Suppose you’ve spent the last 6 months or even 2 years searching for your new home. Suppose you employed the services of a Property Stylist and Property Finder to not only get your current home sold quickly but also to find your dream property. And, suppose everything turned out well; your old home sold for maximum market value and your new home ticked all the boxes on your wish list.
Finally, after weeks of eager anticipation and clutter clearing, you move in.
It’s a joyous occasion right? The property is exactly what you wanted. There’s enough room for the kids, grown-ups, visiting relatives, book club group, you have your own study, orangery, hot tub ….. fill in the blank! So why doesn’t it feel like home?
Unless you are one of the lucky few, for whom money isn’t too much of an object, moving into a new home will inevitably bring compromise. When you viewed the property, (particularly if it was being marketed by switched on vendors who’d buffed and styled their house to appeal to the masses 😉 ) you envisioned yourselves living the dream. It had bags of potential for you and yours. The rooms looked gorgeous, the master bedroom was huge, the living room was perfect for entertaining, the kitchen – well ok, that could do with a refit (looked lovely with all their ornaments, oils and shiny pans) but the bathrooms were sleek, white and oh so clean…
The stark truth is that when you move into a new house, your furniture won’t look the same as the previous owners did or have the same ‘wow-factor’ as the carefully styled Show-Home you viewed. If, like the majority of us, you plonk your stuff in the same spot as the last occupants, use the rooms in the same way as you were shown by the sellers or simply, after all the costs of moving home, don’t have enough cash to embark on remodelling, then the reality is it probably won’t feel like home for a long time… if ever!
SO WHAT’S THE SECRET?
The number one tip is – Don’t panic!
Consider the reasons why you believed it would make your perfect home. Does it have the space you always longed for, an en-suite bathroom or perhaps off road parking?
Make an objective list of things you’d really like to improve. Start with your biggest bug bear and then revisit the budget!
Avoid doing things twice. Don’t spend money replacing missing kitchen cupboard doors if you are planning to rip out the entire kitchen in a few months. Hold fire on replacing the ugly patterned carpet. Take time to work out what flooring/finishes will suit your lifestyle.
Consult a professional. Having an outsider give an objective view of how you can maximise your property’s potential will save you time and money! Most Interior Designers will work on projects for a fixed fee, some can offer a virtual service on a room by room basis. Whether you need advice on finding the right wall colour, help with sourcing furniture or plan to carry out a full refurbishment, find an Interior Designer you like to help define your dream home ideas.
Change the use of your rooms. Could your dining room be used as a family/teenage room? Could the spare room become your office? Do you need a downstairs shower for sporty kids ?
Move the furniture. Just because the previous owners had their sofa facing the window doesn’t mean you have to! Play around with the space you’ve inherited and find out where your favourite chair looks the best.
Treat yourself to a deep clean! Even if the house looks clean, have the place professionally cleaned from top to bottom, including the carpets – especially if you don’t like them but have to live with them for a while! Cleansing a space always makes it feel better.
Set up a dream home bank account. Home improvements always cost more than you think and invariably people get carried away. Saving for property changes and creating a separate account means that you can see exactly what you have to spend and can plan accordingly.
Finally, claim ownership with a fresh coat of paint! This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to make your new house, feel like your new home!