You just received the keys to your new house. Congratulations! At this time, it isn’t an easy thing to pull off in this country. I am assuming you are a first-time buyer and your house is a new building, either one of a series of similar homes or reading serviced apartments. You can expect your new dwelling to come with a fitted kitchen, potentially including appliances, in addition to a toilet, shower and bath with tiling in both the bathroom and kitchen wet areas. It is a blank canvas otherwise.
If you are good at thinking about interiors in creative ways, this is a great opportunity for you. You don’t need to erase the remains of previous occupants – no one has lived in the space ever before – it is new and clean, which means you can really make it your own. However, there can be some challenges as well.
First Things First
If all you can afford to buy is a single piece of furniture, purchase a decent mattress. As long as you are able to sleep comfortably at night, you can wait for everything else, including the sofa. For example, an L-shaped sofa will commit you to a specific area.
The majority of new builds are painted in a pale uniform grey colour. Although it isn’t great for your long-term happiness, it can be a good idea to live with it for a while.
Just leave it for about a year. We have a tendency to follow the light around the room, so you need to be able to see what occurs from one season to the next and at different times of the day also. Once you are ready, painting your rooms in colours you really love will help to transform them for a fairly low price and, in the meantime, you will be able to save up for the next stage of your project.
What an old fashioned idea! Our parents’ generation were very familiar with it, but they didn’t have IKEA to be tempted by. Using IKEA selectively is where it really comes into its own, along with other furniture. Instead of shelling out for an expensive dining set, consider investing in an IKEA trestle table with a plain top.
You can pick up dining chairs inexpensively at auctions and then reupholster with a staple gun and quality fabric. It is all about buying yourself some time. If you rush into things you can end up spending twice as much money.
Interior designer John Gibson with Martin-Hudson & Gibson, who has many years of experience with decorating new houses completely from scratch.
He says, there are many ways to do this inexpensively. Start with the floor. You can purchase a high-quality Persian rug at an auction for a few hundred euros and then place it over a cheap synthetic carpet. Or strips of wallpaper can be used on the floor. It actually works a lot better than you may think and shops such as ours frequently have rolls of high-quality wallpaper leftover that we will sell at a cheap price.
The cost to hire someone to make curtains for you will be the same, whether you spend a lot or a little bit of money on the fabric. You can buy curtain poles by the length and purchase finials and brackets separately. You can cover them with wallpaper or paint them if they don’t match, Gibson adds. He says he has even seen fabric tubes painted used for temporary curtain poles.
A final word on show homes. Nearly all new developments have these and their purpose is helping prospective buyers imagine being in that space. So if show homes are something you find attractive, follow their template to the extent that your budget allows. However, don’t let them make you feel inadequate or intimidated. Your new house is all your own and you are free to decorate it in whatever way you want.