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Decorating your first home on a budget

12 July 2019

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So you’ve made it onto the much-anticipated property ladder! You’ve got your keys and you’re about to embark on your new life in your new home, but just when you think you’ve seen the last of the big-spending,  here comes the decorating… 
Don’t fear, you don’t have to become a recluse for years to come just to kit out your kitchen or make your lounge liveable, there a plenty of ways to make your house a home on a budget!

1.    Accept Generosity 

So your mum’s cousin’s boyfriend’s parents have offered you their old dining table but you feel a bit awkward accepting, considering you’ve never met them? Don’t, you are probably doing them a favour. But what if you don’t like it I hear you say? Everything can be reworked in a way to fit your design plan, don’t dismiss anything because it’s looking a little dated or the colour doesn’t fit your scheme. However, you don’t have to accept anything and everything, if you don’t have room for that double wardrobe, politely decline. 

2.    Upcycling 

This leads us nicely onto our next point, you may have heard of up-cycling, or seen the impressive before and after pictures on Instagram that leave us wondering if it’s really the same thing! You don’t have to be an Instagram influencer to be an up cycler. If you have an old wooden table that looks a little more shabby than chic, get yourself some chalk paint, sandpaper and a finishing gloss from your local hardware store. Sand away any dirt or uneven patches, apply your paint (3 coats should do it) and finish with your gloss. Before you know it you’ll have people asking you where you bought it. Cheap, cheerful and creative. 

3.    Don’t Be Afraid of Empty Space and Clean Surfaces

There’s no need to fill up spaces for the sake of it, a simple vase and a clock will do on a dresser top. Keeping decorative items to a minimum will enhance the few items that are there. It will also leave things looking clean, modern and spacious, with the added bonus of being cheaper on the wallet and leaves room to add things you may come across in the future. 

4.    Not Everything Has to be New 

We’ve talked about the art of generosity, but even if you don’t have many offers for handouts this doesn’t mean you have to fork out for brand new! There are plenty of ways of getting some great furniture accessories at a fraction of the full price. Facebook Marketplace is always a good place to start, based on your location you can find some bargains near you. Staying online Gum tree is another way of getting some great priced goods. However, don’t dismiss the trusty charity shop just yet, traditional second-hand shops and charity shops are still home to some of the best bargains out there! After all, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

5.    Improvise with Accessories

So your second-hand sofa isn’t your dream colour match? Don’t lose hope and definitely don’t get a credit card to pay for a new one! Get yourself a throw or two in a colour you do like and add some complimentary cushions to create a classy look that you are proud to call your own! 

6.    Take Inspiration and Take Your Time

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was the house you’re living in, don’t expect to create your killer vision within hours of moving in, these things take time and money! Make yourself a Pinterest board or scrapbook to put your vision on paper and gradually make it a reality over time. Taking things more slowly is kinder on the bank balance and will look far better in the long run. 

7.    Add Light With Mirrors 

It’s your first house; some of your rooms might need a little help in the space department. Although we can’t physically change the square footage of a room (well not on a budget), using mirrors and good lighting can increase the apparent space. Mirrors are also a cheap, cheerful accessory that can make a dramatic statement look. 

8.    Minimalism is your best friend

When you’re working with a budget the art of minimalism will be your best friend and lucky for you, it's right on-trend. Clean looking walls with a few key accessories are all you need to make a room at the forefront of interior fashion. So don’t waste your money on pointless accessories you think might jazz up your room, if anyone questions your low key look, tell them it’s minimal, they wouldn’t understand…  

9.    Fake it Until You Make It

Are the floors in your kitchen or bathroom looking tired and a bit miserable? Would a brand new tiled floor transform your room? Tough, tiles are expensive. Fake it until you make it, Vinyl flooring is the perfect way to imitate the look of tiles but for a fraction of the cost, a tiny fraction at that! A roll of vinyl from B &Q will set you back around £40 and should cover a small bathroom. The best part is, if you get bored after a year you won’t feel guilty replacing it! 

10.    Paint Away Your Worries 

Don’t like the colour of your walls? The colour of your door? Your kitchen cupboards, or your fireplace? The answer is simple, paint it! Adding a fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive way of transforming any room. Whether the white just needs to be a bit brighter or a whole colour rethink is in order, painting is the best way forward and it can even be quite therapeutic!

 It's hard to not get carried away when you buy your first home, all budgets you first planned tend to go out of the window, but this doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your dream home! Take a look in store such a Homesense, The Range and Home Bargains for some good priced home wear! Remember there is no need to shop for everything all in one go, take your time and build your interior space over time. This approach will hopefully stop impulse buying, leaving a little money in the bank to enjoy all the things you used to do before being a homeowner! 

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