If you’ve started looking for a place of your own or have just signed on the dotted line – congratulations! Gone are the days of jealousy when visiting new homes – you’re moving to a place that is all your own.

After scrimping and saving for your new abode, the thought of decorating may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re hoping to create a vision of real domestic bliss, follow these 8 simple steps to create your perfect first home!

1) Plan! 

This may seem obvious but you’d be amazed at the number of people who meticulously unpack and then wonder how they’re going to redecorate a full room.

If you’re looking to change  a room’s fittings and wallpaper for instance, it can be best to leave your things for that room in the box you moved them in. Or, if the room is a “core room” like the kitchen or bathroom, unpack the bare minimum you need to get by. So unpack your toaster but maybe hold off on stacking the cupboards with your 114 ceramic mugs. And, for those of you jazzing up your living room, there’s no harm in installing a chair and your TV! But you can probably leave mirrors and artwork safe in their boxes.

2) Get rid of the junk

When moving into your new place the first thing you’ll notice is the space. Without careful planning you could end up cluttering your room with dated decor in a desperate attempt to fill this unoccupied area. Don’t do this!

Empty space holds possibility, while cluttered spaces just equal a mess to clean up. If you want to add some colour to the walls, why not visit the wonderful wallpaper experts at Home Flair Decor – they have some incredible wall art that will add character to any room, without cluttering it.

3) Measure everything

This may sound fairly obvious to the accomplished decorating diva, but first-time buyers often overlook this. Before you hit the shops, measure your rooms (as well as the doorways, stairs and cupboards), and bring those measurements along with you – a sofa will look much smaller in a 20 foot showroom than in your two bedroom flat.

Oh, and don’t buy all matching furniture, unless you’re going for the sales showroom look, as different characteristics create a more homely feel.

4) Colour combinations

Some people say you should pull your colour palette from your wall art, others suggest starting from the floor up. We say start with the piece of furniture you love the most and work from there. If that’s a rug, then pull your palette from there. If it’s a piece of artwork, let that dictate your decor.

Once you have the colour combinations to hand, it’s time to get started. We suggest choosing neutral colours for investment pieces like the sofa, dining room table and add colours with home accents like rugs, pillows, lighting and artwork. This way you can change the look of your home without having to spend a fortune. Choose the colours you love, it’s your place!

5) Personalise with wallpaper

Wallpapering is often the easiest, most affordable way to decorate your new abode with a cleverly-chosen style that reflects your unique personality.

Why spend your days staring at dull walls, when you could be staring at awe-inspiring wallpaper? There are endless types of wallpaper on the market, so whether you’re interested in fabulous florals, classic checks or designer decor, you’re guaranteed to find the one for you.

6) Don’t forget the garden!

From climbers, to window boxes, there are so many things you can do to brighten up your  exterior with gardening. The best thing is, you don’t need to be an expert!

Our favourite type of gardening [low-maintenance planting], is perfect for your first home. By interspersing small pot plants of box hedges with a seasonal display of bulbs and summer bedding, you’ll be blissfully surprised at the result. We suggest planting tulips in spring, geraniums in summer and winter pansies in autumn- but ultimately it’s up to you, it’s your home 🙂

7) Get creative with cushions

It’s surprising what a few cushions, rugs and indoor plants can do to a space. A colourful cushion will draw attention from your grandmothers crumbling couch, and plants bring a touch of the exotic indoors and brighten up the place.

If you’re looking to create something truly personal, and original – you could even make your own pillow covers! Give it a shot, it’s actually quite therapeutic!

8) Light up your life

When in a rental property and living under the laws of your landlord, you may not have the freedom to make big changes. Oh, how times have changed! One of the best ways to dazzle your friends and family is to do away with your old lights and replace them with brighter, more energy efficient alternatives.

Reserve larger expanses of space to show off crystal effect lighting or a chandelier. You can also install a dimmer switch in rooms like the bathroom to help you find your way around at night with out having to switch on brighter lights.

9) Protect it

If you’ve filled your house with beautiful fittings and things, you’re definitely going to want to keep it that way. But, life being the unpredictable beast it is, you never know what’s round the corner. So, it’s best to play safe and to insure your home and possessions. Contents insurance is an affordable way of taking worry off your shoulders. But, if you’ve just spent a lot of money upgrading your home and things, make sure that your policy is accurately reflects this – because it can affect how much you can claim back down the line.

For home and contents insurance that you can update in real time, check out buzzvault at https://gobuzzvault.com/ or in an App Store near you.

10) Relax!

And last, but by no means least… relax! The best part of buying your first property is the endless freedom to do exactly what you want to do, so embrace this opportunity to sit back and take it all in.