Decorating your first home — whether it’s one you’ve purchased or rented — can be a daunting experience. From furniture to lighting, wall decorations and more, working out what to buy and where to place it can be difficult even if you have a natural sense of interior design.
Fortunately, it’s not as challenging as you might think to decorate your first house, apartment or other living space. Below, we’ve shared our seven best decorating tips for first-timers looking to get the best aesthetic results and value for money while decorating their home.
Use smart, effective lighting to your advantage
Before we cover furniture, it’s important to touch on lighting. While your house or apartment is likely already fitted with ceiling lights, effective use of floor lamps and other secondary lighting can help it feel larger, calmer and more welcoming.
Not sure how to light your living room? Freshome’s guide to lighting goes into detail on how to light your living room, bedrooms and other spaces, with plenty of practical tips for you to make use of while shopping for lamps and other lighting devices.
Shop for some items second-hand to save money
While some furniture and decorating items are best bought new, others can be purchased used to reduce your spending and help you stick to your budget. From bed bases to dining tables, it’s often easy to find affordable, high quality used furniture online and in local used furniture shops.
Make use of your walls — it can make a big difference
Decorating doesn’t start and finish with furniture alone. By making good use of your walls, you can add some extra character to your living room, hallways and bedrooms, all without spending too much.
From paintings to prints of your favourite holiday photos or classic movie posters, it doesn’t take much to add a dash of personality to your home through unique wall decorations.
Use plants to create a natural, appealing atmosphere
Does your home feel a little sterile? Houseplants can be fantastic tools for adding life to living rooms, kitchens and other spaces. Try combining two or more different types of plants to give your home a natural, welcoming atmosphere.
Treat your furniture as an investment, not a purchase
While it’s never a bad thing to save money, it’s also important to think long term when you shop for furniture.
If you opt for low-cost furniture, there’s a real risk you might need to replace it at some point in the future. This particularly true for sofas, chairs and other items of furniture that are subject to constant use.
A good approach is to think of your sofa, armchairs and other heavily used furniture almost like an investment. While high quality modern or Chesterfield sofas might cost more than lower-end furniture in the short term, you might end up saving money long term by spending more now.
When in doubt, keep it as simple as possible
Can’t decide between two different tables, chairs, sofas or other items? When you’re in doubt, it’s usually best to opt for the simpler of two items. Not only do simple products usually cost far less to purchase — they’re also more likely to age gracefully and retain their appeal over time.
Don’t be afraid to add a touch of your personal style
Finally, don’t be afraid to add your personal style to your home’s furniture and decor. While it’s often tempting to do things “by the book” in order to avoid mistakes, it’s important to remember that you’re decorating your home.
Like a certain colour? Don’t be afraid to let it feature heavily in your decorating plans. Stick with the basics of home decorating for the most important aspects of the decorating process, but let your colours shine when and where it counts.