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Waiting on the keys? 8 steps that'll make the transition to your new home easier

From choosing the flooring to deciding on bedroom wall colours.

Image: Shutterstock/Igor Kardasov

THE PERIOD BETWEEN going sale agreed and getting the house keys can feel agonisingly long – especially if there are delays along the way. You have the house, but you’re not living there yet. 

If you’re in that situation yourself right now, there are some bedding-in tasks you can start to get out of the way even before moving day arrives, says Geri O’Toole Glynn of Geri Designs.

From deciding on paint colours to placing orders for furniture, there are plenty of ways to give yourself a head start – and to save stress later on. Here are some pro tips for making things run smoothly…

1. Use this time to lay down some ideas for interiors

“It’s all about planning,” says O’Toole Glynn.

You should use this time wisely, pulling ideas you like as you start thinking about how you need to use your home. For example, are you a big cook? Can your kitchen facilitate your love for baking?

For her, function comes first, as your home primarily has to work for you and your lifestyle.

shutterstock_797136049 Source: Shutterstock/VGstockstudio

2. Start to consider furniture and storage needs now

“Once you understand what you need and how your home needs to function you can start exploring layouts,” says Geri.

How many would you like to seat comfortably in your dining area? Do you need storage for coats and shoes in the hall?

A tricky issue is deciding on the balance of fitted and free standing furniture. She points out that while many people leave this decision up to the carpenters, they don’t usually look at overall design, so it helps to have a plan in advance.

3. Know the measurements? Choose your flooring

“Once you’ve figured out how your home will function for your lifestyle, it’ll be easier to make decisions about flooring, O’Toole Glynn notes. “For example, is the hall very high traffic? Maybe you prefer to have a tile then, rather than a wooden floor?”

Lighter coloured carpet looks great, especially in bedrooms, but mightn’t be a good idea for staircases or living rooms, which could get grubby quickly. Much depends on maintenance too: how much or how little you want to carry out might decide your final finish underfoot.

4. And pick colours for the walls

By starting from the floor upwards, decisions about colour schemes should come naturally. “Layer colour on the walls and wallpaper finishes,” Geri advises. This is a great way of building a cohesive look for a room, with subtle layers tying everything together to create a natural, attractive design.

shutterstock_502543615 Source: Shutterstock/Nature Style

5. Visit furniture showrooms (with colour swatches in tow)

Geri recommends taking paint samples or colour swatches with you while you view furniture, such as sofas or dining room furniture, as this will help you select pieces that will “complement your overall scheme.” It’s also vital to do this early, as many furniture companies have long waiting periods for delivery, sometimes as much as three months or more.

6. Order or purchase blinds, curtains and shutters

If you know the measurements of windows now, O’Toole Glynn advises choosing window-dressings early, and placing the orders as soon as possible so that they’ll be ready by the time you get the keys:

Curtains, blinds and shutters can all take a long time if you’re having them custom-made.

shutterstock_302752751 Source: Shutterstock/alexkatkov

7. If you know your move-in date, plan deliveries accordingly

It can be a challenge choosing a date for deliveries, as you mightn’t know for sure when the paperwork will be finalised. It’s important to liaise with your suppliers as soon as the date is confirmed, to make sure you have some home comforts in place. “If possible, plan your orders to arrive on your actual move-in day,” Geri says.

You want to have a bed to sleep in on your first night in your new home.

8. Pick up smaller accessories and soft furnishings early on

Accessorising is often the most fun part of decorating a new house, and there’s no reason why you can’t pick up some cushions, throws or mirrors while you wait. “Once you actually move in and the bigger items are set in place, it’s a great time to style and layer accessories to bring your home to life,” O’Toole Glynn says. “You’ll be glad you put that waiting time to good use.”

shutterstock_280626563 Source: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

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Lending Criteria, Terms & Conditions Apply. Security and Insurance are required. The maximum mortgage balance is 90% of the property value. Max loan amount will typically not exceed 3.5 times an individual’s gross annual income. KBC Bank Ireland plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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