Tips for New Homeowners

It should tell you a bit about my lifestyle that when I moved into my very first house last year, I arrived with four vases, three bottle openers, stacks of clothes, art and books, and not much else! No crockery, no cutlery, saucepans or pots, no towels, in short nothing that would be of much practical use. Since moving in I have remedied this so that now I can at least have people over for dinner, however my house is very much a work-in-progress and many items are still required, e.g. I do have the world’s comfiest bed but no television (again that should tell you a lot about my priorities).

Anyway as a result of my fifteen months’ experience I thought I’d post a few of the tips that I would pass on to any new homeowner. Hope this helps!

Before you move in, gather inspiration from around the web.

A few months before I moved in I started to save images of interiors that I liked in folders on my laptop: one for living rooms, one for bathrooms, etc. When browsing through these folders, I began to see patterns emerge; the same palette of colours kept cropping up, along with similar styles of furniture and decorating themes. It helped to focus my mind before actually buying anything.

Notice how you use your space.

One of the benefits of moving in with just a few items was that my house was uncluttered. After living in it for a while it was easier to see where I needed shelving, the best places for storage, where a table should go, and all the other practical things I required. In addition, after a few weeks you begin to notice how the natural light hits your rooms at different hours of the day and therefore the best places to put lamps. Rather than rushing in and cluttering your space with things that may not work, I’d recommend taking your time to avoid mistakes.

Live in the house for a while before you commit to expensive pieces of furniture.

When I moved in I had to spend money on basics such as a toaster, kettle, crockery and cutlery, etc., and so I bought a relatively cheap sofa from IKEA thinking that it would do for a while. After a few months I realised that the sofa I bought was way too big for for my teensy living room. I’m planning to buy a new sofa next year and am looking at vintage sofas that I can have recovered (DoneDeal , Oxfam Home and Table Lighting Chair will be my resources) or potentially getting one made by Orior, an amazing furniture design company in Ireland.

The best source for DIY tips is Youtube.

Seriously! I have learned how to take apart and unblock my drains, how to remove rust from stainless steel, and the best way to prune an orchid all as a result of Youtube tutorials. In my experience, video tutorials are so much  better than written ones because you can see each step and the end result. If you have a home related problem, I’ll bet you’ll find the answer on Youtube.

And now for a bit of visual stimulation. Below are some of the things on my wish-list for 2014. (Click on the pics to be taken to the items on the original site.)

This sofa is exactly what I want: small, blue/grey and velvet. Bet I can find a similar one cheaper though!
This sofa is exactly what I’d like: small, blue-grey and velvet. Bet I can find a similar one much cheaper though! (Ines Cole at Rockett St. George)
Picture 1
A design classic at an affordable price which would be ideal for my living room (Eames Occasional Table at Rockett St. George)
Luxurious linen bedding from Designer's Guild
Luxurious linen bedding (Designer’s Guild)
Picture 2
I have always loved mercury glass and this lamp would be great in my living room. (Silver Soda Bottle Lamp at Rockett St. George)

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