The documents have all been signed, your most cherished possessions arrived (mostly) intact, and there isn’t an unpacked box in sight. It’s official: you are moved into your first home! Now it’s time for some well-deserved fun: decorating and furnishing it all. No matter how you choose to transform your living space, it helps to have a plan of action. These tips can get you there, and most are easier—and cheaper—than you may think.

Paint

Roll up your sleeves and grab a brush. Adding color is one of the most affordable and transformative things you can do to a space. Something as subtle as creating an accent wall in your living room or as bold as redefining your bedroom with a fresh color are both tone-setters done cheaply.

Maximize existing furniture

If you’ve inherited furniture, keep it. Find a way to use it to your home’s advantage. Painting doesn’t have to stop with the walls, either. Wood furniture like tables, chairs, dressers, and desks can all be brought to new life with a new look.

Save through secondhand

You might not have a ton of cash left over to splurge on all new décor and furniture, which is why buying at flea markets or thrift shops is a practical idea. Considering this is your first home, you’ll begin to understand what style you like and dislike, and decisions to part ways with things will be made easier knowing you didn’t spend a fortune on them.

Add accessories to accentuate

Area rugs, throw pillows, houseplants, etc. can bring a new aesthetic to a room without spending much time or money. Accessorizing can add pattern and texture to a room, while masking blemishes.

Don’t go overboard

Resist the urge to fill every nook and cranny of the house with something—especially at first. Take your time, and allow spaces to breath a little before deciding what it needs. If your first house comes with a spare room, you don’t need to make a snap decision over weather it will be an extra bedroom, home office, playroom, etc.

Learn the tricks of DIY

With so many avenues to access ideas from, we are in the golden age of the do-it-yourself mindset. Embrace it. Find inspiration on Pinterest, home décor blogs, and from friends who have a knack for creativity. Completing DIY projects is not only easy on your wallet, it can be a rewarding experience—one that may turn into a hobby!

Transform your lighting

What you use for light and how you use it can be highly impactful to a room. For instance, you can go big and replace a few unflattering fixtures, or simply buy new lampshades to spruce up a seemingly ordinary lamp. It’s equally important to find that balance of lighting. Bright light is harsh; soft light is inviting. Use it to emphasize the parts of the room you want to call attention to.  

Appreciate the process

This is your first home. Not everything will be perfect or worthy of Architectural Digest. Find bliss in those little imperfections that make your home uniquely yours.

After all, this is the fun part—and it’s only the beginning!

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