Home decorating ideas for first-time buyers

You've just moved into a new home, but you haven't had a chance to make it your own. An undecorated home can seem cold and unwelcoming at first, but try to think of it as a blank slate waiting for you to mould it to your tastes and style.

Of course, decorating a home is not a simple task and may seem overwhelming for first-time home owners who have yet to experience anything like it. So here are a few tips that will make the decorating process a lot more manageable.

Forming a clear picture of what needs to be done

Any task that seems long and arduous at first can be made to appear a lot smaller and easier with some planning.

Get the creative juices flowing: If you have never decorated a home before, you're going to need some inspiration before you choose your materials. The best place to find that inspiration is in interior design magazines, which will have a wealth of photographs showcasing various designs and styles that you can incorporate into your home.

Piggy-backing on other people's ideas is a fundamental technique of interior design. Designers use something called a 'mood board' to capture the essence of their vision (in this case the design for a particular room). This mood board will normally be a whiteboard containing a collage of photographs, paint charts and other materials that best demonstrate the style and tone the designer is aiming for.

With design, it's often difficult to articulate what you have in mind using words, so having a visual reference on hand will prove useful to you and any contractors you need to employ to help you carry out the work.

Pick a focal point: Is there a particular rug that really ties the room together or do you have an old chair that has sentimental value? When decorating a room, it helps to have a centrepiece for your design; something that will dictate your choice of colours and materials for the entire room.

Some may suggest using the flooring as the basis for your color palette, but, according to UK Home Improvement, it's best to make your favorite piece of furniture the focal point and let the rest of your design flow from that. The Home Channel suggests taking a photo of it and putting it at the centre of your mood board.

Executing the design

Budgeting: Once you have a design in mind, you can start listing all the materials you need, as well as where you can get them. That way, you'll be able to budget accordingly.

If the budget looks stretched, remember there's no need to get everything done at once. You can always focus on the more important rooms first, like the kitchen or bedroom, and leave other parts of the home for later.

Furthermore, they are some quick and simple ways to make a home feel fresher without having expensive alterations. Repainting some of the walls and furniture, changing the curtains, steam cleaning the carpets or sanding some the floorboards are all cost-effective means of revamping a home.

Priorities: You should bear in mind that certain home improvements need to be completed before others for the final product to work. Furnishing the room is one thing, but have you taken into account where all the power outlets will be before deciding where to place the furniture?

Once you've drawn up a list of the work that needs to be done in a room, you need to determine the order in which it needs to be done. That way, you won't have to call in the builder again to change something around so that the electrician can finish the wiring.

Get professional advice: It's important to get advice from experienced tradesmen when carrying out any extensive alterations, as you'll want to ensure they won't interfere with the electricity, plumbing or other essential home systems.

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