I can barely believe that little over 2 years ago I moved into my first home.
Looking back I have experienced and learnt so much in the last 2 years, and whilst I’m definitely not a fully fledged adult just yet, I’m definitely more than just ‘surviving’ these days, I mean, my diet isn’t just pizza and chips anymore so that’s something, right?
I’d already mentally moved into my first home after having my offer accepted, yet it was another gruelling 5 months until I exchanged and I had to stop myself then and there buying pieces of furniture and decor beforehand because of, a) just in case the offer fell through which almost happened about 3 times b) in case the furniture/decor doesn’t fit/go and c) in case I bought the item on impulse and didn’t like it 5 months later. Very probable.
It can be daunting, scary and very expensive starting from scratch and where do you even start with it tho? So I thought it would be helpful to share my top tips on how to ensure you choose the right furniture for your first home.
Wait Until You’ve Moved In & Measure Everything
Hopefully I’ve made these mistakes along the way so you don’t have to. I remember being desperate to buy a sofa from Made.com because I was petrified it was going to go out of stock and it wouldn’t come back in as they only do a run of a certain amount. I remember the stress of having to push the sofa delivery date back literally weeks at a time because the process went on for so long. Looking back I should have just waited until I moved it and bought it then. I had visions of the sofa being delivered to my parents garage and residing there because the house sale had fallen through. Literally never again.
I also ended up buying a chest of drawers that was too big for the space in my bedroom. The closest IKEA to Plymouth used to be 2 hours away so it was an impulse buy as I wanted to get as much furniture as possible whilst I was there. I ended up having to sell it and make a loss of £30 but it just didn’t fit or work and I just cut my losses and learnt from it.
Measure every space/wall/alcove before you go shopping online or in-store and check the return information for the company too. If you aren’t sure about something then double check, leave it a day or two to think about it and return to buy it another day if it’s really what you want and need.
I got so pin happy on Pinterest leading up to the move date, it’s so important to have an idea in your head what style you’re looking to go for (boho, minimal, grey, Scandinavian, pops of colour etc) and break everything down by rooms. I probably pinned at least x 2000 pins and gained over 500 followers in the process as it became so addictive.
It gave me such a good idea of what I did and didn’t want, and it made the buying stage when I came to it much easier as I wrote lists of everything I needed to get and my preferences for each piece of furniture.
Research & Find Your Favourite Home Retailers
Whilst I wouldn’t recommend buying furniture before you’re in, I would encourage researching and finding some amazing home retailers both online and in-store to give you some food for thought and which will allow you to jump on purchasing the things you really want when the time is right.
I headed straight to LionsHome for inspiration as they literally do everything you could dream of for the home right down to your towels and linen. I’m 100% due a splurge on here as the Primark bedding life is just not for me anymore lol.
It also reinforced in my head the theme I wanted to go for, and plus, they have a whole host of amazing homeware brands under one roof including Amara, Melody Maison and Barthome – if anything, there is too much to choose from. I mean, I already have my eye on their dining tables for a house I haven’t even started looking at yet, I don’t even think that’s normal but I’m already way too excited for the dinner parties and afternoon teas I can hold on one when I have some more space!
My other favourite home & living retailers for furniture pieces are obviously, Made.com, Oliver Bonas, IKEA, Urban Outfitters, Maisons Du Monde and John Lewis.
Use The Type of Property As Your Starting Point
What era of property are you going to be moving into? And can you use that as a starting point to base your theme? I’d also say that you should use the little nuances of your home to your advantage. Have a lot of dead space in an alcove? Create a library around it with built in shelving and add an armchair near to it. An old fireplace? Restore it to the 21st century and make it the cosiest nook of the house.
I live in a Georgian property and have used the dead spaces and high ceilings to create built in shelving and I’ve added pops of colour to my home by using furniture, as the white walls create the perfect foundations. I’ve opted for a modern, millennial look with lots of blush pink (OBV), but you could also go the other way and use the Georgian classical charm by bringing in more dated, classic pieces and a fireplace to reflect the age of the property.
Just because it’s a new build it doesn’t have to be white walls throughout and modernised. Use the property age to your advantage and work with it or around it. Furniture really can transform a place into what YOU want it to be. The age of the property should never limit what you can do with it.
I love that any new home is ready for you to create your own stamp on it, and furniture is one of the most important and fun ways to do it.
What did you find helpful when furnishing your first home?
*This post has been written in collaboration with Lions Home.