Moving into your first home is a turning point in your life. After you’ve gotten rid of your college futon and your roommate’s effort at fine art, you’ll need to devise a strategy for transforming your empty shell into a welcoming home. Here are some ideas to help you pull it off:
De-clutter the old place
Get ahead of the game by starting this process even before you make an offer on a new home. This crucial first step will not only make packing your existing digs easier but will also put you miles ahead of the game when it comes to moving in. Be brave and get rid of somewhere between 25% to 50% of your old belongings.
Swaying furniture in the attic, broken appliances in the garage, and dubious items acquired as gifts. This is the ideal opportunity to begin again. Reduce your collected possessions to a bare minimum. Have a garage sale, put it up for auction on eBay, or donate it to a good cause. What you won’t miss will astound you.
Begin in the bedroom
After all, it’s where you’ll be spending about a third of your time when you’re at home. If money is tight, start with new bedding, but don’t skimp on thread count! This is an area where you should spend as much as you can afford – it makes a big impact. If you have a little more cash, paint the walls of your bedroom to match your new bedding. Do you have any more money in your wallet? Window curtains that match should be added.
Early risers should use a lighter color palette. Deeper tones and more substantial covers that filter out the light will most likely satisfy night owls who prefer to sleep in. Buy that bed you’ve always wanted if you’re ready to spend. Also, choose wisely. It should reflect your individuality, fit comfortably in your space, and last for years.
Don’t get everything at once
Before making any major purchases, spend at least two months in your new home. The way you think you’ll use the house and the way you live in it are frequently two different things. Perhaps the $5,000 you planned to spend on a bathroom renovation isn’t as crucial as beefing up the kitchen and dining area for optimal gathering potential.
You might also discover that the living room loveseat would be more suited to your master bedroom, while the master bedroom chaise would be better suited to the den.
Don’t give in to the impulse to match
The misconception that everything has to match is perpetuated by retail businesses all the time. They’d love it if you bought everything in a set, but don’t! A few items with similar styling are great, but much more and your home takes on the lifeless, generic appearance of a furniture shop. Make sure your unique style shines through, which is unlikely to be plain, colorless, or uninteresting.
Color is a great way to bring things together
Don’t worry if you’ve moved into your first place with furnishings from the 1960s to the present. Unifying via color is the simplest and most cost-effective solution to solve this insurmountable problem. Let’s imagine you have a sofa that only has one thing in common with the rest of your living room’s furniture.
A tiny amount of the fabric’s color matches the less dominating hue in the rest of the room’s upholstery. Solution? Make the most of the similarities and use them as the unifying wall color in your living area. If that sounds like too much work, look for curtains, carpets, or accessories in the same color family and notice how the pieces begin to complement one another.
Solve practical challenges for a low cost.
For example, if your kitchen cabinets are dreary, spruce them up with paint and new hardware. And don’t bother installing overly decorative (and very expensive) cabinet hardware on cheaply fabricated woodwork — it will look out of place and the money can be put to better use elsewhere. Something as basic as changing the lighting in the bathroom can instantly alter the room’s appearance.
Replace any incandescent R-type bulbs you find in your new place with the less “yellow” PAR-type bulbs. Installing dimmer switches to keep light levels low for a nocturnal bathroom break or to create a romantic ambiance for bubble baths for two is another low-cost solution with great payback.