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Quite a challenge don’t you think?
However, the question posed by ‘What House?’, a site that promotes the best new homes in Britain, was looking for constructive advice for First Time Buyers.  People lucky enough to have made it onto the housing ladder but perhaps struggling to achieve the ideal home interior they really desire.
Asked to supply a couple of quotes for an article (published on their site yesterday), I put my thinking cap on and yes, … I do think (appliances aside) it is perfectly possible, with a bit of creative thinking, to furnish a fab, first, new home for less than £600!  Read the full article below with thanks to Natalia Gameson.


How to furnish your new home for less than £600

Deciding how to furnish your new home is undoubtedly one of the most exciting parts of the homebuying process. But the reality may different to what you originally imagined – especially when you start putting pen to paper to work out your budget.

“It’s tempting to splurge on contemporary furnishings and accessories,” says

property styler Helen Silver of The Property Styling Company (www.propertystylingcompany.co.uk). “But give yourself some time to get the feel of your new surroundings. You may have spent months drawing out on paper where you’ll put the sofa and TV, or choosing colour for feature walls. But the reality is a limited budget could put paid to your original plans.”

Plasti-kote coloursFirst things first – know your palette, and pick one or two simple colours to form the basis of your home’s colour scheme. “Buying an expensive sofa or a dining table could be a mistake if you dislike the colour in a year’s time,” Helen adds. “Choose neutrally toned pieces, and add splashes of colour with bright cushions or rugs.”

Asking family and friends if they’ve got any excess furniture to get rid of is a very good starting point. And after you’ve assembled a small collection of cast-offs, it’s time to hit the internet. Second-hand furniture (or to give it its more glamorous pen name, “vintage”) is booming, with sites like Gumtree (www.gumtree.com) and Freecycle (www.freecycle.org) featuring free key pieces, such as tables, chairs and even TVs and surround-sound systems – all potentially essential items for your new home that you can snap up for nothing except transportation costs.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for online, then second-hand furniture shops and charity shops can be great resources to hunt through, particularly if you’re after everyday china and cutlery, glasses and picture frames.

Nowadays, you don’t have to settle for the original design or hue of what you collect. PlastiKote (www.plasti-kote.co.uk) Super Spray paint is a fun way to revamp old furniture (see picture above), and can be sprayed onto most surfaces, and dries in under an hour. Available in 60 different colours and finishes, it retails at £6.95 for a 400ml can.

The bed is an area where it’s best to invest – after all, you’ll be spending a third of your life in it, so you may as well get comfortable. Hyder Living’s Dorchester bed frame is £300 (www.hyderint.com), and is stylish and easy to style up with a funky bedspread – Curtain Wizard’s range is particularly affordable (www.curtain-wizard.co.uk). Buying a new sofa is also important – Sofas World has classic design models starting from £200 (www.sofasworld.co.uk).

If you’re considering buying a new-build home, there’s no time like the present to make an appointment to visit a show home on a new property development. It’s also a great way to pick up the latest style trends. Among the great new homes schemes for sale at present with inspiring show homes are:

Twilight at Water Colour in Redhill, Surrey, from Linden Homes (full story here)

Royal Arsenal Riverside in Woolwich, London from Berkeley Homes (full story here)

Rosewood Farm in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, from Bloor Homes (full story here)

Gainsborough Court in Kelvindale, Scotland from Mactaggart & Mickel

via Property News – New homes decoration | New homes interior design | Interior design for new-build homes.

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Suppose you’ve spent the last 6 months or even 2 years searching for your new home.  Suppose you employed the services of a Property Stylist and Property Finder to not only get your current home sold quickly but also to find your dream property.  And, suppose everything turned out well; your old home sold for maximum market value and your new home ticked all the boxes on your wish list.

Finally, after weeks of eager anticipation and clutter clearing, you move in.

It’s a joyous occasion right? The property is exactly what you wanted.  There’s enough room for the kids, grown-ups, visiting relatives, book club group, you have your own study, orangery, hot tub ….. fill in the blank!  So why doesn’t it feel like home?

Image from August Edition of Livingetc

Unless you are one of the lucky few, for whom money isn’t too much of an object, moving into a new home will inevitably bring compromise.  When you viewed the property, (particularly if it was being marketed by switched on vendors who’d buffed and styled their house to appeal to the masses 😉 ) you envisioned yourselves living the dream.  It had bags of potential for you and yours. The rooms looked gorgeous, the master bedroom was huge, the living room was perfect for entertaining, the kitchen – well ok, that could do with a refit (looked lovely with all their ornaments, oils and shiny pans) but the bathrooms were sleek, white and oh so clean…

Picture from housetohome network

The stark truth is that when you move into a new house, your furniture won’t look the same as the previous owners did or have the same ‘wow-factor’ as the carefully styled Show-Home you viewed.  If, like the majority of us, you plonk your stuff in the same spot as the last occupants, use the rooms in the same way as you were shown by the sellers or simply, after all the costs of moving home, don’t have enough cash to embark on remodelling, then the reality is it probably won’t feel like home for a long time… if ever!

SO WHAT’S THE SECRET?

The number one tip is – Don’t panic!

Consider the reasons why you believed it would make your perfect home.  Does it have the space you always longed for, an en-suite bathroom or perhaps off road parking?

Make an objective list of things you’d really like to improve.  Start with your biggest bug bear and then revisit the budget!

Avoid doing things twice.  Don’t spend money replacing missing kitchen cupboard doors if you are planning to rip out the entire kitchen in a few months.  Hold fire on replacing the ugly patterned carpet. Take time to work out what flooring/finishes will suit your lifestyle.

Consult a professional.  Having an outsider give an objective view of how you can maximise your property’s potential will save you time and money!  Most Interior Designers will work on projects for a fixed fee, some can offer a virtual service on a room by room basis.  Whether you need advice on finding the right wall colour, help with sourcing furniture or plan to carry out a full refurbishment, find an Interior Designer you like to help define your dream home ideas.

Change the use of your rooms.  Could your dining room be used as a family/teenage room?  Could the spare room become your office?  Do you need a downstairs shower for sporty kids ?

Move the furniture.  Just because the previous owners had their sofa facing the window doesn’t mean you have to!  Play around with the space you’ve inherited and find out where your favourite chair looks the best.

Treat yourself to a deep clean!  Even if the house looks clean, have the place professionally cleaned from top to bottom, including the carpets – especially if you don’t like them but have to live with them for a while! Cleansing a space always makes it feel better.

Set up a dream home bank account.  Home improvements always cost more than you think and invariably people get carried away.  Saving for property changes and creating a separate account means that you can see exactly what you have to spend and can plan accordingly.

Finally, claim ownership with a fresh coat of paint!  This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to make your new house, feel like your new home!

Peter Fallico’s bedroom as shown in StyleatHome.com

If you need advice on styling, selling or buying property and would like to discuss working with me … my main website can be found at www.propertystylingcompany.co.uk. Contact can be made through this wordpress site, by email or by calling 07789 488446.


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