, or show you things like how to change a plug or re-cover your old sofa.
But if in any doubt, call an expert out. Remember gas appliances must only be installed by qualified Gas Safe fitters. Bigger electrical jobs should be left to an electrician. Anything building related should be carried out by someone experienced and can possibly need permission from your leaseholder or local council.
Make the time
Getting things right takes time, so try to set aside enough to make sure you end up with the best possible result. You don’t have to do the whole house in one go, but try not to let it drag on too long – it can be all too easy to rush the final few touches which make the biggest difference. The extra care will really pay off.
Riverside Home Ownership has been building new homes for Shared Ownership around the North West for nearly thirty years, and has developments across the country. For more information, visit www.riversidehomeownership.org.uk