Buying a new house is an exciting experience, despite the hard work and stress that can be involved. It’s a new start, a blank canvas on which to make your mark and move towards the lifestyle you wish for. Amongst all the legal to-ing and fro-ing and the monumental task of packing up your life, there is the thrill of designing the décor and layout of your new place, and the fun of browsing through catalogues and looking online for ideas and inspiration. The last thing you want when you move is to be unhappy with your new environment, so it’s worth investing time and thought into how you want your new interior to look before you move.
Moving incurs many expenses, what with legal fees, property and purchase taxes, building inspections, searches and surveys, and the cost of removals. If you’re moving to a more expensive abode, then you’ll be looking at an increase in mortgage payments too. All this means that for many people there isn’t a lot of cash available for brand new designs. Before you start doing any window shopping or planning, take a good look at your cash flow situation and decide how much you can realistically afford to spend on your interior design. Once you have determined what you can spare, you’ll be much better placed to prioritise your design ideas, making sure that key areas are attended too while less urgent tasks are postponed until you have new funds.
Planning a place for everything
Your first planning job will be to decide where everything is going to go so that furniture and possessions can be taken straight to the correct location by the removal firm. That means listing everything you own and measuring the new space to see if the site you have in mind for each piece of furniture is going to accommodate the item nicely. Each room needs to have a theme or a purpose. Some of these will be more obvious, like having your bed, wardrobe and chest of drawers in your bedroom. In some cases, you may have spare rooms, which need a defined role if they’re not to become store cupboards for all the items that won’t fit anywhere else. A properly appointed guest room if you frequently have visitors, or a hobbies room, library, den, or playroom may be more important, and you can always have a sofa bed for whenever anyone stays over.
What to prioritise
Your own priorities will be driven by the things that are most important to you, so for example, if you have children, you’ll probably want to get their bedrooms ship-shape in short order, so they feel more at home. Kitchens and bathrooms are usually top of the list for unpacking because they are the rooms that contain things you will need every day. Regarding design, it’s far easier, in the long run, to decorate a room before it is fully unpacked because you will have much easier access to the walls and woodwork. Of course, this does mean living in a more chaotic environment for the first few weeks or months, but it will save you a lot of time and effort. Having a big push to get as many rooms decorated as possible before they are unpacked will be hard work, but will make your new house feel much more like your home.
With your budget and priorities in mind and a vision of what you will use each room for, you can now think about all the items that will go into each room, and how you would like the rooms decorated. For example, say you decide that your bedroom needs to be finished first, so you can get a peaceful night’s sleep in comfortable surroundings as soon as possible. First, you decide what furniture will be going in the room, then where each piece will go, and finally what possessions will be stored in there. It means you can label everything you want as being for the master bedroom. Then there are the curtains or blinds, paintings and photographs, and all the decorative items you wish to display. Once you have reached this point in your list, you can decide what paint colors or wallpaper designs would complement your room, and purchase your materials ready to start once you’ve moved.
Buying new furniture
This move might be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to ditch your old pine bed and replace it with a king size oak bed. Your budget for new furniture needs to have essential items first, of course, but you might want to consider adding a touch of style to your new home with some good quality items that will enhance the surroundings. You could, for example, choose some modern Italian Furniture for your new dining room to give it a lift and bring some elegance to the room. Or you might want to get a new sofa, change the taps, buy the kids bigger beds, or invest in a new range cooker. One or two striking, high-quality items will breathe new life into your rooms, and if your existing furniture looks a little shabby in comparison, don’t worry because no-one will notice. They’ll be too busy admiring the six-seater Italian dining table and chairs to notice that your sideboard is looking a bit tired.
Redecorating your whole house all at once might be a bit of an ask, unless you get early access, or can live in a hotel for a couple of weeks and get a team in to decorate for you! But even getting one or two rooms looking as you want them will give you the motivation to work your way around the rest of the house in stages. Taking the time to plan where everything is going to go, will make your moving and unpacking experience far less stressful and time-consuming too. Making small adjustments after you’ve moved is to be expected, as you won’t know for sure how different things will be after you’ve lived with a certain layout for a while. But forward planning will reduce the post-move disruption and help you settle into your new life that much quicker.