Buying your first home is exciting, but what’s even more exciting is being able to design it into your ultimate living space, adding all the finer details that creates the style you love. Dan Field is cofounder at The Shutters Department shares his 8 tips on how you can design your dream home.
1. Make It Yours
Everyone loves a bit of inspo and maybe even a good mood board or two, and it’s easy when you’re thinking about your first home to fall into the trap of turning it into the kind of space you’ve been reading about everywhere or obsessing over on Pinterest. But don’t forget that this space is yours, it’s not a photo in a magazine or a pin. You’re going to come home to this space every day for years to come, so make it something that’s truly yours and fits your tastes. And not just your current tastes either—try and make it something timeless, that you can add to or change when you like.
2. Do Your Research
It goes without saying that you need to do your research whenever you’re about to embark on a big renovation project, especially if it’s your first time. There’s a lot to consider, but your research shouldn’t stop at just what furniture you want or the look or style you’re going for, do your research to find whether you can cut costs on any key items or features you want for your new space. For example, if there’s a particular style of coffee table you really need to tie your living space together but it’s a little outside your price bracket, investing some time in online research may uncover a similar table at a much more affordable price.
3. Get Thrifty
Speaking of finding things for cheap, if you’re looking to pick up some unique accessories or even key furniture pieces without breaking the bank, pick a free weekend, grab a friend, and get stuck into some thrift shopping. Charity stores, second-hand shops, flea markets, and garage sales can be a treasure trove when you’re working on revamping the interior (and exterior) design of a new space. Don’t forget: the key to smart thrift shopping is seeing potential. A table or antique statue may not look like much in the store, but it could shine in your new living room after a quick sanding or polish.
4. Make It Arty
Not only does a great painting or photo add a lot to a room, it can make for a great talking point in communal areas of the home, and best of all, you can find great pieces at affordable prices. Hit the thrift stores again to uncover a great piece, find talented local artists online and get in touch with them, or find a great-looking print of one of your favourite works. The key here is to find something that will work with your other décor. This doesn’t mean it has to ‘match’, art can be a great way to add contrast to a space, but find something that works with your other design elements and something you’ll enjoy looking at and talking about.
5. Go DIY
A new home renovation or design overhaul is the perfect opportunity to get stuck into some DIY. You don’t have to be an expert to perform simple tasks like sanding an antique piece of wooden furniture or giving something a bit of a polish. You can even install your own window furnishings! Taking a DIY approach will not only allow you to keep costs down, you’ll be able to take even more pride in the way you’ve shaped this fresh new space.
6. Play The Long Game
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the latest trends or whatever your tastes happen to be when you first purchase your new home. This is fine, it’s all part of the excitement of getting your first place. However, you’ll save a lot of effort and money in the long run if you play the long game. Make your space something that’s contemporary but still timeless, choose pieces that will last and keep looking good for years to come. Remember, your tastes will change and trends always do, so don’t over-invest in something that you’ll get over next season.
7. Don’t Sleep on Window Furnishings
Window furnishings are one of the most underrated and often overlooked elements of good interior design, but they’re such an important part of the look and feel of a room. They’re also important when it comes to eco-friendliness and temperature control. Once you’ve decided on the look you’re going for, find the perfect set of window furnishings to match. If you’re looking for a pastoral feel, consider white plantation shutters. If you’re looking for something cosier and are concerned about insulation, go for curtains.
8. Be Patient
You don’t have to get everything all at once. If you’re concerned about the potential cost of revamping your new home or you’re feeling overwhelmed with all of the decisions you have to make, you can relax. Remember that you’re playing the long game here, so you can start with just a few key items, like the couch, the coffee table, and the window furnishings, and decide on the rest later. Take your time with your design and don’t feel like you have to do everything in one go. Your patience will be rewarded.
The Shutters Department are a commercial partner of RESCU