The Inside View | First time buyers

The Inside View | First time buyers

Research shows that over 100,000 new buyers bought their first home in 2021 than compared with 2020 figures, and that this peak is the highest in two decades. So after making the purchase, where do you start when furnishing your new home? Steve Hird, Director at Edward Thomas Interiors offers his advice…

Styling for first time buyer homes doesn’t have to be any less imaginative, these homeowners are equally likely to want a sociable, entertaining space and Instagrammable retreat as any other purchaser. But how do you achieve this in smaller properties and with a limited budget?

Using the logical flow of the property is a great place to start, you want to be “space-smart” and avoid creating pinch points with bulky objects or pieces of furniture. For apartments and open plan living, consider a temporary screen or partition to create a distinguishable dining or home working area. Maximise every available surface; wall mount TV’s, floating shelving, even a drinks station, and add mirrors to help create an illusion of width and depth. For smaller or more compact rooms, keep it light and bright. If it has lots of windows, dress these with light fabrics, if it only has a few then really think about your lighting. Consider uplighters, floor lamps, table lamps, recessed or under cabinet lighting. 

When decorating, panelling and painting are both easy and cost-effective ways to transform the look of a room. Panelling makes an immediate impact for a feature wall while painting is where you can inject bold accent colours or calming pastels – think half height walls, abstract shapes, colour blocks to frame artwork and even ceilings too. Don’t forget to leave space for the personal touches though; photo galleries, decorative picture rails, ornaments collected from travels – things you like, that are meaningful and have a story. Not everyone wants to live in a show home.

All these suggestions don’t have to be new items either; reusing and upcycling remains a hugely popular trend, so don’t dismiss second-hand, antique or vintage markets when searching for furniture. It’s surprising what can be given a new lease of life with a fresh fabric, new handles, doors, feet, some chalk paint or wood stain and its far more environmentally friendly too.

As with any new home, the point is to enjoy it so build rooms up over time, don’t rush to do everything at once. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes either, keep evolving and adding new pieces as your tastes change, as you collect or inherit. There are no rules – follow your own style, mix and match, add textures, colours and patterns to suit.

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