One of the most exciting parts of getting your first place is the opportunity to make it your own with decorating. Even though it’s a lot of fun, it can also be challenging to start with a blank slate.
To avoid some common pitfalls and start cultivating a space you truly love, here are some simple first place decorating tips that will make the process simpler and more enjoyable.
First Place Decorating Tips
Set a budget
When you are decorating your first place, you may be surprised how quickly everything adds up. Starting to shop for furniture and décor without first figuring out and setting a budget is a big mistake. When you don’t set a budget, it’s easy to end up spending most of your money on the first few items.
There can also be some unexpected expenses with your new place beyond the décor, since it’s your first time renting or owning. To save yourself a lot of stress down the line, calculate your expenses and build in a 10-20% cushion for unexpected costs. From there, decide how much you would feel comfortable devoting to decorating your place. You don’t have to buy everything all at once. In fact, it’s better that you don’t, which leads us to our next tip.
Don’t buy everything at once
Not only is it more manageable budget-wise to spread out your purchases, but it also gives you a chance to live in the space and get a feel for what you want/need. You’ll probably discover issues with the home that you’ll need solutions for.
Since it’s your first place, you’ll also still be in the process of discovering your decorating style. If you run out and buy everything at once, chances are your tastes will evolve after a few months. You may even find that you are using certain areas differently than you anticipated, need more storage, want more seating in the living room, etc.
While it may be tempting (and exciting) to furnish it immediately, you’ll be happier in the long run if you only focus on the necessities to begin with and build gradually from there.
Embrace paint and spray paint
Paint is one of the most transformative tools in decorating. Even just one accent wall can change the entire look and feel of a room, and a coat of paint can turn an outdated antique into a chic piece of furniture or décor.
Chances are, you’ll have people offering old furniture and accessories for your new place that they no longer need. Before you turn down something you don’t like, consider how paint could freshen it up and make it more your style. The same goes for thrift store, garage sale, and flea market finds. You can save a lot of money and still be stylish when you take on little DIY projects.
Experiment with different arrangements
The arrangement of your furniture has a big impact on how a space feels and operates. As you live in the home, you’ll discover the best way for each room to function. Experiment with different furniture arrangements until you find the one that feels best. It’s also a great way to freshen up a space when you start feeling bored of it. It’s completely free and can be done in minutes!
Curtains have a way of making a room feel more finished off and welcoming, but they are often overlooked, particularly in a first place. To instantly make it feel more like home, hang curtains on all the windows. You’ll be amazed by the difference they make.
Make it comfortable with textiles
Textiles like curtains, area rugs, pillows, and throws do wonders for making a space feel more comfortable and look more beautiful. You don’t have to spend a lot on these elements, but the impact will be huge. They’re also very easy to switch out should you get tired of them or decide to go in a different direction, so feel free to invest in them from the beginning to instantly add charm to your new place.
Add character with artwork
Artwork is another element that makes a big impact on a small budget. Fill your walls with artwork that inspires you. Again, it’s affordable and very easy to switch out (especially if you do photographs in frames) if you ever get tired of it or want a change.