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Furnishing your first place: What to save on and what to splurge on

How can you plan your fitting-out budget ahead of time? We ask an expert for tips.

Image: Unsplash

FURNISHING YOUR FIRST home can be a daunting undertaking. For many people, it could be the first time they’ve had the opportunity to choose every element in the interior, and that’s no small project.

No matter what size home you’re buying, categorising your purchases into scrimp and splurge can help you get a jump start on furnishing your home. You’ll be able to start prioritising your needs for your new home, and saving up for a few investment pieces you’ll really enjoy over the coming years.

Lisa Marconi, interior designer and founder of Design Led, offers some helpful recommendations for first-time buyers looking to furnish their new homes, from where to focus the bulk of your budget to resources for picking up a solid sofa.

“When you’re decorating a home for the first time and money’s tight, it’s good to start to think about what rooms are the most important,” she says. “You focus on those, so your energy and your budget should go into the living room, the kitchen and the main bedroom.”

In the bedroom

Marconi offers a simple equation for maximising your budget in the bedroom: spend on the mattress, save on the bed.

“Splurge on the mattress. If you buy a cheap mattress, you’ll end up replacing it sooner than later,” Marconi says. “Sleep is so important.”

On the other hand, she explains: “The bed itself doesn’t matter as much, so long as it won’t fall apart.” In order to give your bedroom a little personality without using up your whole budget, Marconi suggests getting “an interesting headboard – because that’s the piece everyone will notice.” She mentions companies like Love Your Home or The Rattan Company, which both deliver to Ireland.

Source: Unsplash

In the living room

For that living space, Marconi suggests opting for a mid-range sofa, “Don’t get the cheapest couch you can find. Go in between, somewhere like Made.com, and choose one of their mid-range sofas.” She suggests purchasing a less expensive sofa while you save up for one that’s more of a splurge that you’ll love and have for years.

When it comes to lighting, Marconi warns not to buy too cheaply. “Cheap lighting looks cheap — the gold will be too gold, the cover on the metal comes off,” she says. “While you don’t need to spend thousands, I would spend a reasonable amount of money, especially on pendants. Cheap lighting will just bring down the whole tone of the room.”

In the kitchen

“What I wouldn’t scrimp on is a kitchen appliance,” says Marconi. “There’s a real false economy in buying a cheap appliance, because you’ll have to replace it sooner than later. An expensive kitchen appliance will last for years.”

If you are buying a home where a new kitchen is required, Marconi recommends focusing your budget on appliances rather than cabinetry. “Absolutely no reason to splurge on a kitchen,” she says. One way to save money here is to buy from a major retailer like Ikea, then customise. “I feel like I spend my life talking about Ikea hacks, but companies like Superfront and Pretty Pegs are really made to give Ikea cabinets personality,” says Marconi. 

Overall, the interior design of your first home doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and likewise doesn’t have to look cheap if you’re trying to stretch your budget. Instead, says Marconi: “It’s about using your money more cleverly.”

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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Glenveagh Homes

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