Setting up a new home is an incredibly exciting time and it’s tempting to race out and buy everything all at once.
Too often, buying something in a rush can result in a design decision you will regret. You may end up with a ‘matchy matchy’ interior that lacks personality, or even worse, a horribly uncomfortable couch that you don’t enjoy sitting on!
So take a deep breath, slow down a little and tell yourself that you are only going to buy things you really love, even if it takes a little longer to get your home just the way you want it.
Start off by flicking through a few interiors magazines to identify a look you love as this can serve as a handy guide along the way.
The interior design process begins with that one big ticket item – The Couch.
Take the time to select one that is the right size for your living area and the very best quality you can afford. Any interior designer will tell you that the couch is one item of furniture where you really do get what you pay for. Buying something cheap that looks great may leave you with some money left over, but it will wear badly and could develop structural problems sooner rather than later.
And believe it or not, a large item like a couch will actually help you along the way with your next purchases. Once you have that one statement piece, choosing accessories like cushions, wall art and even a TV cabinet will be easier as you will be looking for something that complements That One. Big. Piece.
Next on the list is a dining table that contributes to your overall look.
Avoid buying a matching table and chairs set from a major retailer or your dining space will end up looking like a furniture catalogue. You can go high-end with a brand new table – or save a bit of money by selecting something as simple as an old farmhouse table bought on eBay or Gumtree. Modern chairs can make the most knocked-about table look great. Chairs are also easy to change out now and then to create a whole new vibe.
Most new homes today have hard floors in the living spaces – either timber or tile – which result in a classic look that is screaming out for a great rug!
So, have a seat on your new couch and take a little time to look around your living room, considering the colours and textures around you. By now you may have a couple of cushions, side tables or pictures on the wall. Maybe you have a cabinet or dresser that your Gran passed on to you. Consider the colours, tones and textures of the furniture and use them to help you find a rug that reflects or complements these design features. Try not to introduce new accents with a rug as it may end up looking like there is just too much happening in the room.
If in doubt, go for something plain that is a large enough to sit under your couch. A common mistake is choosing a too-small rug that ends up laying halfway between the couch and the TV looking a bit lonely and cheap. GO LARGE.
Once you have the big picture items like the couch, table and a rug you love, the fun stuff can start. Next on your list should be dining chairs and a coffee table. If you have selected well with the first items, you will have no trouble injecting more of your personality with the chairs and coffee table you select. These are items that you can save a bit of money on by shopping around to find something secondhand and maybe a bit quirky.
Find something you love that will help make your new home feel like it is truly yours. Take your time – decorating can be a lot of fun!