First published as a guest article for Better Built Homes
After months of planning, building (and making what seems like a thousand decisions along the way!), you’ve finally been given keys to your new home – congratulations! Your next challenge is to take this bright new beautiful house and turn it into your family home. Wondering where to start? Here’s 11 ways to personalise your new home (without breaking the bank!).
Our sense of smell has a direct connection to our emotions and memories. We all have scents that mean ‘home’ to us. For you it may be an open fire or roses in bloom. For others it may be freshly ground spices or a spritz of lemon. Take away that impersonal ‘fresh build’ smell and bring in objects and activities that will create your personal home scents.
Academics may argue the definition, but for me ‘art’ is whatever you value enough to display on your walls. Prints, photos, children’s drawings, holiday memories – anything that’s meaningful to you. I know it’s hard to put the first nail in your brand new walls, but having visual reminders of your achievements, adventures and people you love will definitely make you feel right at home.
If you’re an addicted green-thumb you probably moved your pot plants in to your new home before your furniture! If not, remember that plants are always a welcome finishing touch – whether real or today’s very realistic looking ‘fakes’.
While you’re hanging up your art, also hang up a few decorative wall mirrors. Mirrors bounce light around and make smaller spaces appear larger. They come in so many different sizes, shapes and materials – there will definitely be one, or more, that fit perfectly into your new home.
Old towels in your brand new bathroom? No, it’s time to add fresh colours and perhaps even a pattern or two. And don’t forget, your bathroom is also a great place for pot plants and beautiful scents.
I’m not suggesting you re-paint everything already! But perhaps there’s a wall or architectural feature that, now your furniture’s in place, would benefit from some extra attention. A bold colour, a textured finish or perhaps even wallpaper, would complete the look.
If new furniture doesn’t fit your current budget, consider re-upholstering a few favourite furniture pieces in gorgeous new fabrics. I especially love the contrast of a bold contemporary fabric on a vintage chair. It’s a design punch that really adds personal flair.
Like a new pair of earrings, new cushions can completely transform your neutral sofa. Perhaps even consider a different set of cushions for summer and winter. Switch from light cool linens as the nights grow longer to huggable velvets and faux furs.
And speaking of night. Eating your dinner off a folding card table while you save up for something grander will look and feel much more homely by candlelight!
What’s the one small everyday indulgence that will bring you pleasure? A vase of flowers, a special handwash, a new pair of slippers, dancing in the kitchen? Whatever it is – buy it, do it, indulge yourself.
And lastly, put away that list of all the things you still want to have or do in your new home. Create a new list. This one’s going to be a list of all the fabulous things you’ve achieved to get to this moment. Well done you! Life evolves and so will your home. Be patient and enjoy each step along the way.