There’s something that gets to you when you’re staring at a blank page or a blank wall – without any parameters or context, our imaginations struggle to get going. So when it’s your first home, when you don’t even have a chair to sit on, how do you start coming up with how you want your home to look and feel – preferably as quickly as possible so you have somewhere to sit down?
1. Prioritise your expenses
It’s usually obvious what you want to spend the most money on – usually a bed, or the sofa, or a chair. So devote a decent portion of your budget to those things, and even if you don’t buy them first, make sure you save enough back so you don’t have to skimp on them later.
2. Be Patient
The panic of looking at an empty space can make you think you must find the right solution for everything and have it ordered next day delivery. But these are big purchases, and this is a rare time you get to choose how you shape the place where you sleep, relax, recharge – it’s something you want to get right. You will be living with the consequences of your choice longer than you will be living without a sofa/bed/rug/etc, so make sure you consider the quality, style, function and form before you commit.
3. Decide where you’re going
This is especially important if you’re not going to buy everything right away. Spend some time deciding what design style works for you – there are online quizzes like this one from Havenly, or you can use filters on Houzz or search Pinterest to see what types of keywords match up with things that you love. Then you can use this to guide your purchases – even if you don’t buy the marble coffee table right now, you know that’s what is going to really pull together your modern luxe style, so you build around it so when you do find the right one and have the budget, it slots right in.
4. Let yourself fall in love
A home that looks amazing and unique – and personal to you – comes through thoughtful design, but also from having at least a couple of items that you just love. Sometimes it’s a chair, a lamp, a cushion, a random accessory on a shelf – these things will shape your design and make your home special – if you let them. Your head needs to control the budget and make sure things fit together, but your heart needs to choose at least one thing in the home! In this image, my client fell in love with a pink chair, and then a rug, and those two elements turned a standard design into something personal and really lovely!
5. Find 2 or 3 design elements to centre around
It’s easy to get distracted and overwhelmed by all of the choices out there, so make sure you have a few things that tie your home together. For example, you may go for light wood, Scandinavian style, and pastel colours. So you probably shouldn’t buy the bright coloured rug that looks amazing in the shop but will really not fit in your home without a lot of reworking. You can have a conflict here and there, but stick to your guns and reduce the ‘noise’ by having a couple of points that guide your purchases. It’s actually really liberating when you don’t have to think about everything you see in a vacuum – decisions become a lot easier!