Published 31 Aug 2018

How to Decorate Your First Apartment on a Budget

Buying your first home can be stressful but it should be an exciting process. Once you’ve moved in you’ll want to relax and settle in, but first you’ll need to furnish your new place and make it a home. If you’ve been renting, then you may not have much furniture. However, all of a sudden you may have 4 or 5 rooms to tackle, which can be daunting, not to mention, the hours spent looking for inspiration!

We’ve asked our interior designers The Manser Practice, to help provide some top tips for first time buyers wishing to furnish an 'on trend' home.

Home décor on a budget

The budget for furnishing your new home may be tight, but a little can go a long way. The key is to decide if you are going to design all the spaces at once or to tackle them one at a time. The best approach is to furnish and complete each space on a room by room basis starting with the space you use the most, be this the kitchen/dining area, living area or bedroom. Paint is by far the most affordable way to transform a space and can be easily changed to correspond with the latest trends and fashion. Try to stay away from the ‘feature wall’ as this trend has definitely gone and go for one colour throughout the room. Painting skirting, in an eggshell finish, to match the colour of the walls gives a premium look with minimal effort and makes the space feel larger.

Help from the family

It’s very likely that first time buyers may not have a lot of furniture, particularly large items, if they have been renting for a number of years. Asking family if they have any spare furniture is a great way to help furnish your spaces and old or unloved furniture can easily be spruced up with a lick of paint or using wallpaper as a lining for cupboards or drawers for a pop of colour. There is a still a strong trend for retro or vintage pieces as these can easily be incorporated with modern objects which match in material, colour or pattern. You may find that Mum’s taste in crockery sits perfectly with your new dining table.

Partition or Open Plan

Many modern apartments and homes are designed to be as open plan as possible. Depending on the size of the space there may be occasions where partially subdividing the layout will help to create a cosier and more homely feel. Separating a living space from the dining/kitchen space with an open bookcase, a sideboard or even a grouping of plants will give you flexibility in your design rather than having to create one look across the whole space. There is a strong trend for large indoor planting right now and a beautiful plant is an affordable statement piece. This look can also be achieved with a selection of succulents and cacti.

The Corridor

Entranceways and corridors are often forgotten when it comes to furnishing homes. These crucial areas are a key opportunity to give an amazing first impression of your home, so be bold! Ceilings should never be off limits and with the current trend of dark and dramatic small spaces, the hallway is a perfect space to take on a bold colour. Instead of a coat rack that can take up lots of space look at using wooden wall hooks, particularly ones that tie in with the flooring to give continuity.

Choosing artwork for your new home

I use this term loosely as this can really be anything. Objects that tell a story or mean something to you will help to personalise your home and set it apart from the others in your development. This needn’t be expensive - framed posters or vinyls can be just as effective and say as much about you as traditional artwork. The trend for a ‘gallery wall’ has really come back into vogue and is a great solution for a dining or living area. Unwanted artwork, picture frames and mirrors donated by your family can also help in making your spaces feel lived in and homely and you never know, that old painting at your parent’s house you hated as a child might now be the perfect addition to your bedroom!

About The Manser Practice

The Manser Practice residential interior projects encompass all aspects of the residential market from large scale commercial developments, including marketing suites, show flats, PRS projects and one off houses for private clients.

The Manser Practice were the appointed interior designers for the private sale and Shared Ownership show homes for our development, The City Angel, located in Islington. Visit The Manser Practice website for more information about the work they do or check out their Twitter page.

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