How to personalize your first home on a budget

Once you’ve closed the deal on your first house, it’s time to move in and start putting your personal stamp on the place. It can be daunting at first and hard to feel at home in a brand new space, but over time and with the right techniques, you can kick the process into high gear. Here are seven budget-friendly ideas to help you get started.

contemporary home office

Create a mood board

The first step to any successful project is to brainstorm and lay out your ideas from the get-go. Start by asking yourself (and whoever you’re moving in with) what things are most meaningful, inspiring and joyful for you to have in your home. Design a mood board centered around your hobbies and when you’re ready, take it to your walls. Dedicate wall space to hang vinyls if you’re a hard-core music fan or put up a world map for endless travelers.

beige room with gallery wall

Hang and display things with personal significance

One of the easiest ways to make a place feel like home is to put the things that matter most to you front and center. Create a gallery wall in the living room with your most cherished family photos and display your favorite souvenirs from your travels above the mantel or on decorative wall shelves. If you’re worried making holes in your brand new walls, opt for easy-to-remove picture-hanging strips.

subway tile bathroom

Clean up and add scents

A good way to get acquainted with a new home is to clean it out from top to bottom and tap into the power of smells. You can discover hidden nooks and crannies and rid the place of any old dust bunnies, while also infusing it with the scent of your favorite natural household cleaner. After you’re done, keep your home smelling fresh with scented air fresheners, candles or seasonal flowers.

bright sunny living room

Cozy up

Once you’ve cleaned up and layed down all your furniture, your space might feel more like a designer showroom rather than a lived-in home. A foolproof way to combat this is to not only add personal touches, but to also pile on fun and fuzzy textures. Roll out a sheepskin rug and drape a sherpa throw over the sofa. These soft fabrics are perfect for snuggling through the winter season and help create a sense of cozy homeyness in any space.

Switch out fixtures

If the hardware in your new home is looking a little dated or is simply not your style, capitalize on this opportunity to switch them out and add personality in small doses. Go for glam with shiny brass hardware in the kitchen and bath and change out any boring light fixtures for a stunning chandelier or pretty pendants. Lastly, change your door locks along with door knobs, door knockers and house numbers for statement-making curb appeal.

Give your keys a home

Once you have your personal set of keys for the house, give it its own rightful place to stay near the front door. Invest in a catch-all console table or hang up wall hooks to also hold coats and bags. Creating and customizing this special spot just for you will help you feel right at home the moment you walk through the door.

Start painting

Colors have the power to enliven and enrich any space, from the calming powers of green and blue to the mood-boosting effects of yellow. Even if you’re drawn to all-white walls, layering soft neutrals and cream hues can improve any space. Start by choosing a color that speaks to you or consider venturing beyond your comfort zone to try a deep purple, a rich red or an ocean-inspired blue-green hybrid – all choices predicted to go big in 2018. Paint the front door, an accent wall or just window trims if you want to start slow.

If you’re not ready to commit to a big paint job, put up wallpaper in a spare room or lesser-used space. Experiment with fun patterns to indulge your artsy side or go for a dramatic ombre design. Creating visual interest on the walls can go a long way in energizing and personalizing any space.

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