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Looking to buy your first home soon? Here’s how to start planning the fun stuff

From colour schemes to accessories, there’s plenty you can do now to shape your future home – even if you’re just starting out.

IF YOU’RE HOPING that 2021 will be the year you’re going to buy your first home, you might already be itching to start decorating. But when you don’t know what your new house will look like or what kind of floor plan you’ll have to accommodate, how can you start on the interior design?

Well, you can actually get a head start on the interior decorating process long before you have the keys in hand, whether you’ve got your eye on a show home or you’re just beginning your property search with a casual browse of the listings.

We discussed this very prospect with interior designer Eavan English, of eedi Studio in Kanturk, Co Cork, and she offered quite a few tasks you can enjoy even before you start the house hunt in earnest.

Here are her tips for getting a jump on the interior decorating of your first home — before you’ve even found one.

1. Get emotional to narrow down your colours and styles

When it comes to colour and style, English explains, the first step is to tap into your emotions.

“When you’re looking at room images, ask yourself what emotion you’re feeling.” Those emotions can help direct you to the style you want for your new home. “Start narrowing down the colours and spaces that make you feel good. Once you answer those questions, it should come easier to you.”

Whether you’re drawn to muted and natural colours of outdoor scenery, or prefer the sharper contrast of a cityscape, English suggests uploading a photo into an app like Color Viewfinder that will take an image and turn it into a colour palette you could use in your home.

2. Collect the looks you love

Traditional mood boards have gone from paper clippings to digital collections in the last decade, so English recommends using Pinterest boards to compile inspiration for your home. “Set it up by rooms and then by elements” such as lighting, accessories or rugs for each room, she says.

“It’s a great way to collect ideas,” explains English. “Once you’ve got them all pinned in, you can scroll through them and start comparing one against the other, then start to edit it.” If you have pinned 20 kitchen images, analyse what the recurring theme of those images is so you can start to narrow down your style preferences.

Start with small accessories that will help put your stamp on any home Unsplash Unsplash

3. Start with small accessories

“In any home, it’s the small things that finish off the space and make it yours,” says English. She suggests investing in smaller accessories before you know where you’ll be living. “Things like lamps, collecting nice tools for the kitchen, because once you get the house they’re the last thing you’ll want to spend money on.”

Items like tabletop accessories and textiles are safe bets because they can suit any setting, “If you see a set of cushions that you like, buy them and invest in those things. They’re going to enrich any interior.”

4. But hold off on large furniture

Large furniture, however, should wait until you’ve purchased your home. “Hold off on the sofa, kitchen table, any big dimensional stuff, bulky things that take up space,” she says. Armchairs and smaller seating should fit in any future space: “If you spot a neat armchair that you like, go for it.”

She pointed out that most people no longer purchase a full three-piece suite, so collecting an armchair or two would still allow you to pick out the perfect sofa once you know how much space you’ll have. English did exactly this while she was preparing to move. “I have stuff from over the years – even when I was renting, I collected pieces of furniture.”

Wall art is something you can invest in now Unsplash Unsplash

5. Collect artwork before you move in

Artwork is another category you can start collecting well before narrowing down your home search, advises English. “You might be saving for a home, but you could buy a print now in an art studio for not too much money and then you’ve got something to finish your interior.”

No matter what home you buy, you’re going to be able to use artwork, says English. “You’re going to have four bare walls – then you’ve got one nice focal thing on it.”

6. Only buy what you love

When you’re purchasing your first home, it might be the first time you’ve had a totally clean slate to furnish yourself and it can be tempting to try to fill it quickly. However, English pointed out that choosing furniture for your future home can be a slow process, “People tend to want to fill a first time home,” English says. “And then they surround themselves with cheap buys or things they’re buying to make do. But those can start to smother them.”

Instead, she recommended purchasing items you truly enjoy and appreciate. “Buy less, buy well. And question whether you really love an object before you purchase it.”

Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to settling into your first home.

At Glenveagh Homes, our vision is that everyone should have the opportunity to access great-value, high-quality homes in flourishing communities across Ireland. We understand that buying a home is possibly the biggest decision you will ever make in your life – but we want to make it your easiest. Click here to find out more about Glenveagh developments.  

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