Spend Less, Style More: Sprucing Up Your First Home
It goes without saying that furnishing a house is expensive – especially if you’re starting from scratch. When you actually sit down and work out all the items you’ll need, it can be a slightly terrifying experience. But if you’re clever about it, there are lots of ways to achieve big-budget results without spending lots of cash. Read on for our top tips on sprucing up your first home.
Function Comes First
Yes, that stunning coffee table you’ve been eyeing up for ages is a tempting first purchase. But before you start excitedly impulse buying, take a moment to prioritise. When you’re starting off in a house, you should initially concentrate on what you need to make it liveable. Boring but functional items like bins, mattresses, bedsheets, laundry baskets and lightbulbs are things you really can’t do without. So, make you first big spend all about the practical stuff, and once you’ve got the basic bits out of the way, you can let loose your inner interior decorator.
Know Where to Spend
In the same way that a great pair of shoes can elevate an outfit, there are some big ticket items worth spending a little more on. A good mattress for example, will save your back and last you for years to come. Similarly, a sofa is something you should take your time over. After all, you’re going to be spending a lot of time sitting on it. A decent one can last a lifetime, as you can re-upholster it over the years to change its look if you get bored of it. The right flooring can lift an entire house and add serious value to your property too. Remember, investing a little more now will mean you won’t have to replace things later, and will give you some great basics to style the rest of your home around.
Spotted a shelving unit you just can’t live without? Before you splash the cash, browse charity shops, flea markets and second-hand sites for similar (but much cheaper) items. It might seem like a chore spending your weekends sorting through dusty second-hand stuff in an out-of-the-way warehouse, but once you get a nose for the hunt, you might find you really enjoy it. In fact, there’s nothing like the feeling of triumph when you find a budget-friendly piece of furniture that’s identical to that pricey one you’ve been eyeing up. And if you’re hunting with your other half, you can even turn it into a competition to see who can find the best bargains!
Flat-pack furniture is one of the best and cheapest ways to furnish a new home quickly and easily, but let’s be honest, a lot if it can look samey and boring. Here’s a secret – that basic table or shelf is a blank canvas waiting for you to paint your personality onto. And that goes for every other piece of furniture in your house too. Spruce up basic kitchen cabinets with bright splashes of paint, turn a sad-looking sofa into a conversation piece by upholstering it in some unexpected fabric, or supercharge a shelf by covering it in brightly patterned paper. There’s an endless amount of inspiration from creative home decorators on the web, so get searching for some inspiration, and let your imagination run wild.
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Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is an authorised agent and servicer of AIB Mortgage Bank in relation to the origination and servicing of mortgage loans and mortgages. Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. and AIB Mortgage Bank are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Copyright Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. 1995.