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By Alana Saunders

Congratulations! You’ve just bought your first house and we’re sure you can’t wait to transform this empty shell into your dream home.

However, there are a few factors to take into account before beginning your decorating masterpiece.

Here’s everything you need to know if it’s your first time decorating a home.

Step one: Take a step back and organise

Don’t wait for spring – use your fresh start as the perfect opportunity to have a good old fashioned declutter. With a blank canvas at your fingertips, don’t ruin it by filling your home with things you no longer use or want, i.e. that candy floss maker you got three Christmases ago. Instead, take a good look at your possessions and be ruthless when deciding what’s a necessity, which old treasures you’d be lost without and what can be given to charity or thrown away.

Don’t wait for spring – use your fresh start as the perfect opportunity to have a good old fashioned declutter.

From here you can make sure everything you’re keeping has a purpose, and more importantly, a place where it won’t get in the way or stand out like a sore thumb.

Step two: Unleash the power of paint

Painting is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to turn a house into a home. It’s also a lot easier to paint an empty home without having to worry about covering furnishings and moving boxes from one space to another.

However, choosing one paint colour is hard enough, so how do you pick multiple for the entire house?

  • Make a note of which rooms are visible from one another – Walk through your new house and make a list of all the rooms that can be seen from others. This will eliminate the risk of painting adjoining rooms in clashing colours.
  • Use shades from the same colour – You can’t go wrong with sticking to one hue and using different variations for other rooms in the home. This will ensure a cohesive look is maintained throughout.
  • Test your prospective palette– Sample cards and testpots are two of the most inexpensive ways to see if your desired colours actually work together.

Step three: Rank purchases by priority

Buying a first home can be one of the most expensive times in a young person’s life. Therefore, the last thing you want to do is splurge on unnecessary items that make a huge dent in your decorating budget.

Start by ensuring you’ve got all the essential pieces ticked off your ‘imperatives’ list, such as a bed, sofa, dining table and chairs. With these items as your base, you can then spend time furnishing the rest of your home piece by piece, in order of priority.

Step four: Restrain from investing in expensive items

The excitement of moving into a new place can cause people to spend astronomical amounts of money on items they haven’t thought long enough about. While filling a room with stunning pieces may seem like a great decision, it takes a while to understand the style of your home, so after a while these rushed purchases may not tie in with your final scheme.

Save yourself a lot of money by waiting to see what your living spaces are missing once you’ve nailed those essential pieces.

Step five: Adopt style swaps to stand the test of time

Buying your first house is a one-way ticket to full time adulthood. Don’t let old band posters or mismatched crockery get in the way of creating a refined space. By making a few style swaps, your adolescent items can become edgy pieces of home decor in no time.

Take those vintage band posters for example. Choose to either pop them in a mounted frame, or switch them out for a piece of statement artwork for a cool, understated update that will polish your new home.

Don’t let old band posters or mismatched crockery get in the way of creating a refined-styled space.

Step six: Make small upgrades that yield big results

While full room renovations might not happen for a few years, there are a number of small upgrades you can make to your home that can transform rooms for less. Focus on details such as lighting fixtures, cabinet handles and hardware. These are elements that are often forgotten about during the decorating process, but ones that can easily be updated to deliver a more personalised feel.

Step seven: Adorn your home with playful accessories

If you’ve stuck to a neutral paint colour scheme, it’s time to have some fun and inject a little personality by bringing in a range of colourful accessories. Think decorative cushions, patterned rugs or woven throws. These small yet playful touches not only add a friendly feel, they’re also incredibly easy to switch out each season or when you next choose to decorate.

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