Your first home will be the single most expensive purchase you’ve ever made – unless you splurged on a private jet first (if so, that's pretty cool)– and we’re sorry to say, it’s not over yet. Decorating a home can be expensive, but all is not lost! There are ways to put a cap on costs and update your interior whilst staying within your spending means. 

Make sure you have a realistic figure in mind when it comes to decorating your new home. This may be an overall sum or you may want to make budgets room by room – by doing the latter, you simultaneously make decisions on where you want to prioritise spending your money. Two birds, one stone!

Unfortunately, the rumours are true: there are almost always hidden costs when it comes to home updates so be strict, but don’t restrict yourself so much that you just make do – a mattress on the floor will only work for so long.


Avoid making expensive mistakes when decorating your first home. Book a room design from just £395 today to fall in love with your home:

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Create a plan 

First home improvements and planning

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Planning is everything. Without a plan it’s so easy to lose control of budget, timescale and even what you want or need. This is such an exciting time, and it’s tempting to get carried away home shopping before you’ve even exchanged and have the keys firmly in your grasp. Hold fire, sit down, and make a plan.

The best plans will include what you are bringing with you, (helpful hint: you never need as much as you bring – be ruthless and cut the clutter, you’ll thank yourself in the long run), your budget, what rooms you’re updating, a style/look that you have in mind and the priorities in terms of spending and order of decorating.

Remember to measure up and know your room dimensions before you get started, gather style inspiration and think about how and who will use each room. 


Finding your style

how to decide on a style for first home

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If you are decorating your first home, finding your style may seem daunting. When choosing statement pieces, always pick ones that will bring you joy when you enter the room.

Moreover, you will want to think about which accessories will uplift the feeling of your space. On top of this, look at colours and patterns that you like and start to bring them into your décor. Slowly but surely.

Your style can be a mixture of things, you don’t always have to limit yourself to one particular trend. We love eclectic interiors that mix a range of designs from vintage to contemporary and more.

Additionally, when you are looking out for furniture or accessories, remember to think outside the box. Think about what items would complement your existing pieces and what new purchases could become the fabulous focal point of your new interior. 


Decorate early

first home decor ideas

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The general rule is that if you don’t decorate early - you will spend 3 years hating that magnolia wall and ageing carpet until you can’t stand it any longer and have to move everything out and start over. 

It's always a good idea to start with the rooms that you will spend a lot of time in and leave the others till the end of the project. We recommend the master bedroom should be the first room you decorate in your new home, this is because you will always need a place to retreat to and relax while your home slightly resembles a construction site. There's no point in having a stunning dining room when you have to go back to half torn apart bedroom for the rest of the night.


We understand that decorating your first home can be overwhelming. That's why we are here to do the hard work for you! Book a room design with us from just £395:

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Paint is your best friend

Green living room | Decorating my first home

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

As we said before, it's amazing the change a fresh lick of the perfect pigment can do to a property, but the benefits of paint are infinite. You can create a statement with feature walls, completely transform a room by painting the woodwork, create patterns and individual artwork, upcycle old furniture, and add a pop of colour, whether it be small or large. 

If your first home feels a little on the small side, there are many paint hacks that can make your room feel bigger, such as painting the skirting boards the same colour as the wall and even painting the ceiling too. When decorating your first home, don't feel like you have to stick to the design norms, a room that suits your personality will always be more interesting than one that suits social standards!


Second-hand statement

first home interior design | Victorian hallway

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Consider the larger furniture items and bespoke pieces before you get hung up on the finishing touches. Once you have the basics in place, let’s call them the headliners, you’ll have a better idea of which supporting roles you need. 

Even though many of the most expensive gifts come in the smallest boxes, as a general rule larger furniture does tend to cost more. It's definitely worth looking into buying your main furniture second-hand - often the items are still in great condition or can be rejuvenated with a bit of TLC.

This also works both ways - sell your old furniture for a bit of extra cash to spend on new items! 

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: make sure you know your dimensions. If you go in blind, deciding a layout is near impossible and you may end up with a sofa that takes up an entire room, a dining table lost in a large expanse, a chandelier hanging at shoulder height and your new home becomes more of an obstacle course than a functional living space.

Top tip: Lay out your desired furniture on the floor with masking tape, so you can have an idea of how the room will ‘flow’ before you purchase the furniture to avoid expensive and time-consuming mistakes!

Second-hand items don't need to be just for the big pieces - you can pick up some bargain finishing touches oozing with character at vintage and charity shops too.


Book a free call with one of our experts to learn how we can help you design your first home:


Know when to spend and when to save

What furniture should I buy first new home

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This comes back to your plan, you know that bit where you thought about how your rooms will be used and who will occupy them most of the time? Basically, if your favourite thing in the world is snuggling up on the sofa and watching a film at the end of a long day, you're going to want a super comfy sofa, so it's worth spending a little more to get the perfect product for you. 

Is the living room a child-friendly space? You may not want to invest in the ultra lavish velvet sofa, but you may want to invest in stain guarding your upholstery and making sure your walls are coated in an endurance paint so that they can be wiped clean in an instant. Priorities. 


Shop around

Half painted wall bedroom in first home

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Please don’t try and buy everything at once, you won’t know what’s coming and what’s going and an overwhelming task may get that little more stressful. If you are going to get a large discount for buying in bulk and it’s the most cost-savvy option – go for it! Just make sure your home doesn’t end up looking like the shop’s showroom (even if their products are utterly gorgeous).

When you’ve personally picked a variety of items from a variety of places, you’ll put your personal stamp on the property and you’re more likely to feel like your home is really yours. Need help curating? Just drop us a message, we've got your back! 

Also, it sounds tricky and, well, annoying, but give yourself time to get annoyed by your new home. If you live with as little as you can for a while, what you absolutely need and what you can happily live without will become much clearer. Allowing yourself to be irritated highlights the problems and figuring out the solutions becomes that little bit easier. Just don't leave it so long that you start resenting your living situation - this is supposed to be a fun and exciting time.

Shop around and see what’s out there before you make your decision. Or, as we said before, we can do all this hard work for you...


Did you know our interior design service includes a free shopping service?! This means we are here to source you the best products and always price match you on any deal. Book a room design from just £395:

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Small details can make big changes

First home decor, interior design finishing touches

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Small details such as finishing touches, soft furnishings, artwork, photos and lighting can make a larger difference than you thought. These items don't need to be expensive either - this is a super affordable way to add style, character and your own personal touch to your home. 

Soft furnishings such as cushions and throws will make your new home feel instantly cosier and warmer, whilst giving you the opportunity to add colour and pattern to your home. 

Photos and artwork are brilliant for incorporating a personal element into your home, it's the easiest and quickest way to make a new house, feel like a home that really belongs to you. 


Think D.I.Y

First home furniture improvements

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Don't be afraid of a DIY project. Along with paint, small changes can make big differences. Changing the knobs on a chest of drawers or adding a work top to an old dressing table can transform an old product in a flash.

Not a fan of your kitchen cabinets? Make them like new with a fresh coat of paint and change the handles from old iron to flashy new brass.

DIY. What's the worst that could happen?

The dresser in the photo above was an old cabinet that needed a whole lot of love - we added the marble worktop, changed the handles and painted it our favourite Hague Blue shade, and voila! It's a luxurious (and one of a kind) new dresser! 


Create your own unique pieces

First home furniture improvementsImage credit: My Bespoke Room

On top of upcycling, why not create your own unique piece?! There are so many things you can do to craft something that will bring charm to your interior.

For example, you could make your own art print. You could do this by collaging marvellous mementoes and keepsakes together onto a board and framing it.

Moreover, consider recycling old fabrics into a striking cushion or use wallpaper offcuts to line a cabinet. On top of this, if you have an old piece of wood or plasterboard, you could create your own typography sign. We love a playful phrase or a magnificent motif.


Want to discuss your design ideas with a professional? Book a free call with one of our experts today:



Light it up

First home lighting ideas for kitchen

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Lighting is so important. Lighting is transformative (and imperative) when designing a room, yet it is so often left as an afterthought; it is so much more than a practical element as it adds style, character and ambience to your home.

Here, we turn to the expert of lighting, Rowan - founder of Pooky Lights,  to explain how to layer your lighting like a pro: "There are lots of sources of light and they all have their own role in any lighting design. Layering of light is building up all the different sources of light, like painting a grand piece of artwork. For example, think of a church. You have light coming in through the clear glass windows, stained glass windows, maybe large chandeliers up high, candles and lower level warm lighting and you are building up this thick, rich tapestry of lighting."

So, removing ourselves from the church metaphor, your new home could probably benefit from embracing a few different light sources. Make the absolute most of the natural lighting you have available to you, add main ceiling lighting, whether it be spotlights or a statement pendant, then include some lower level lighting such as table or floor lamps to create ambience. This needn't be expensive but it needs to be included! 

Also, if this is a room where good lighting is imperative (a study or dressing room) make sure you include some task lighting too. 


Keep the future in mind

Furniture for first home

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Is your first home also going to be a forever (or long term) home? Make sure you know whether it's an investment or a means to an end, as this will indicate how much you need to spend. 

If you're purchasing large pieces of furniture, make sure they're versatile and can be used in a future property - it will save you money in the long run! If this is a forever, or reasonably long term home, then you may want to invest in some bespoke furniture.

When it comes to bespoke furniture, there are definitely pros and cons. It’s definitely worth it in the long run as it is usually very hardwearing and can make the interior look and feel sleeker and make the most out of your space with clever storage solutions.

Can’t find the perfect furniture to fit in those alcoves? Built-in shelving! Tight dining space and lacking storage? Bespoke dining bench! Sloping ceiling in the bedroom? Bespoke wardrobes are the answer. 


Need help designing your new home's interior? Our designers will work to your budgets and briefs to create a home you love. Book a room design today from just £395:

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