Have you just bought your first home? Congratulations! Owning a property is a big deal (especially for the first time) and, while you’ve had to do a lot of admin to get to the point of having a set of keys to your new house, there is some good news: it’s yours to decorate however you like!
In an ideal world, you’d have an endless pot of money to spend on your new pad. But, after forking out for fees, stamp duty and mortgage deals, you’re probably on a pretty strict budget.
Here’s how to make your dream bedroom without breaking the bank…
Check your funds
First, could you use that bonus money from your Help to Buy ISA? If you opened a Help to Buy ISA when you were saving for your house, you should be due a pay-out now that you’ve exchanged. If you haven’t received yours, contact the solicitor that processed your paperwork for the house as they’ll need to sign a form in order for you to get the funds.
If you don’t have a bonus coming to you, take stock of what money you have in your bank account. You can transform a bedroom for £1000 but, if you have less cash than this, consider doing the steps below over a period of months so you can comfortably afford it…
Buy the best paint you can afford
You might be tempted to buy bargain-priced paint, but it will pay off in the long run to buy the best quality you can afford. Of course, you don’t need to buy tins from Farrow and Ball, but you should look for manufacturers who concentrate their paint with the highest colour pigment possible. This will mean you don’t need to apply layer after layer, saving you money as well as time. The Little Greene Company is a good place to look – their paint is of a similar quality to Farrow and Ball (and in fact often offer higher pigmentation) at a lower price.
Find second hand furniture
Bedroom furniture doesn’t come cheap: bed frames, wardrobes and chest of drawers are expensive, and if you buy brand-new you’re really going to feel it when you check your bank balance! Instead, consider buying your furniture second hand. Ask friends and family, scour antiques centres, or sign up for alerts on Gumtree to see what you can get your hands on.
Don’t choose second hand for the items that really matter
That said, there are some things you should be a bit wary of buying second hand. For instance, a second hand bedframe or mattress could be lumpy, stained, squeaky or just plain uncomfortable, so consider buying these things brand new. Somewhere like Divan Beds Centre is a good place to look if you to strike a balance between affordability and quality. Also, carpets and other types of flooring are best bought brand new too: second hand carpets might not fit your space properly, could be threadbare in places, or could even be infested with fleas.
Pay a visit to IKEA and the supermarkets
Those final touches that make a room complete such as bedding, cushions and throws, curtains, art work, lighting and mirrors don’t have to cost the earth. Art and prints are best bought on a whim when you’re on holiday or exploring a new city as they’ll mean more to you than something that’s store-bought but items such as bedding and lighting are easy to find in stores like IKEA and your local supermarkets.
When you’re choosing bedding, however, don’t be tempted to skimp on quality because your budget is tight. A Primark set made from a polyester blend could mean you end up overheating during the night, whereas IKEA’s top-price 100% cotton sets will set you back about £40 but allow your skin to breathe while you’re sleeping. Similarly, IKEA curtains are so affordable that you can buy double the quantity and sew them together to create a black-out effect.
As you can see, it’s perfectly possible to achieve your dream bedroom on a budget. So, get on Pinterest and start making a mood board for inspiration and have fun making it a reality!