Moving into an unfurnished, totally empty house for the first time was a fairly daunting experience. Don’t get me wrong, finally having a space of your own is wonderfully liberating and exciting, but on that first night, sitting on the floor on a blow up mattress, the task ahead of turning the house into a home looked seemingly impossible.
Between us, we owned two bedside tables, two desks, a coffee table, and some Ikea storage units. No ‘proper’ furniture, and having put our savings into moving out, we didn’t have a huge budget either. Three months down the line, we’ve made a good bit of progress and finally bought a bed (goodbye blow-up mattress!), but that’s a story for another day. Our living room is the space that I think I’m the most pleased with. We recently added a few finishing touches, and it finally seems to have come together and turned into the spaced we wanted to make. We made one ‘investment’ purchase in the form of our sofa, which is the ‘Jackson’ from John Lewis, which we adore. It’s grey and the neutral fabric means it’s a great starting piece to dress up with cushions and throws.
We’ve discovered that the cosy factor and that ‘home’ feeling is all in the little details, which thankfully is the easy part! Expressing yourself and your taste in small, affordable decorations makes all the difference. Creating a theme can be helpful as it gives you a guide to stick to, but don’t allow it to become too restrictive. Obviously you want to avoid going too over the top, but getting creative in your decorating is the most fun part of moving into a new place! If you’re a regular reader you’ve probably gathered that this is my favourite time of year, so we decided to embrace that in our decorating and focus on rich, warm and cosy tones, soft fabrics and checked patterns. I’ve got a bit of a thing for stags and have enjoyed weaving them into the decor. I have a stag cushion, the lampshades feature little deer and there’s a decorative stag on the console, and have loved building that little collection, including my new mug from Sophie Allport. [Just an FYI – keep an eye on my instagram tomorrow for a chance to win one for yourself!]
The rug felt like the finishing touch that brought the room together. It’s from George at Asda and was £40 for the largest size, with a gorgeous pattern and far cheaper than similar rugs we were looking at in other shops. The only downside is that it doesn’t stay put so I would recommend some non-slip backing!
Perhaps my favourite part of the room is the console table, £69 from Asda, which seems a good deal for wooden furniture. It’s great to have a bit of storage in the room, but the best bit is the surface which provides some space for decorating. We have no shelves or other cupboards, so having a space to add pictures, candles and a few other bits to added more of a personal feel to the room.
Candles definitely help in the cosy department. They are a relatively cheap way to decorate, especially when the colours of the glass and wax match your decor, and nothing says cosy quite like the glow of a scented candle in the evening. This Bergamot candle is from H&M Home.
Art is another really easy way to add a more homely feel, and doesn’t have to be expensive either. This print was a kind gift and one that makes me smile every time I see it. Prints you’ve bought or even made yourself can be framed inexpensively but make a big different to a bare room, and adding pieces like this with meaning make the space feel a lot more like home.
We were kindly given an old chair by my grandmother and a beanbag from my parents, but other than that we’ve sourced the majority of the room by ourselves. We made one ‘splurge’ purchase in the form of the sofa, but this could be avoided by shopping secondhand or even checking sites like freecycle. All the decorative pieces we’ve added were from affordable shops like George and H&M Home, or are as simple as a pumpkin on a plate. We were initially worried that it would take far too long or far too much money to get the house looking and feeling like the home we wanted it to be, but have thankfully found it not to be as giant a task as we initially thought. Having a home that feels like ours was my top priority after living in shared houses for years, and have found it’s the little details that make all the difference!