Look for clever ideas in the showhouse
It is a good idea to revisit the showhouse a couple of times and look for smart ideas. The showhouse designer will have made design decisions to maximise the full potential of the house. Things like built-in storage, style of curtains, furniture layouts and colour schemes are all worth looking at closely.
Get rid of things you don’t need
Moving house is a fantastic opportunity to get rid of things you no longer need or want. Get rid of as much unwanted, old or broken items/furniture as possible. We have had clients who had great success selling unwanted furniture on sites such as Done Deal and eBay. It’s a great way way to sometimes earn a little more spending money towards the decorating budget.
Don’t try to buy everything at once
The biggest mistake people make when decorating a new home is trying to have everything finished straight away. It’s essential to set a budget and then prioritise. You might want to start with the most frequently-used spaces like the kitchen, dining area or main living room and plan for the rest of the house at a later date. A home should evolve, you should live there for a period before deciding what you need, and what will work best.
Know your measurements
This may seem obvious, but it is very easy to rush out and buy something and regret it later. I met someone recently who had their eye on a dresser but weren’t sure if it would fit. They made a mock-up out of cardboard and lived with it for a couple of weeks. Despite becoming quite attached to the paper creation, they realised that it was far too big for the space.
Marking out the piece in your room is a fantastic idea because in a store pieces are often in large open showrooms making them appear smaller than they are. Always have measurements to hand when out shopping and double check when you get home to ensure you can get the furniture in the door.
If in doubt keep it neutral
To put your stamp on your home and differentiate it from other homes in the development, painting the walls is the most straightforward and cost-effective measure. When choosing your colours, it’s essential to work with any fixed elements in the house like the kitchen colour and wardrobes in the bedrooms. My advice for anyone who is unsure is to go with neutral shades and add in bolder colours through accessories or artwork.
Be practical when it comes to flooring
While it comes down to personal taste and budget, I would always recommend tiles in the kitchen and hallway. Porcelain tiles are a fantastic choice, unlike stone which requires a lot of upkeep. They don’t need sealing and are tough wearing, and there are some very good stone effect porcelains available now, not to mention timber and leather-effect options too.
I’d recommend timber or laminate if budget is an issue in the living spaces. Carpets work well in bedrooms, and something a carpet runner on the staircase is a lovely feature.
Start with roller blinds
Apart from your furniture, these are probably the most significant expense when it comes to decorating a home. Go for roller blinds throughout the house to start with as they will provide immediate privacy and are the most cost-effective form of window dressing. After that, depending on budget, you can decide which other rooms to tackle. You might invest in curtains in the main living room and master bedroom, for example, and leave the rest of the house for a later date. Roman blinds are an excellent option for secondary bedrooms as they are less expensive than curtains because they require less fabric.
A great tip is to hang the blind from the ceiling, so it covers the area of wall above the window and hangs outside the opening. This will create the illusion of a much larger window and will not block as much light as hanging the blind inside the opening or just above it.