Lessons I learnt from decorating our first home

There is so much excitement that comes with owning your first ever home, that we all make mistakes in the decorating department. Even the best of us. I will happily declare that my husband and I were like kids in a candy shop. Our own space, a chance to choose our own furnishings and style and decorate how we like. We were eager to get stuck in.

And it’s here that you can make some pretty costly mistakes. Since we have been in our home, I have often urged other home buyers to avoid some of the mistakes we made.

So let’s get cracking on some of the lessons we learnt decorating our first home.

Read : 5 Things I want from my next home

Live in your home before splurging on furniture

You might not even have any furniture of your own, like us. But one thing we really should have done is buy what we needed first, and look at the other bits later on. But being new homeowners we of course hit Ikea, and with a vision of white on white ( which did not work ) we bought bookcases and those alike that just didn’t work in the space. Within a couple of weeks we knew we had made a mistake and just tried to make it work.

I would highly advise living in the space you have before making any rash decisions on furniture and key pieces. It’s best to get a feel for the space you do have and how you would like to utalise and style it. Then you can make the correct choice on key furniture pieces.

Buy furniture that will age well

When purchasing your furniture, its also best to consider how long it will last you. Is it on trend now? Is it a fashion piece rather than a necessity? Will you be moving in the near future? If so, will this piece work in a different space? Whilst you might think this is a little too much consideration, it’s worth noting, especially if spending big bucks on furniture pieces.

As mentioned, we bought a fair few pieces that haven’t worked out long term. It’s been essentially wasted money and has meant we have had to spend more to replace and update. Pieces that we have since bought, we have carefully considered how it can fit into a new home when we do move.

Don’t buy cheap paint

Very specific this one and well we learnt the real hard way with this one. Some swear by own brands of paint, but in all honesty, we really mucked up in our master bedroom, choosing cheap paint. We spent 3 days decorating and ended in tears with me weeping after being so tired. We ended up giving up and three years later, I still find new patches on our grey and charcoal walls.

Spend more on the branded paint and avoid those cheaper own brands. It will save you in hassle in the long run and most of the time, cheaper paints require more coats.

Prep your surface

Our first painting session in our home really was a disaster. We didn’t prep the walls whatsoever. Huge mistake and meant the cheap paint just didn’t do well at all. Sanding down your surface will make it much easier for the paint to take and will give you a great finish.

Carefully consider your colour palette

We didn’t get started right away with the decorating in our home, partly due to it being a new build and everything was a wash of white. We carefully considered our colour palette and I’m so glad we did. We chose neutral furnishings which made choosing our entire palette easy to match with what we had.

I hugely recommend looking at how all your colours work with each other. Create mood boards to work with a coherent scheme that compliments.

Cheap isn’t always best

I’ve alluded to this quiet a few times throughout this post, but essentially cheaper alternatives isn’t always best. I love a bargain, but when it comes to furniture and paint, spending a little more can save you time, hassle and expenditure later down the line.

When we first moved in, we purchased cheap Argos pieces and whilst they lasted, we didn’t keep them too long. They were pretty flimsy, and unfortunately looked cheap. I do wish we had held back and chosen pieces at the beginning that may have cost a little more, but lasted and suited our space better.

Okay, so we didn’t make any catastrophic, house fell down kind of mistakes when decorating our home. But we certainly made some mistakes we could have avoided if we had been patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and whether you’re buying your first home, second home or forever home, it will not be perfect straight away. Take your time, consider carefully and enjoy the process.

Did you make mistakes when decorating your home? Do you have any advice? As always, leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

How to decorate a new build home and create a beautifully styled abode.

A little over 4 years since we moved into our new build, 2 bed apartment. And whilst pinterest makes white on white interiors dreamy as hell, decorating a white washed, no personality new build can be tricky. Where do you start?

I’m ashamed to admit, that we made some pretty awful design ideas when first moving into our new build property. It’s daunting when you have so many rooms and little to no idea on how to utalize space and incorporate interior design. So, how do you easily decorate a new build without splurging un-necessarily.

Here’s my top tips on nailing a new build interior, and how I would do it again.

Don’t rush

It’s really easy, in any home, to rush right in and paint, choose colour schemes and buy furniture. My biggest regret in our new build home was buying new furniture without really living within the property. We ended up having to sell or make do with some of the pieces we had purchased and wasted money and time.

Even if it’s for a couple of weeks, live in your home before purchasing anything new and deciding on anything certain.

Your home changes in the light, so living within it for some time before deciding colour can help you establish what will work in the space and lighting.

Moodboard

A really coherant home centres on spaces that work together. Having a colour palette across your entire home can create a real flow and sense of unity in your property. Moodboard as much as you can, and be weary of each room and the impact on the entire feel of your property before going ahead with anything.

Consider your red thread in your home too. This is a idea that a single colour can be found in every room of your home , unifying all spaces and creating that much needed flow, through the use of one colour in every space. For example : Grey is our red thread and can be found in every room of our property. It is used in different ways in different spaces, and combined with different colours in different spaces too.

Moodboards are really easy to create, on and offline. I hugely recommend canva and of course using pinterest to source ideas and imagery. You can get old school and use magazines, printed images and scissors and glue.

Go Bold

Many avoid new homes, partly due to the reputation they can hold, but partly because they lack character. New build homes can be found nationwide with little to no difference from each other, being branded as boring.

I don’t agree. New builds can certainly carry character, especially inside. Going bold with colour and installing your own design elements can carry your new build into a new dimension.

Any change to your bare white walls will feel huge, but know that colour can transform your bland new build. Don’t be afraid to feature bold wallpapers, patterns and designs too. Know that pattern can add depth into your space and allow you to play with space and colour.

Paneling is huge. Mainly because it’s super easy to incorporate into a modern home and is fairly inexpensive. Going bold with unique paneling on a feature wall is a great way to inject character and easily decorate your new build. Paneling can be used in any room, including a bathroom.

Change the fixtures and fittings

Most new builds come with run of the mill fixtures and fittings. Upgrade them. Swapping the usual door handles, plugs, sockets, light switches and kitchen handles can upgrade and refresh your ‘basic’ home. If it’s just the colour, why not spray paint handles for a inexpensive upgrade on the usual.

Inject personality

There is no one way to inject your personality into your home, much rather is a combination of lots of things. Don’t worry, I will explain them all and how you can use these ideas in your brand new home.

Styling

Styling is so so so important in your new home. Style your space using decor pieces, ornaments, house plants, candles and more. Shop wisely and take your time. Carefully purchased decoration pieces will help inject personality and decorate your new build home.

Wall Art

Walls should never be completely bare. Hanging wall art, gallery walls and hangings can all inject much needed personality into your new build home.

Shop prints, have memories framed and vary the frames you use to incorporate different styles

Layer

There is nothing more comforting than layers within a home. Fluffy cushions, throws and blankets create a softness in your space. It’s another opportunity to play with colour and patterns too. Make sure your new build home has plenty of layers.

Colour

Colour is really important, especially in a blank home. As mentioned before, curate a colour palette for your entire home, focusing on colours that you enjoy and emit the correct energy and vibe for your home.

Texture

A great home has lots and lots of textures working together within it. Hard floors, fluffy rugs, cane furniture, wicker baskets. A balance of different materials throughout your home can help soften the harsh blandness that can often be felt in new build homes. Carefully selecting a combination of different materials can help massively.

Decorating your new build home will take time. Unfortunately it’s something you don’t want to rush and its wise not too. Getting it wrong will only cost you in money and time. Be brave and enjoy the process.

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Our Open Plan Living Space progression

If you’ve seen some of my recent home updates post, then you will know we are overhauling our rather large, open plan living space. We have been in our property for a little over 3 years and have been fairly reluctant to put our own stamp on the place. Mainly because we have sodding high ceilings. But after consideration and realizing we will be staying put for a couple more years yet, we decided to put our stamp on!

We are now roughly 5 weeks into the progress, of which we started with our seating booth. We also had a window of opportunity, being the school half term, so leapt into the painting. We knew it would be a big job, and considering we had a line to create around the room for our border, it was going to be a fiddly one too.

I had just started the edging here. Hubby can’t do it so it’s my responsibilty.
This was after the 1st coat. As you can see it really did need another coat!

Having said that, we seemed to tackle the whole job easier and quicker than anticipated. We cracked on Monday evening and within 24 hours we had all walls painted, TWICE over!

To say we are thrilled with the outcome would be understating it. To over haul a blank and pretty bland room with colour, and a on trend but complementing one at that has made such a huge difference to our space. Since getting such great results from our own painting, we have now painted other parts of our home, and plan to crack on with the rest.

We had such a bad experience painting our bedroom, since our ceilings are soo high and we didn’t choose high-quality paint. We were alway dubous to carry on with the apartment and fooled ourselves into believeing the white was better for the space. But since we lowered the hight ( by adding a picture rail ) we tackled and conquered the walls and injected the much needed colour our apartment was craving!

Dulux – English Mist 2

My decorating top tips:

– Always prep first!
– Use old sheets and cover every aspect of your home.
– Sand your surface. This makes a huge difference on the wall texture and helps your new colour bond with the wall.
– Always do a second coat – it can bring out the colour!
– Buy HIGH QUALITY paint! Cheapy alternatives never give you the right finish and always end up taking more coats and hard work!

PSA: Please IGNORE the state of the room in these photos. NOT insta worthy and not how the room will be staying. Just look at the paint lol. A full reveal will be coming on my instagram and blog in due course!

How we will be transforming our open plan living space

As you may have guessed from my previous content, we have been umming and ahhing over whether to up-sticks and purchase a home. We currently reside in a 2 bed, 1st floor apartment in a quiet village between Eastbourne and Brighton. Ut’s a modern, new build bursting with features, since it was remodeled on the original building that once stood here – a mental asylum.

It’s our first home, which we bought a little over 3 years ago and we have always been proud of what we have. But since saying I do, and considering the future with little people living with us too, we did wonder whether we should buy a property fit for a family sooner rather than later.

Fast forward countless chats, a mortgage meeting and a couple of afternoons wandering round show homes, we decided we may as well stay put. We love our little home, and whilst it doesn’t have a huge kitchen with island, a sweeping driveway or even a little slice of outdoor space, we do have enough space for us and one other. Plus we don’t have to go through the stress and expense of moving just yet.

So what are we doing?

A rather lot actually. We bought this place with it being a completely blank canvas. With the last 3 years being a time to which we focused on furniture and wedding plans, we are now turning our attention to the details of our home. We are implementing colour, shades and more importantly, furniture that works with our space.

It’s something we have been planning and organising for some weeks, but I am so excited to get our home looking and feeling it’s best for us. ( Of course, there’s the added bonus being that it will look super snazzy for when we do want to sell ).


https://unsplash.com/photos/YAHlwESEjXo

The Open planned space

Our lounge / dining space / kitchen is just that, a rather large open space. It’s been one we have fiddled, re-organised and shuffled around rather a lot. We are lucky enough to be able to have the room multiple ways, but not 100% sure what way works best.

We really want to hone in on a space that works for us, and guests when hosting and just relaxing in general. This summer we hope with some built in extras and a re-purchase of key furniture pieces, we will be able to finally have a space that fits us when relaxing, but also family and friends when hosting dinner parties and more.

Using colour

Is there anything more exciting than injecting in some colour into your home or even just re-adjusting the style in your space. As mentioned our apartment really is a blank space, with us only painting our bedroom ( which took us 4 whole days and ended with me crying because I just didn’t want to paint anymore. )

We really want to add some colour to the whole apartment, using clever tricks, and painting some walls. I’ve found lots on inspiration on my chum Pinterest and even found clever ways to inject colour into rooms with stupidly high walls. (Who’s idea was it to buy an apartment with 4metre high walls anyway?)

Organising

You know how it is, you have a load of crap, cupboards filled with most possibly items not needed, or simply keeping hold of for the sake of it. Even worse, you have cupboards full of stuff we need, it’s just not organised appropriately. So what’s the plan? Get it all organised. If Mrs Hinch has tought me anything, it’s that there’s nothing a plastic box can’t hold or organise.

I have big plans for my utility cupboard, and I really want to utalise every nook and cranny into usable storage solutions! Unfortunately we lack loft storage and without outdoor space, we lack a garage or shed too. This is the most exciting part for me as I really want to showcase that you can store what you need in your home, without it looking unsightly and with it being completely usable.

Overall, we have pretty big plans for our open plan living. Many say our apartment is spacious and a great start block. It is, and always has been. We just need to be more clever with what we do with it.

Do you have any plans for your home this summer? Anything you think I should consider for my open space? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!