If you've just signed on the dotted line for a brand new house, or are moving into a new rental shortly, here are a few ways to transform a blank canvas house into a home that is really you ...
A new blogpost from The Lust List blog by Home Lust Concept Store.
Unless you've purchased an attractive, fully furnished showhouse or managed to rent a tastefully decorated rental, chances are you've just spent a massive chunk of your savings to secure the space, which leaves little for the actual decorating.
Neverthless, moving house is a fantastic opportunity to dispose of things you no longer need or want, and possibly make a little bit of money by selling them on advert sites. Financial and decorating stress go hand in hand in a rather unhelpful way, so every little helps, as they say.
Decorating a new place is such an exciting thing ... , until it becomes daunting and overwhelming. There is no advice that works for all of us, but here are a few common-sense ideas that help alomg the way ...
Image: Broste Copenhagen
The best piece of advice from home owners and interior designers alike is not to buy everything straight away, but budget for the decorating project and then prioritise your purchases. Decorating is a marathon, not a sprint, and a home will evolve over time, which is why you should live there for before deciding what you need and works best for the space.There is a lot to consider before you even start unpacking, so here is our chronological to-do list that you can use when it comes to essential works and purchases.
1. WALLS AND FLOORS
Image: Bloomingville Interiors
Wall colour will probably be one of the hardest choices you have to make in terms of decor and atmosphere. Before you think of adding any colour to your walls just before you move in, stop. While, admittedly, painting an empty home is a million times easier than moving furniture around and covering everything in plastic for days, choosing the wrong colour when you are not yet perfectly acquainted with the space is just not worth it.
There are so many factors involved in choosing the right colour, such as lighting, orientation, furniture and lifestyle, that it is better to wait until you have decided what each room is being used for. Get to know each room's lighting patterns and atmosphere before you commit to any particular shade other than a nice and safe white or light neutral to start with.
Image: Boen Flooring
Floors, if not fit for purpose or to your liking, probably need to be replaced sooner rather than later, and preferably before you move in. You do not want to be in the house while floors are being replaced or reconditioned. So this is probably the first major decision you will have to make. If you are unsure, choose plain materials or natural wood that you can develop further in terms of colour and texture.
2. SITTING AND SLEEPING
Image: HK Living
Choose your dominating furniture first, and build your decor around them. Trying to fit these last will prove a nightmare, and by adding in the larger items first, you can make sure that you won't overcrowd a room. Before buying any kind of large furniture, start with a classic piece that will stand the test of time rather than choosing a style that may feel outdated in a few years or whose features are too trendy or gimmicky.
Because it's the anchor of your living room (in addition to being a good spot to nap, get some work done, watch Netflix marathons, and have dinner occasionally), a sofa is definitely one of the essential furniture pieces you should not be afraid to invest in. Now that you have your own place, you don't need to worry about picking a sofa that will travel well or fit into a variety of different rentals. For the perfect layout and style, select high-quality seating in the perfect size and configuration (if you're going with a sectional/modular sofa) to suit your home. You may be shocked at the prices but it's well worth the investment.
Image: Deion Furniture
Your bed is probably one of the first big purchases you need to make, and it won't be easy either. A bed should marry comfort and style in the most wonderful way. But how do you find the right type of bed for you that also fits the room perfectly?
Think outside the box for this one. Most bedroom sizes are on the smaller side when it comes to the average Irish house. While there is not much you can do about that, you can go beyond the classic bedroom layout - by the wall, next to the window, etc. Nowadays you can choose anything from a low, Japanese-style platform bed that can be placed in the middle of the room, or a slim-frame metal one with bedposts that can sit diagonally accross the room, or a nest-type of storage bed that has shelves and nooks for all your stuff. Even modern sofa beds and foldable wall beds are quite good now, and something to consider if you want to use the room during the day also.
Image: HK Living
Sitting around the table with your family or friends, sharing a meal and conversation, is the way memories are made. But how do you find those perfect dining room chairs? The ones that are super comfortable and super stylish at the same time?
You should choose chairs that are wide and high enough to suit the dining table, which you should always buy first. Now you can also buy chairs with adjustable height; very useful for growing kids. Consider how hard-wearing chairs should be. Is your dining room used occasionally or are your dining chairs and table used every day? If you are not buying a dining suite – which can be somewhat plain-looking –, consider the colour, texture and shape of your chosen dining table. Look for chairs that will co-ordinate well with the table; they shoudl complement or contrast the table in a coherent way. Style your dining space to reflect your own personal home set-up, and one that gives you the flexibility and choice should your family grow in the future.
3. CARPETS, CURTAINS, CUSHIONS
Image: Nordal Interiors
Rugs are wonderfully versatile pieces that add personality and texture to a room, and that you can rotate and use seasonally. A large rug in a natural fiber (like seagrass or sisal) is a relatively inexpensive way to cover your hard flooring in high traffic areas. A vibrant patterned rug can enliven an otherwise plain room and you can layer it on top of existing fitted carpets for a bohemian look. Now that you know you'll be staying in your home for a while, consider ordering a rug in custom dimensions that fits the room perfectly.
For some curtains are optional, but if you are one of those people who insist on decorative curtains, make sure they match or complement your upholstery or carpets. Alternatively, high-end blinds and shutters are also a great choice for a contemporary look.
Cushions ... are only the easiest and most affordable way to change up your home decor, add finishing touches and infuse your unique taste into your new home space.
4. LIGHTING AND DECOR
Image: Nordal Interiors
Side tables, decor accessories, and unique art complements are next on our list of items to purchase for a custom look. You may have to invest quite a bit in a few pieces to achieve the look you want, but the result will be rewarding.
Investing in the right system of illumination for your home will ensure the optimum ambience and functionality for your individual rooms. Identify the use of each individual space in the house so that they are complemented by the right type of lighting fixtures, and make sure that the illuminating beams are reaching the right areas: ceiling lights for the dining area, recessed lights for the kitchen, spot lights for the utility room, wall mounted lights for the hallway, etc. Last but not least, choose the right bulb that accentuates or compliments the colours of your walls. When you spent quite some time choosing the right paint, you want to preserve its beauty in artificial lighting, too. Washed in natural light wall paint can look massively different than when you turn on the lights at night.
Choosing the placement of the lighting fixtures is also important. One of the best ways to add interest and drama to a room is by strategically placing accent lights near plants, artwork, stairs, bookcases. Which is why the right accent tables, console tables and decorative objects should be chosen based on where they would be placed in the room, and where they are in relation to the light fixtures.
5. ART AND TRINKETS
Image: Libelle Magazine
This may be the last and most pleasing phase of your home decorating journey. While a fine art collection takes some tiem to acquire, it does not mean your walls should remain bare and boring. Inexpensive yet non-generic art or prints should do the trick for quite a while. Wall hangings made of natural materials and textiles, oversized photographs and graphic posters are also a good way to add a little extra charm to barren walls. So are travel souvenirs that you can hang, such as decorative plates, masks and wall charts.
Here are some furniture and decor suggestions from Home Lust Concept Store to help on your decorating and furnishing journey. Shop below: