Buying a new home as a first time home buyer is a thrilling step. No more landlords and décor rules. You’ve invested in a permanent living space that you can make completely your own. While a new home is full of possibilities, it can also hold some (exciting) challenges. If you’re moving from a small 1 bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom house with a basement to boot, there’s going to be some serious gaps in your furniture supply as you look to furnish your new home.
Likely, as a first time home buyer, you don’t have the budget to hire an interior designer and buy all new furniture. No problem. We’ve compiled a list of tips and fun ways you can furnish your brand new home to your taste while respecting your wallet.
Purge Old Furniture Before You Move
As a first time home buyer, this is your time for a fresh new start. A big empty home is the perfect place to go back to the drawing board. Even before you move out of your old place, decide what items and pieces of furniture you like and what you can do without. Purge wobbly chairs and mediocre art work that you’ve forgotten why you have. Sell or donate these items. This will save you time and space when you actually need to move your stuff over to the new property. Once you’re in your home, you won’t have to envision your ideal décor and furniture around undesirable clutter.
The Transforming Power of Paint
Don’t underestimate the way a fresh, clean coat of paint can transform a space. This is one of the most budget friendly furnishing tips out there. Of course, just painting walls can do wonders, but it doesn’t end there. Why commit to an expensive kitchen renovation you can’t afford just because the cabinets look tired and drab? Paint the cabinets instead. Be amazed at the transformation. Add a fresh coat on the ceiling or trim. While neutral colours are always a win, don’t limit yourself if you want to make a statement. Pick a bright colour for an accent wall or the whole room. Don’t be shy in your new home.
Prioritize Your Living Spaces
If you’re moving from a small apartment to a home, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. Ask yourself which room needs attention first. Prioritize each space based on its use. Because so much time is spent here, the master bedroom is often first priority. Invest in a new bed, headboard, bedding, and comfortable mattress, if necessary. Make the space comfortable and appealing. After the bedroom, other top priority spaces include the kitchen and living room. Don’t be afraid to invest in items like a table or couch that will be used regularly.
Don’t Furnish Your New Home All At Once
Even though there might be a ton of empty space in your new home, don’t rush into buying your furniture all at once. First off, a furniture buying binge could result in you going over budget, something you probably can’t afford now that you’ve invested in your first property and the ongoing payments. Secondly, hasty buying decisions are often regretted. You want to invest in furniture and décor you really love for the long-term. Try living for at least 2 months in your new home before making any expensive significant purchase, like a dining table or couch set. As you get to know your new space, you might find your priorities change over time. You might be surprised at what you can live without and discover something you absolutely need that you didn’t expect.
Furnish Your Home By Repurposing Old Furniture
Even though you’re moving into a brand new home as a first-time home buyer, that doesn’t mean everything in your home has to be new. Some of the most charming furniture and décor in your house can be old, repurposed items that you give a fresh look. Try painting an old chair or table. Instead of throwing away an antique bench or trunk, trying using it as a coffee table, paired with a tray, books, and fresh flowers for a personal decorative touch. Get creative with old items and have fun making the space your own.
For more information about how you can transform items, check out How to Repurpose Old Furniture and Home Décor in Clever Ways.
Accept Second-Hand Furniture and Décor
Another great way to save money and furnish your new home on a budget is to accept hand-me-downs. People are always giving away furniture. Just make sure that you don’t accept anything and everything. If you do, you might end up with too much furniture, pieces that function but ones that you don’t love and don’t serve your decorative vision. Accept furniture that’s in good working condition and that fits your style. If you can envision that piece in an exact spot in your house, then it’s a good decision.
You can also find some fabulous second-hand pieces at garage sales. Antique treasures and artwork can be found at bargain prices and give character to your home. Facebook Marketplace can also be a great resource. You might not find something right away. That’s okay. Keep checking, be patient, and when something finally comes up, don’t be afraid to bargain for a good price.
Your Furniture Doesn’t Have To Match
Believe it or not, your furniture doesn’t have to match. Stores will want you to buy things in sets, but this could make your place look like a showroom. Your unique style will come through in personalized, mismatched items. And so called “mismatched” items can be united in a single colour theme. Have fun choosing upholstery, rugs, pillows, window treatments, and other accessories that will pull a room together in a creative colour scheme.
Just make sure each furniture piece compliments the others according to the proportion, scale, and balance of the room. A small den shouldn’t be squished or cluttered with multiple pieces of oversized furniture. A roomy dining room with a high ceiling shouldn’t be furnished sparsely with delicate low table.
We hope these tips have been helpful as you look forward to furnishing your new home as a first time home buyer. Take confidence knowing you can fill your space and make it home without breaking the bank.
If you’re looking to sell your home, check out our article on How to Prepare and Stage Your Home for Sale for more helpful tips on how simple inexpensive changes can make a fabulous impression on buyers.