Buying or renting your first home is exciting. It’s your chance to create a home that suits your style, rather than that of your parents. You may not have a lot of money spare, but it’s amazing what you can achieve with some thrifty design flair. Read on for some useful tips if you are about to collect the keys to a brand-new home.
We’d all love to have an unlimited budget and a palatial home to match, but unless you are super-rich, you’ll have to make do with the basics. At least until your salary catches up with your aspirations.
Write a list of what you absolutely can’t live without. This will likely include a bed frame and mattress, a chest of drawers, a sofa, and a table/chairs. Additional items such as storage units and bed frames for spare rooms are handy but not essential. Only shop for these if your budget allows.
Some items of furniture can serve more than one purpose, so are always useful to have. A kitchen table is a good example. Not only can you eat your breakfast and dinner at a kitchen table, but it provides extra space for preparing food, and can also act as a desk if you work from home.
A sofa-bed is another good example of an item of furniture that has a dual purpose. In a studio flat, a sofa bed can be a sofa during the day and a bed at night. If you are on a really tight budget, consider investing in a good quality sofa bed rather than a separate sofa and bed. Sofa-beds are also useful if you expect to entertain guests in your new pad.
New Vs. Used
New is always nice, but it might not be practical to splash out on brand-new furniture for every room. If you don’t have a lot of money, the one item you should buy new is a mattress. There is nothing worse than sleeping on someone else’s old, stained, bed-bug-infested mattress. Grim!
Everything else can be bought second-hand or acquired as cast-offs from friends or relatives. However, if you end up with a used sofa or anything else upholstered, do check it meets current fire safety regulations. Sofas and chairs should have a permanent label attached to the underside – if there isn’t one, don’t take the item home.
Look on sites like eBay for unwanted furniture. Many people sell their old items after only a few years when the piece is still in good condition. If a sofa hasn’t collapsed under the seat cushions and can be cleaned, it has plenty of life left in it.
Ask friends and relatives if they have items they no longer need – you can then pass these along when you upgrade to new furniture. It’s a win-win for everyone, especially the environment.
Mix and Match
Buy a few new items to spruce the place up, such as a rug or two, scatter cushions, and wall art. Smaller items are easy to replace and upgrade as your tastes change and you have a bigger budget.