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'Start with the living room': How to make your new house feel like home from day one

From organising your TV and broadband in advance to adding personal touches.

Image: Shutterstock

MOVING HOUSE CAN be a stressful experience, to say the least.

From prepping for the move to getting everything to the new place, it can be easy to forget to plan for the first few days at your new address.

However, setting up a number of small things for yourself in advance can make the world of difference when you’re settling in, says interior architect and designer Aoife Tobin of Style So Simple. 

From organising your TV and broadband to adding personal touches, Aoife shared her top tips for making your new house feel like a home from day one. 

1. Be smart with what you unpack

If you’ve just moved in and the last moving van has pulled away, you might be dying to start unpacking and putting everything in their new place. But before you start tearing through boxes, Aoife recommends being strategic in your unpacking.

“What I find with clients is they get really overwhelmed trying to think of unpacking and setting up every room,” says Aoife. “But I wouldn’t do that. I would think of one or two rooms first, starting with the room you’re going to spend your most time in.

“I usually find the living room is best because, although the kitchen is the heart of the home, the living room is usually where people want to chill with the family in the evening. So getting that right first, I think, is key. After that, then let’s move on to the likes of your bedroom. Not trying to get it all done at once is the main bit of advice I would say to people.”

shutterstock_368540120 Source: Shutterstock

2. Add some personal touches

An easy way to quickly make a new house feel like a home is adding some small personal touches, says Aoife. 

“I’d recommend looking at some art that you have and planning where to hang it. Art is something that is so personal, so if you have any I would advise getting something like that up. It’s definitely something that makes it feel more homely,” she says.

Putting up photos of family and friends can have a similar effect. “In the first few days, if you have a little box of personal photos, getting some of those up is a great idea. They don’t have to stay there forever, but it’s going to be one of those things that will make it make it feel more homely, even if it’s just in one room.” 

3. Set up your TV and broadband in advance

After what could be weeks of packing and preparing for the move, you’ll probably want to relax on your first night there. Do future yourself a favour, says Aoife, and set up your TV and broadband in advance so you can do this straight away. A quick and easy option for this is to pre-order your Sky TV and Ultrafast Broadband install with Sky and make sure it’s up and running on for your move in day. 

“Having somewhere to unwind in your new home is so important,” says Aoife. “You’ll have boxes everywhere, everything is not going to be organised. You’ll want to just sit down, relax and watch something and not go scrounging for things. Having the broadband and the TV set up so that you can sit and chill out and watch something is ideal.”

shutterstock_539142589 Source: Shutterstock

4. Create a cosy space with lighting

Lighting might not be a priority on the first few days when you move in, but it’s a simple way to make any space feel cosy and welcoming, says Aoife. “Even adding table lamps and floor lamps, they always add a bit of ambience which, in turn, adds a bit of comfort.

“Let’s say you have your sofa, you have your TV up and running, it’s nighttime and you don’t want the full light on. If you have your table lamp or a few candles, that’s really going to make it feel a bit more cozy.”

It’s about the little wins – if everything’s not perfect at the start, that doesn’t matter at all. It’s more about the little things that you can get done.

shutterstock_1872255106 Source: Shutterstock

5. Start small when decorating

Once you’ve spent a couple of days in your new home, you might then have scope to add a few decorative touches. “Maybe not in the first few days, but in the first few weeks you can look at picking up soft throws, accent cushions and things like that because they’re quite inexpensive and can make a space feel really cosy.

“Another thing would be to add some greenery. It’s one of those things that makes a place feel fresher it, it makes people feel more relaxed and it makes a home feel more homely.”

Tick one big thing off your list before you move in with Sky’s exclusive new home offers and get your Sky TV and Ultrafast Broadband setup for your move in day. Find out more here. Terms and conditions apply.

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