Sunday, 13 May 2018

Five Home Design Tips for Beginners - with Great Idea Hub.*

I first moved away from my parents when I was 17, but it's only now, over a decade later, that I fully appreciate that my little house I live in with my husband is actually my home. Years of student accommodation and fully-furnished flats have meant that we have had little ability to put our own stamp on things. Now that we live in what is essentially a blank canvas, we have much more freedom, but no idea where to begin. So I put together a little list of tips that might help us - and hopefully you! - when it comes to letting your inner interior designer run riot.

Figure out what you want to change

I'm one of those annoying people who has about 1000 notebooks and insists on planning out every detail before I begin anything, but I swear this is actually useful! Transforming where you live into the perfect space for you is a daunting process. I'm fairly likely to get carried away and try to take on too much at once. Work out what you want to change, and order each room or space in importance. Is your living room stressing you out? Stick it at the top of the list. Decide exactly how you want to use each room, and come up with an overall concept for how you want it to look and how you want it to make you (and any guests) feel. Also, use this planning stage to consider how involved in the whole process you want to be, and consider whether you will need professional help with what you're hoping to achieve.  

Gather your style inspiration 

This is the fun bit! Time to work out exactly what you're hoping your home will look like. There are tonnes of resources to help you with this, and Great Idea Hub is one of my favourites. They feature helpful how-to posts on how to make the most of your space, give you oodles of inspiration for the latest home decor trends, and even have some fantastic DIY tutorials for you to follow. My favourite thing is that this website is so versatile: you can focus on individual rooms, popular styles, or even specific furniture items - so even if all you want to change is your sofa, they'll give you the best tips on what will work. Whatever you're looking for, they have it! Great Idea Hub is a fantastic resource to help you plan out exactly what looks you'll be going for, and how to achieve the perfect decor - as if you'd hired a professional interior designer!
(And if you have a spare five minutes, check out their architecture section! It'll make you very envious but the houses are incredible!)

Set a budget - and stick to it

Back to reality, sadly. Renovating or redecorating your home is not the cheapest activity ever. You have to be realistic about what you can afford, especially if you are planning on doing up multiple rooms or spaces. Make a budget of what you can afford before you even start shopping. Treat this like it's a contract - don't cheat yourself with the "well it's just this tiny little thing..." purchase that turns into spending your monthly food budget on cushion covers (I've been there). But don't let your budget stop you from window shopping! I definitely take a wander into the more expensive shops so that I can get an idea of what looks good - before finding a cheaper version elsewhere.

Budgets are also important as you can decide which items are worth spending more on - shelling out for a more comfy sofa or bed is always a yes from me.

Make a statement

Having a concept for each room is all well and good, but every space needs to make a statement. Decide where you'd like the focus of attention to be. It could be a fancy couch to grab attention in your living room, a gorgeous dining table, or even something like a statement headboard for your bedroom. I personally love a flash of colour in an otherwise neutral room - pale grey walls with a mustard yellow sofa is definitely going to say something! 

Don't be afraid of having an item of furniture or a colourful wall stand out. You don't need to have matching sets to have a room that looks good; in fact, I often prefer when there is a variety. If you're not into mixing and matching your furniture, maybe think about statement flooring? A beautiful, colourful rug or some stunning floorboards can really transform the whole feel of a room. 

Put your twist on it

There are certain trends that lots of people, particularly us bloggers, love. Scandi-style, minimalist, lots of white walls, copper, and monochrome furniture. Don't get me wrong - I do love it! I wish I could make things look as effortlessly cool as some people seem able to. But I also like to show a bit of personality in my home. Having the perfect Instagrammable house is great, but it can come off a little soulless and more like a hotel if there's not some of you in it. 

You don't need to follow trends to the letter. Not only is it not very authentic, it'll be pretty expensive when the next fad comes along and you have to re-do it all! Put your own twist on the styles you like. Play with textures, colours, and lighting. Make your space totally bespoke, so that no one else has it quite like you do. Search in vintage or charity shops for some unique bits that'll fit with your theme. Incorporate houseplants, loads of cushions and pieces of art to really reflect your personality.

So there you have it, my beginners tips to making your home look fabulous. Be sure to check out Great Idea Hub for some more (professional) advice! 

What interior styles do you love at the moment? 

*This is a sponsored post.

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