Although I officially bought my house back in March, it look a number of months to ‘do up’ until it was looking smart enough and ready for me to add my personal touch. A number of readers and bloggers have been asking me over the past few weeks to give a little preview of a home tour on the blog, to show you all how I have decorated and put my own stamp on it. With buying and living on my own, it means everything has been purchased, styled and organised by just the one person – myself – therefore I’ve had the chance to make it suit my tastes without having to worry too much about any one else’s opinions.
After lots of plastering walls, knocking bits down, ripping up the floors and getting new doors, radiators, boilers and all sorts fitted, the fun part began which has seen me using little creative methods and money-saving ways to get by. For the past couple of months, I’ve had to work to a budget with everything, be that home improvements, furniture, clothes, socialising, bills, the lot. So I’ve put together today’s post which highlights some of the ways I’ve managed to pull through the best I can in the most manageable way for time, money, and creativeness.
1. Exploring second hand shopping
When I bought my house, it overlapped with renting my apartment for a couple of months, meaning I was forking out both rent and mortgage payments. To try and watch my spending and stretch the pennies as far as possible, I took to second hand mills and charity shops to start kitting my house out. I purchased the most amazing solid wood coffee table which receives compliments every time I have visitors, for just £30. It needed a clean, but it looks so expensive. I also picked up a TV stand for £10 from a charity shop, a dining room table for £30 from a friends advert on Facebook, and a bookcase unit completely free from a friend who nearly put it on Free Cycle. It’s all about giving second hand shopping a go.
2. Magazine wall art
I’ve managed to turn my second bedroom into my very own whatemmadid.com office, which I am completely in love with. Whilst the rest of my house remains fairly minimal and modern with clean walls, I wanted the office to have a bold feature wall made up of prints and frames. Wall art can be expensive, so I purchased a pack of frames from Amazon which came to £13 for 10 (bargain!) and have started buying books and magazines with illustrations in to pull out and frame. For example, the Masters of Fashion Illustration book was bought from a cheap book store, down from RRP £30 to £12. There are stunning fashion illustration prints inside I’ll be framing to add to my wall. The art work currently hung on the wall is a selection from blog coverage, sheets of wallpaper and print outs. Creative and cheap!
The uber-cool pineapple, ice cream sundae and cocktail print cards are from my lovely friend Laura’s Etsy shop. She has some awesome designs which can be used as postcards to send to loved ones, or in my case, pin them up to add a pop of colour to a room! The cards are amazing value at £1 each and her shop is available to have a nosey at here.
3. Shop and Sell
Moving into my new house made me assess my wardrobe situation, and I noticed that I have a lot of stuff that I just no longer need. There’s a few things I did around this to try and save up, spend more wisely, and earn at the same time. The first thing was to have a huge clear out, raking through all my clothes, bags, shoes and accessories. I was really lucky that my new house came with fitted wardrobes, but even with all this extra storage I still had too many things to fit in. So I was ruthless – I put approximately a quarter of my clothes on eBay and depop, and then another quarter to a local charity shop. I then set out to do a small Autumn/Winter shop to get some new season clothes, new furniture updates and house accessories that I really did need, and considered other ways of purchasing them such as catalogues shopping. I have to be really careful with my finances now I run a house all by myself, so I wanted to make sure that if I was going to be shopping for new things, I needed to be selling unwanted items and looking at ways to spread out payments. A lot of people turn to shopping via catalogues for bad credit history, which isn’t the case for me as I am a really savvy shopper, but it is nice to opt for shopping options that let you pay over time rather than suddenly making a huge dent in my bank account. I’ve been really good at selling lots of unwanted items, purchasing new items, and being savvy with where I shop to make sure I have everything I want without getting myself super skint!
4. Nifty storage
A really cool thing that comes with moving into a new house is the house-warming gifts! I was overwhelmed by all the lovely thoughtful gifts my friends came and brought along for me. One thing I did get absolutely inundated with however was candles. Definitely not a bad thing – I can never own enough candles, but I found a nifty usage for all those little candle pots that I ended up getting so many of. I take the actual candle out and stand them on cute coasters when I light them, and have been using the mini glass pots to store my make-up brushes, eyeliners and any little pencils or narrow make-up items I use on a daily basis. A really cool way to keep my make-up cupboards organiser yet look pretty at the same time!
5. Keep it simple
From the photos below, you can see that I have kept my house to a complete minimal theme. Not too minimal that it looks like a show home with no character, but very clean, bright and simple. I have chosen accessories such as a silver chrome lamp for a modern touch, black and white cannisters for decorating the kitchen tops, clear glass jars for simplicity, and in general, just pretty, understated home decor. This way, it saves your home from becoming too ‘novelty’, yet it still allows a touch of personal character.
As you can see, it isn’t a complete look at my entire house, but it’s a little tour which gives you a good idea! Hope you like it. I have a feeling I will be very happy here…