Decorating your first house isn’t that much of a hassle, with a few tips and a little motivation, you can have the warmest most welcoming place you can dream of.
First of all I wanted to say one thing, never go into something if it doesn’t bring you joy. I was having coffee with some friends the other day and one of them mentioned feeling bad because she wasn’t into baking, interior design or any of that stuff we were talking about. People shouldn’t feel bad if they’re not into something they think they’re supposed to, if it’s not your cup of tea then it isn’t. Something else is and it’s just as important.
With that being said, in this article I wanna talk about how easy it is to decorate your house. My best friend will probably fight me for saying this, but it really is. The thing is, as it’s the case for plenty other situations in life, if you think the task at hand is hard, then it’s going to be hard. If you think it’s a hassle and you’re gonna fail and you need an interior designer, then clearly you won’t get the job done by yourself. It’s once again all about what you think you can and can’t do. And I’ve never asked myself the question if I could decorate my house by myself. I just did, very intuitively.
Sure you need to be into decoration at some extent, but if you don’t have the choice; you’re moving in to your new apartment by yourself, or you just got married or found roommate, you’re bound to be faced with the reality of four walls surrounding you, and a virtual tumbleweed rolling around. It’ll be time to roll up your sleeves and get to it. It isn’t that hard I promise.
First what you gotta do is envision, imagine what the perfect home for you would look like. Then, your best friend in this case becomes Pinterest. You type in something very regular, like « interior design », or « living room », keywords that’ll give an array of possibilities, and once you click on something you like, the app will do the job for you by finding you similar pictures, Pinterest will get your style. So create a board and pin images you like, or you can screenshot nice houses on Instagram, the world is your oyster you know. After that, you’ll get a clear image of what you want, you’ll get to the « realizing it » part, which although sometimes very laborious, still feels extremely rewarding.
If you’re a young adult on a budget, or just don’t feel like spending a ton of money on furniture, you have obvious choices. Ikea was my best friend during the time I was decorating my place. Them and my carpenter (I had him on favorites on my phone) I called him as often as my husband. Sometimes even more. So whether you want to have hardwood, laminated flooring, cement tiles (I’m craazy about those !), you need to literally start by the ground work before moving in. Your furniture will thank you. Start with your floor, paint job, electric, ceilings, windows, anything you want to install, change, or fix, do it before you think of bringing anything in. Once your furniture is moved in, trust me you’ll think twice before doing some changes around the house.
After that if you decided to go shopping in Ikea for instance, what I’d do is go to their website and pick the items I want. I then write their references down in a little list I keep on Notes, and I go there with a clear goal in mind. My friend (the one mentioned above, for whom decorating a house was the worst most traumatic experience in life), usually goes shopping just like that, no prep. She goes and comes back being all like « But I didn’t find anything ! ». Picture me rolling my eyes. Of course she won’t find the exact thing she’s looking for, it’s a big ass shop, you need to be prepared. You’re on a mission to have your dream house, you can’t be free styling it. Except if free style is what your aesthetic looks like then keep doing you.
A gallery wall was something that I absolutely wanted, so I drew it for my carpenter who apparently needed « a plan » (I’m always frustrated whenever people can’t directly read into my mind, it would make things much easier), and we hung out the frames where I wanted them.
The living room area is the most important one for me, I like having people over and there needs to be a lot of comfortable seating places. I also needed to have a big living room table for impromptu dinners or monopoly game sessions. It’s big enough to fit 8 people (my husband doesn’t know at this point if he’s living in a house or a hotel). I took Ivar chairs from Ikea and since they’re untreated solid pine wood, we applied stain and varnish in the same color as the dining table.
So yes, get ready to sweat, to bump heads with the workers, to have artistic differences with yourself (I one time spent a whole day in Ikea, half of it on the floor of the frames section trying to get the perfect disposition for my wall) and to be bone tired everyday. But after practically a year in our house, I can say that it’s a 100% worth it. When we get home after work and we just wanna lay down on the couches, we look around and we’re happy. I truly believe that your home should be your safe haven, the place you long to come to, after a tiring day at work, or when you come back from holidays, it needs to be welcoming and warm, it’s your place and it should look like you.