8 Must-dos For First-time Home Decorators

  • 26.August 2020
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Take the guesswork out of designing your new home’s interiors.

 Congratulations! You’ve jumped through hoops, signed on the dotted line and received the keys to your new home. Now comes the fun part: designing and decorating the interiors.

This is your chance to put your stamp on the place – from buying furniture and painting the walls to figuring out colour palettes, storage options, and soft furnishings.

As exciting as it is, facing a blank canvas can be overwhelming. We’ve all been there. To help get you started, check out these eight things you should consider before diving into DIY. 

  1. Invest in a full, independent survey

It may be tempting to skip this step, but getting a comprehensive, independent survey of the property pays off in the long-term. This is how you’ll prevent things from going wrong in the future.

A survey will tell you what works need to be done, nipping potential problems in the bud. What’s more, it will also serve as an excellent guide when it comes to designing the interiors.

What’s the best layout for your furniture? Where might you need electrical sockets? Where should you place light fixtures? With a survey in hand, you can make informed decisions.

  1. Live in your home first

Although you may already have a vision for your new home, don’t rush into decorating or buying furniture just yet.

Take a step back. Live in the space for a few weeks, or even months if possible, with just the basics. And go about living your life in your new property.

This will help you to get to know your home. How does the light fall at certain times of the day? How do you use the space? Will your initial styling ideas actually work? Or might you need to go back to the drawing board?

Knowing the answers to these questions – and others that you’ll discover along the way – will save you time, effort and money. So, avoid costly décor mistakes by not being tempted to rush.

  1.  Lighting

Lighting makes all the difference in every room. Whether it’s natural or artificial, light can influence everything from furniture placement to wall colour.

Consider the types of lighting you’ll need for different events or times of the day. And think about which features of the room you’d like to highlight.

Apart from ceiling lights for everyday lighting, you might need side lamps to set the right mood or candles for entertaining. Uplighters or downlighters are must-haves for drawing attention to art pieces on the wall. And if you’re a reader, specialised light fixtures can create the perfect book nook.

  1. Use what you already have

Your vision might be full of brand-new furniture chosen with specific rooms in mind, but that’s not realistic for most of us. Although some new pieces may be necessary, first think about using what you already have.

Take inventory of everything you own, both the larger pieces of furniture and smaller items such as textiles or ornaments. What can you translate into the décor of your new home? And what’s missing that you may need to buy?

Besides saving money, this process has another advantage: if something truly doesn’t fit with your space, and you’re not holding onto it for sentimental reasons, get rid of it. Now is the time for a fresh start. Your future self will thank you.

  1. Think of storage

Walk through your new house or apartment with storage in mind before furnishing it. Where will you store the Christmas decorations, the holiday suitcases, the kids’ toys, all that Tupperware or your paperwork?

Approaching design from the perspective of storage will help you decide the size of furniture you need and which rooms will require hidden storage solutions.

  1. Distinguish between investment buys and fillers

Set a budget for designing your home’s interiors. Then you’ll know how much you can afford to spend on each piece. It will also help you determine priorities in terms of furniture.

Establish what will be your investment buys, such as long-lasting sofas, beds or wardrobes, and what you can buy cheaply and upgrade later, such as home accessories.

  1. Embrace colour

It’s quick and easy to change wall colour with a lick of paint from a DIY store. So, take the risk and use colours beyond the traditional neutrals. A splash of colour can bring joy to the dullest of interiors.

If you’re still unsure, consider painting just one feature wall or a chimney breast with a pop of colour. Or add accent hues with cushions and other accessories that can be easily updated when you fancy a change.

  1. Buy second hand

Purchasing items for your home doesn’t mean they need to be new pieces. There are several options available for discovering stylish, high-quality older or second-hand items. Check out Facebook Marketplace, Maltapark, charity shops, house sales and the Ta’ Qali and Birgu markets.

Apart from infusing your space with unique character and history, second-hand pieces come with the bonus of an attractive price. You’ll be able to stretch your budget that little bit further.