Decorating my first home was a challenge that I absolutely couldn’t wait to get stuck into. I’d spent years dreaming about choosing the colours, carefully curating the furniture, and turning a space that was all mine into somewhere that really reflected my personal style and my tastes.
But when I picked up those keys from the estate agent, I realised that I had quite an overwhelming task on my hands. A few years down the line, I really couldn’t be happier with how everything eventually turned out. But that’s not to say that I didn’t make plenty of mistakes in the process.
Here’s what I really wish I’d known when I started decorating my first home…
It’s not worth beating yourself up if your home doesn’t look like the ones you see on Instagram
Here’s an important thing that you need to know… The homes that you see on Instagram don’t even look like the homes you see on Instagram. Not really, anyway. The vast majority of pictures that you see are very staged and then heavily edited. Many Instagrammers share their home as part of a blog that is their full-time job and their livelihood, and they’re often working as an interior designer, so it makes good business sense for them to create something that’s truly dreamy.
What you don’t see is what these homes look like after they’ve had friends over for an evening, or in less than perfect lighting, or on the days when the owners just don’t have time to make sure that everything is in order. So ultimately, it’s essential that you take these images with a pinch of salt. Your home will be lived in, and that’s means that things can’t always be picture perfect.
You don’t have to do everything all at once
If you’re anything like me, you’re a bit of a perfectionist. You want everything to look how you imagined, and you want it to happen today. This is totally normal, but don’t rush anything. The reality here is that as long as you’ve got somewhere to sleep and somewhere to sit down, there are no decisions that need to be made imminently. In the first few weeks in my new house, I definitely wasted money by buying things that I simply hadn’t thought through enough.
My best advice here is to take each day at a time, and focus on just one room. Think about the key pieces that you really want, and slowly make your purchases and do your decorating. In the longer term, there’s a much better chance that you’ll be creating a space that you really love.
Second hand finds are your friend
At first, I didn’t even stop to consider that I’d be doing anything other than buying everything brand new. But whilst I was doing my first bits of decorating, I accidentally stumbled across a charity shop that had a beautiful chest of vintage drawers in the window. They needed a little TLC, but they cost me just £10 and to this day, they’re one of my favourite parts of my home.
Scour the charity shops, head to car boot sales, and have a good look around eBay. Not only will you save yourself some money, but you’re also much more likely to find items that are truly unique. After all, we all know someone who has that Ikea armchair!
As much as I loved decorating my first home, this is the advice that I wish I had learned sooner! Do you have any tips that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below and let me know.