First time buyer decorating ideas

It doesn’t seem so long ago that the housing market was thriving, but it was 2007 when house prices peaked shortly before the credit crunch hit the US economy and spread to the UK and the rest of Europe.  These days it isn’t easy to get on the property ladder, with lenders displaying caution and asking for significant deposits before agreeing to lend.

However in 2012 the number of first time buyers exceeded 216,000, indicating that the market has begun to recover and that people are finding it possible to get on that first rung, tough though it may be on the finances.

There are few things more exciting and satisfying in life than buying a first house.  After the searching and the waiting, finally stepping over the threshold and knowing that home ownership has been achieved at last is a tremendous thrill.  However, it is only the beginning.  Making a house into a home needs careful thought and planning, but there are many simple decorating ideas that can transform spaces and make them welcoming and comfortable.

House possibilities

The choice of house will usually determine how much decorating needs to be done.  A brand new house, whether it’s detached, a semi or a townhouse, will not need much doing to walls initially, but developing new colour schemes is always fun.  Light, warm colours evoke a sense of space and can brighten any room.

For an older house there may be some work to do.  Bare floorboards can be sanded down, stained and varnished, then part-covered with an attractive rug to give the room a traditional feel.  Old wallpaper can be stripped, and either new paper put up or the walls simply prepared well and painted to suit.

Floor and window coverings should be chosen to suit the character of the house as well as personal preference.  An older house might suit plantation shutters for windows, allowing in as much or as little light as desired with their moveable slats, and providing an extra layer of insulation during colder weather.  Blinds or curtains with simple patterns are very suitable for new houses, perhaps with contemporary designs that will fit with the clean, clear lines of the rooms.

Adding the personal touch

A house becomes a home when the personality of its owner is expressed in the decor.  Furniture makes a statement, and, whether it’s a traditional oak dining table with matching chairs or a stylish modern design for living room chairs and occasional tables, it’s the choice that makes the difference.  It’s also worth thinking about how much furniture is needed.  Too much and spaces start to feel cluttered; too little and there aren’t enough places to relax.  A useful addition to a bedroom or living space is a sofa bed, ideal for extra guests and sleepovers for children.

Another way to individualise the house is by hanging pictures, not just in the rooms but also in the circulation spaces such as the front hall, staircase walls and landings.  Even the bathroom will benefit from a seascape or other marine artwork.

The final touch can be added with knick-knacks and trinkets, perhaps some souvenirs from holidays at home or abroad, creating an attractive atmosphere and completing the homely effect.