Moving into your first home is one of life’s big milestones. You’ve worked hard to save a deposit and find the perfect house in the right location and you can’t wait to get the keys. So once the contract is signed and the move in date is set, what next? Unless your new place comes fully furnished, you’ll need to think about turning an empty house into a home.
Whether it’s a new build or a renovation project, furniture is one of the most important factors in creating a space that love you. But furnishing a whole house at once can be a daunting and expensive task.
If you’re a first time buyer, we’re here to help with our stress-free tips on how to furnish your home (without breaking the bank).
Make a check list
Firstly, work out exactly what you need to buy. Are you starting from scratch or do you have a few items from your current home that would work in your new home? You may also have gifts from family and friends, or items you’ve already picked up and put away.
Start by writing down every item that you need for each room. List everything in order of priority, starting with the items that you can’t live without first such as electrical appliances, sofas and beds and ending with the ‘nice to have’ items such as coffee tables, armchairs and accessories.
TOP TIP: Before you buy any furniture, measure each room and create a floor plan so you know exactly what will fit where.
Set your budget
Budgeting is key when furnishing your first home. You don’t want to blow your budget on an extravagant dining table to find you can’t afford any chairs to go with it. Whether you’re on a shoestring budget or not, you need to make sure your money covers all of the essentials.
So how much does it cost to furnish a new home? The cost will be different for everyone depending on what you need, how many rooms you have and whether you want to buy affordable or designer furniture.
Start by working out what you can afford and then break down your budget for each item you want, or each room you need to furnish.
When furnishing a new home, you’re often starting from scratch, needing to buy every single item from the big to the small. While this can be daunting, it can also be a good opportunity to save a little cash. Often by buying multiple items together, you can get a better price.
For example, our SmartShop furniture sets include matching items with added savings for purchasing them together. Shop around for the best multi-save deals.
After you’ve paid out a big lump sum on your deposit, stamp duty and solicitors fees, your ‘new home’ fund may be running a little low.
One option is to furnish your new home as cheaply as possible, using a combination of second hand finds, cheap flatpack furniture and upcycled pieces. You could also furnish your home in stages, living with the bare minimum until you can afford more. This is a great option for some, but many first time buyers want a home they’re proud of from the start.
If you want new furniture as soon as you move in but can’t afford to buy everything up front, look for other ways of paying such as spreading the cost. Interest free credit is a great way to create your dream home without shelling out loads of money all at once. Simply work out what you can afford in repayments each month and stick to it.
Invest in comfort
While you might want to save money on some of your furniture, it’s worth splashing out on certain high-use purchases. For example, we spend around a third of our lives in bed, so a mattress should be seen as an investment in quality. It’s worth spending a little more here to get the best level of comfort and support you can afford.
The same goes for sofas, especially if you love a night in front of the TV. By not going for the cheapest option, you’ll get one that’s built to last longer.
Refine your style
Of course cost isn’t the only consideration when furnishing your abode. What do you want your new furniture to look like? When you need to fill multiple rooms, its easy to panic and buy the first thing that fits your budget and requirements, or to be overwhelmed by choice and not buy anything at all. For this reason, its important to decide what style you want from the start. Having a clear idea of your likes and dislikes will make the process so much easier.
Do you like modern and minimalist or rustic and retro? Do some research into styles, colours and trends and save photos of other homes that you love.
TOP TIP: Before buying anything, create a moodboard (or a Pinterest board) for each room to get a feel for what you like.
Don’t forget the finishing touches
Whether you’re starting with the blank slate of a new build, or are making over a period property, putting your own stamp on your new place will really make it feel like home. Soft furnishings are the perfect way to complete your newly furnished home and inject some of your personality into your interior.
Brighten up plain rooms with an eye-catching rug or add some interest to your sofa with cushions and throws.
Remember, buying and furnishing your first home is an exciting time, so have fun! Now take a look at our first home furniture and accessory picks that are as stylish as they are affordable.
1. Hix Chair 2. Lux Velvet Cushion 3. Geometric Rug 4. Eskdale TV Unit 5. Brasilia Throw 6. Carrington Bed Frame 7. Hannover Dining Set 8. Yona Three Section Cube 9. Geo Ceramic Table Lamp 10. Myers Large Sofa
For even affordable furniture that’s perfect for first time buyers, take a look at our great value Smart Shop range.